February 20, 2009

Family computer maintenance is a bitch

Should be doing instead of blogging: Putting away the pile of clean laundry in my chair. Bottles of Downy Wrinkle Releaser only do so much.

It's so much easier being nicer when you don't say much during the day and the brother is gone for the evening. However, when you take the opportunity to run maintenance on the family computer, it's time to start working on the "be nice" thing again.

Maintenance on the family computer used to be complete hell. There is a definite Windows Effect that makes the computer slow to a halt within a year (if that) of buying it. When it's a seven year-old Dell, make sure you have a long to-do list of other tasks to go with "maintaining the computer," because you're going to need to keep yourself occupied while you're waiting for the Start menu to open, the program to launch, the command to register, etc.

Did I mention that it's also the tech-savvy person's curse to have family that will encounter every issue you've rarely or never had before? Half of my mom's ripped mp3s skip like scratched CDs, my brother's games mysteriously don't open, and Mom insists that she can't bank online using Firefox, even though I've repeatedly told her I've never had any trouble using Firefox to access the same online banking site.

So when I got the laptop at the beginning of the year, I decided to do a good deed and make my life easier at the same time by lending/pretty much donating my iMac to the family cause. Not only does this help convert the family to Mac, it also drastically cuts down on my maintenance time. How much could they do to a Mac?

Well, one week into having it, they trashed the mouse. I didn't have a problem with that mouse for two years — they have it for a week, and the thing refuses to acknowledge clicking. Good thing I have the Wacom tablet and that mouse, though I've been wanting to scan in my latest character drawing attempts and color them in, which doesn't work well with a laptop trackpad.

Unfortunately, if I want to see my tablet again, they're going to need a mouse. Hopefully I can get them to use part of their Amazon credit towards one.

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