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Thread: Another adventure with my Dad and his computer

  1. #1
    Senior Member Easto's Avatar
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    Unhappy Another adventure with my Dad and his computer

    First I'd like to say that I love my dad. I know some of you may think I'm ragging on him in these posts but I'm not. I'd do anything for him and we are very close.

    He wanted to sign up at his new healthcare website. Like any other website when you go to the home page there is a space to login. He said he was having problems logging in because he could not find his Windows login information that we gave him a long time ago. I had to explain that they are asking for a login to the site, not his Windows information (God knows if he's been sending out various logins and passwords to people he shouldn't be). I then needed to explain what he was attempting to do i.e. log into a website and not Windows. I finally got him to see the button right next to the login fields that said... "Not registered yet, Click here".

    The next page asked for several pieces of information
    1. Create Username
    2. Create Password
    3. Confirm Password
    4. Id number from membership card
    5. DOB

    He repeatedly types "L" instead of "1" in the date fields.. His hands hit the keyboard while he is typing and the cursor is bouncing all over the place. When he tries to use the Backspace key he holds it down too long and all the fields are deleted (having to start all over again). It took him 20 minutes (there is a clock on his desk and I was watching it) to enter this information and complete it. Whew!

    He still asks questions like... "so if I need to call them about something", I tell him he's already there, click the contact button and go for it. Although he's had a computer for 10 years he still doesn't get it. He's always talking to me about sending an insurance company a letter about wanting to change something in a policy and stuff like that and I'm always telling him just to send them an email.

    I guess the most frustrating part is that he is a very intelligent person. Actually one of the smartest people I know. But even after 10 years of writing emails he still hits the "enter" key at the end of a line rather than let the word-wrap do it's thing. He'll hit the "tab" key 3 or 4 times and I ask him why he did that and he tells me "he doesn't know". Whew!

  2. #2
    R.I.P. Nov 2015 RaisinCain's Avatar
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    Hell you should be so lucky. My pops has NEVER even hit the power button on a computer. Took my brother about 2 years to convince him to upgrade his cell phone from the clam shell model to a smart phone. Needless to say he has since switched his cell number to a land line phone and doesn't have a cell anymore. He retired a few years back but up until the day he did he did everything with pencil and paper (he owned a construction company and did all the mathematical equations by hand- not even a calculator).

  3. #3
    Elite Member TonyT's Avatar
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    My mother similar, though only using a computer for a few months. I setup a laptop for her with a simple Debian system w/ Firefox, as she just uses yahoo email. Last time she was at yahoo and I was at her house, it took her 20 minutes to compose a 1 small paragraph email. She stops repeatedly and thinks about what she should say next. I had to tell her to just type and say the same things she would say as if writing a letter.

    My mom is quite a talker and if you're not careful, a simple "What's new?" will lead to an hour of conversation. And she always says she hasn't had the time to use her comp. I spent a week at her house a couple weeks ago and was sitting with my laptop doing some work and browsing. She started to chat with me and I intentionally ignored her. 10 minutes later she was at her laptop trying to login to yahoo and getting confused. And then I listened, helped her and off she went using email.

    Her new curiosity: the red underlines on mistyped words in the message field.
    No one has any right to force data on you
    and command you to believe it or else.
    If it is not true for you, it isn't true.

    LRH

  4. #4
    Senior Member Easto's Avatar
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    What get's me is my dad is a very smart guy. He was an attorney by trade and although he doesn't move as fast as he use to, his mind is still as sharp. You have no idea how many times I've sat there with him going over something in the simplest of terms and describing everything he needs to know, let him as questions, and the next time I'm out there he's asking me the same thing. This has gone on for years. This is the 3rd computer he's owned.

    I've explained to him that the Enter key is like the carriage return on a typewriter, I've pointed out all of the most basic of issues (Like the Enter key) and he still doesn't get it. The funny thing is that he knows how to type. But when you sit and watch him type your jaw just drops. I'm constantly asking him why did you just TAB twice in the middle of a sentence, he doesn't know. I've explained about "word wrap", "Just keep typing and it will start a new line when it gets to that point". Every email I get from him is just one large paragraph including the intro and ending.

  5. #5
    resident Humboldt's Avatar
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    Don't worry about it

    For some it's second nature. For others it's a new way of doing things, and maybe the mind reverts to what it knows.

    Enjoy the time you spend with him, and enjoy the time he spends with you.

  6. #6
    R.I.P. 2015-05-13 minir's Avatar
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    Hi Easto

    My Ma is 95 now and though she will not try using a computer i spend at least a couple of hours a week on the phone with her trying to get her TV Remote working and of course her Cordless Phones as well the settings on her Microwave Oven.

    I usually go in to see her once a week or so and do whats needed while their and we talk 4 times a day at least as i remind her morning noon and night to take her meds.

