Wednesday, October 19, 2011

New Computer Stuff...

Just before as I was about to sit down to dinner last night, the phone rang. Generally at that time, it is someone calling to sell us something, get our vote, or offer us a lower rate on the mortgage we don't even have one of. So, if the phone is handy, I check to see, and if it is, I don't answer it. Since the phone wasn't near, I didn't bother to see who was calling. I'd check it, and would call them back, if it was someone I cared to speak with.
Within a few minutes, Mom was ringing our doorbell. I asked why she was wandering over in the rain, and frustrated, she answered, " didn't answer your phone, so I came over here."  She was in a tizzy because her computer wouldn't work, and she was about to give up. Taking a deep breath, and letting it out slowly, I mustered all the patience I could, and told Mike I'd be right back. Then I went across the street to see what was wrong with the computer.

I listened as Mom vented. I gave her a pep talk, telling her that she just needs to learn the updated programs.  I said, "you told me you could learn this if you practiced, so you have to keep practicing! Don't give up...."  all the while feeling that I was right about my original thoughts that this expensive new machine was going to frustrate her to the limit. But even knowing that before she bought it, and warning her that it would be a challenge, how could I possibly take away her desire to have something to do, or discourage her determination?  I couldn't, and so, against my better judgement....and with a great deal of 'knowing' that I'd be on call whenever she turns on the computer, I said very little.

The problem last night was multi-faceted.  She couldn't get the computer to do 'anything!'  The instructions typed into the keyboard were met with no reaction.  I quickly discovered why. The keyboard was locked. On top of that, the cap lock key was on, so the password wouldn't be accepted.
After we freed all that, I had to, once again, walk Mom through the process of getting to her AOL mail. That's kind of a toughie for her to remember, as it's so different from the  older version she'd been using, which was so simple. 

Adding to Mom's computer problems is my brother, who is somewhat of a curmudgeon. A few months ago, when she could manuever her old machine, she set up an email account for him. He gets very little email, but because of a recent reunion with some Navy buddies, he does get a few forwards, and a lot of Spam.  He is at Mom's daily to read it. He hasn't a clue even how to turn on the computer, let alone get around it. He stands over Mom while she tries to find her way, and when she can't remember, he's impatiently telling her to push this and do that, which only further frustrates them both.  Arrrrrg!  He should get his OWN...but then I'd have to give him a class....and truthfully, I haven't got the patience for that and it ain't-a gonna happen!

So....I begin this day, not knowing what'll come. I will not borrow trouble....for each day has enough surprises. I'm here for Mom...and will be....but also hope that she'll manage to learn this stuff as soon as she can, so that her frustration will be diminished.  

Have a wonderful day, everyone!  May yours be problem-free and relaxing.


  1. Maybe a notebook to keep by the computer where she could write down detailed instructions to herself would help. I know I had to do that when I was trying to learn new things on the computer. Very detailed the way I would know what I was talking about even if nobody else understood my landmark way of traveling the cyberworld.

    Can even write out a troubleshooting check the caps lock, etc. And can write it in big print if she has trouble seeing, as I think you mentioned.

    Just an idea. I am one of those people who don't understand computers very well and, even if I have learned the basics, I still frustrate my son and daughter-in-law regularly. ;)

  2. I agree with Rita, just write down some simple instructions..and see how that goes..may keep you from a cold supper..
    ~~Sending You Good Vibrations today~~ GEESH, hope not a Earthquake this time!

  3. What browser are you using ? Try Google Chrome. You can set tabs up on the top that she can just click on to get to whatever place she wants to be. Very easy to use.