My Mom’s Computer Died, Then My Head Exploded

For years I have fielded calls from my mom about her digital camera, cell phone, computer, microwave, VCR, blender…you get the idea. Ninety-nine percent of the time it’s user error. Moms and technology just don’t mix. I realize that sounds stereotypical, but it is what it is.  Sorry Moms everywhere.

She used to start the calls by saying “Don’t get mad, I just have one question about my digital camera (or cell phone, computer, microwave, VCR, blender). I should probably thank her for making me feel smart because usually my answer was something along the lines of “Did you push the power button?” Then I would hear “Ooohhh that was so easy.” Wham! Problem solved.*

Today she tells me her laptop died so she took it to a computer repair guy who basically said “your laptop is junk and I don’t want to waste my time fixing it; just buy a new one already. They’re cheap!” He didn’t actually say that, but he did tell her it was not fixable. The power button quit working so there’s basically no way to turn it on and I guess this one button is worth the price of a whole new laptop.

In the meantime, she decided to back up her desktop computer. She’s never done this before. She bought the computer in 2010…enough said. She texted me all pissed off because she “hit the wrong button and lost everything.” First, I don’t think it’s possible to “hit the wrong button” and lose everything. It’s Windows for crying out loud. Anytime you click any button in Windows it asks you 5 times if you that’s what you meant to do.

Windows: Did you mean to just click that button?

Windows User: Yes

Windows: Are you sure you want to do that?

Windows User: Well I thought I did, yes.

Windows: Are you really sure, because that’s a really stupid thing to do.

Windows User: Ummm…yes?

Windows: Ok, you asked for it.

Windows User: What happened? My screen just went blan….k. Not the black screen of death…Nooooooooooooooooo!

Windows: I told you so.

So now she has no laptop and no computer. I told her to just use her smartphone for a while and she told me she needs a magnifying glass to see it. So I told her to zoom in and she said then it’s too big to read and she has to scroll from side to side. Plus, she asked “what if I need to print something?”

“Print?  What do you need to print?”

“I don’t know…nothing.”

I give up.


*This is a slight exaggeration.  My mom usually knows where the power buttons are and to keep on her good side I had to put a disclaimer on this post.

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  1. Words fail me right now. Since I don’t have a computer anymore to type something extraordinary I am plunking and squinting at this NEW Samsung galaxy 4 hoping I don’t hit the wrong button. Wait…..did Samsung just ask me something? ? What do I do jeni? All I can do now is hope for the best and pray my thumb doesn’t get fatter and that I don’t go blind and that jeni doesn’t change her phone# with no forwarding.

  2. I solved that problem by giving my (elderly) folks my wife’s used Mac Mini. They recycled their display, keyboard, printer, mouse etc. I made them buy an external drive to use with the Time Machine backup.

    Barely a tech support peep out of them in the 4 years since, except for more exotic ones now, like how to do X in Photoshop…

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