    I finally got her to turn on her TV at least and hour prior to hockey night so i can get it sorted prior to the game starting so i don't have to spend half the game trying to her TV working.

    I have offered her a computer to let her email her grandkids and family but no luck. Just as well i guess.

    Age does strange things to the mind and myself at 72 am experiencing some of those problems now. To remember a new name i must forget an old one to make room for the new.

    Despite all the hassles i'm so lucky to still have her here to enjoy. She loves a good joke and makes me laugh everyday. We pretty much enjoy each others company and love to talk hockey at which she is quite knowledgeable.

    As my Dad used to say "Aging removes some of the elasticity of the mind" Boy he had that right.

    ---

    Larry

  7. #7
    Elite Member TonyT's Avatar
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    What get's me is my dad is a very smart guy.
    As is my mother. I believe she has a fear of screwing things up and she also has some basic misunderstood terms. We talk to them casually using what we think are simple terms like: Web browser, Web, Web page, program, software, icon, etc. etc.

    The first things I defined for her were Internet & WWW. Most do not realize they are 2 different distinct things.
    No one has any right to force data on you
    and command you to believe it or else.
    If it is not true for you, it isn't true.

    LRH

  8. #8
    Senior Member Easto's Avatar
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    It continues....

    I get an email from him tonight that says his webmail doesn't look the way it should. Actually, I couldn't figure out what he was talking about so I get he and his wife on the speaker phone. I go to the Verizon webmail page, use his login (email address) and then ask him what his password was. We confirmed this approximately 15 times. I specifically ask that the procedure we're using is how he logs onto his email. It's not letting me in, I try and try and try. He says he's able to get in, we confirm everything again at least 5 more times. NOTHING. So now I'm pissed. I tell him I'll look into it and call him back. Realizing that this has to be something STUPID easy I call back and we start from scratch. He then goes... "Oh, you want my email password? I was giving you the password for my computer"

    God Save Me!

  9. #9
    resident Humboldt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Easto View Post
    It continues....

    I get an email from him tonight that says his webmail doesn't look the way it should. Actually, I couldn't figure out what he was talking about so I get he and his wife on the speaker phone. I go to the Verizon webmail page, use his login (email address) and then ask him what his password was. We confirmed this approximately 15 times. I specifically ask that the procedure we're using is how he logs onto his email. It's not letting me in, I try and try and try. He says he's able to get in, we confirm everything again at least 5 more times. NOTHING. So now I'm pissed. I tell him I'll look into it and call him back. Realizing that this has to be something STUPID easy I call back and we start from scratch. He then goes... "Oh, you want my email password? I was giving you the password for my computer"

    God Save Me!
    Trust me, I understand. Be patient. If it's something stupid, so be it, ask questions that'll get you the right answer.

    I helped my mother in situations very very similar to this, would get frustrated, and work it out. Started as basic as I could. She wasn't stupid either, but computers were foreign to her, a different mindset completely, so I'd be patient and try different things, and end up asking questions that a 6 year-old could answer but she'd still have trouble with. Different generations, different technologies, different was of learning and different learning curves.

    2 years later she was dead, and I'd love to have the chance to stumble through trying to get her logged into an email account again.

    Start basic. If it's a password issue, explain, each time, the difference between a computer login and an email login. Whatever it takes.

  10. #10
    Revenant 9mmprincess's Avatar
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    My mom is clueless with the computer too. When I go home for Christmas she wants me to check hers out, she said it's having problems. I can just imagine the horrors that await me
    There is security in fearlessness.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Easto's Avatar
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    Humbolt, don't get me wrong. I love my dad. He's 90 and although he's still healthy and sharp I know we don't have a lot more time to spend together. When we go over things I'm patient. Sometimes it's just funny how he'll describe something to me like "I'm having problems with the email on my computer".. We'll I'm glad we got those toaster email problems cleared up last week, lol.

  12. #12
    resident Humboldt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Easto View Post
    Humbolt, don't get me wrong. I love my dad. He's 90 and although he's still healthy and sharp I know we don't have a lot more time to spend together. When we go over things I'm patient. Sometimes it's just funny how he'll describe something to me like "I'm having problems with the email on my computer".. We'll I'm glad we got those toaster email problems cleared up last week, lol.
    I know, not saying that.

    Just that some people have a knack for things like this, some people don't. Don't sweat the small stuff. Enjoy the time together.

    Hell, I ask my father about computer issues preemptively now. Thank god for remote access. The latest was his having issues just checking yahoo sports, and his windows updates never installed properly. Looked and he had 20 MB free space, and his browser was ancient.

    Got it cleared up eventually, told him to let me know when problems occur instead of waiting months for it to come up in conversation.

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