Help my parents help themselves.
November 14, 2012 11:22 AM Subscribe
Two part question. Helping quasi-luddite parents figure out how to use their computer, and whether I should help them make the switch to VOIP.
posted by phaedon to computers & internet (17 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
So, here's my situation. I live thousands of miles away from my parents. Through the wonder of modern technology, when their computer goes haywire, I'm usually able to screen-share and fix it.
But that doesn't always work and I've just about hit my limit. They need to learn some shit stat before I lose my mind. Highly educated, non-senile people, mind you. Getting them to describe a problem accurately, navigate the screen and follow instructions is extremely difficult, and they remember basically nothing from session to session.
To give you an example, on a Mac, I have to refer to the menubar as "the white horizontal strip at the very top of your screen." I call iChat the "blue bubble at the bottom." What prompted me to ask this question is that my mom does not know how to cut and paste web addresses, so if some online content doesn't have an email link, she doesn't know how to send it to me.
Are there any online courses that are really great and simple for people like this? Computers in question are running Lion.
Secondary - and equally important - question is, do you think it is reasonable to get my parents, given their experience level, to switch to VOIP, i.e. Vonage? They currently pay about $100/mo. for a landline, and basically make a few local calls and international calls to Europe. They most likely would want to keep their current number. If this service requires a lot of handholding and/or downtime I doubt they would be pleased.
Thanks so much for you help in advance...