Sunday, April 15, 2007

Happy Birthday Grandma!

My Grandma had a birthday this weekend. She's pretty old, and they say you can't teach an old dog new tricks... but Grandma has impressed me pretty well with the way she's been able to learn to use a computer.

She's no l337 h4xx0R by any means, but for someone who was vehemently against them for as long as she was, I was sure I'd turn into 24/7 customer service. For whatever reason she decided that, despite all the advice everyone and their brother was offering her, she would listen to me and only me. I suppose that's a good thing (for her), but I was skeptical at first.

As it happens, with just some basic lessons/coaching, Grandma has called me a suprisingly small number of times with questions about using her computer. She pays bills online, checks her bridge scores, email people, and looks things up on Google, and hardly has any questions at all.

Once in a while she'll call with a concern such as a Norton Antivirus popup suggesting she renew or upgrade her subscription, which she claims she can't get off the screen no matter what she tries, or she'll forget how to view pictures attached to an email or something, but for the most part she gets along alright.

In addition to computer tech support, I am also (of course) TV, VCR, and any other electronic gadget tech support (not to mention installer of water filters and toilet seats, although sometimes my dad handles some of that). Today Grandma called me because her new cable box (she got an upgrade to digital cable some time ago, and the installer didn't replace the box in her bedroom, only the den, what a hassle that was) was having some kind of problem. She would turn on the TV, but there would be no picture. So I came by to see if I could help her out. Fortunately, I was able to identify the problem...

The cable box was not turned on.

Grandma claims that she never turned it off, and I suppose I believe her because as it turned out, there was another, different problem that involved the box not receiving data. After a thankfully quick call to customer service I found out the fix...

Unplug the cable box and then plug it back in.

God I love technology.

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