My Dad is helpless with Technology, and I am not (despite what he thinks) a tech professional.
July 9, 2012 1:27 PM Subscribe
Help me to help my father with his computing issues, and help me maintain my sanity in the process, please? This is both a tech and psychology question.
posted by .kobayashi. to computers & internet (29 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
The tech end:
Dad is running a old 1990s Dell, which is on the verge of dying. I've been recruited to transfer essential files to a new computer. It's a process: there's no USB 2.0, everything is slow and seizing. AND he refuses to learn anything new. I've had to set up Windows NT on a new machine for him. He won't use check email unless he uses Outlook express. That sort of thing. I am, by default, his tech support.
My major remaining task at this point is to locate where on the machine he has saved thousands and thousands of emails using Outlook Express 6, and export both the contents of the emails and his curious folder structure to a new machine. Keeping in mind, of course, that we're doing this with a thumb drive. And that I have to be able to describe each step in enough detail to explain it over the phone. AND that we're dealing with ZERO computer literacy -- in other words, I can't ever say "Copy," I have to say "highlight the word by dragging your cursor over it while holding down the left mouse button. Got that? Good. Now, hit the control key, and hold it down while pressing 'c'". This is what I'm dealing with.
I don't use outlook express or Windows NT. And I am not a tech support person. I'm not really even a techy person. I'm over my head, and I know I'm in the shallow end here.
Can you explain to me how to do this? And can you explain to me how to explain to him how to do this?
The Psychology end:
He refuses to learn anything about computers. I get calls at work several times a week that range from (using metaphors, because that's how I have to talk about computers with him) ".kobayashi., you drive a car, can you remind me how to unlock a door?" to ".kobayashi., you drive a car, can you rebuild this transmission for me?" Because my work is not as deadline-driven as some, he refuses to think of his calls as interruptions.
We get along very well, but his refusal to learn anything about computers or even retain what I taught him on the phone last time is driving me crazy. Usually when he asks "why does this stuff always happen to me?" the answer to the question often involves his falure to take any interest in or responsibility for his computing. I spend a lot of time biting my tongue
But that's who he is, and he isn't changing. I'm not going to be able to get him to become more competent or more interested. I'd like to be able to:
a) get him to respect limits and not call me as often during working hours, and
b) work on getting less upset when he does call with things that he -- or any novice computer user -- should be able to figure out.
Any advice on those two avenues would also be much appreciated.