Friday, November 20, 2009

My Daughter-in-Lawly Duties

A few years back, my parents were looking for a new home for a computer they were replacing. It's actually a bit better of a computer than the one we have currently, which was also a hand me down from them, but, what with having all of our stuff on it and everything, we opted to just keep it. The computer found a home with my mother-in-law. She likes it for email and for ordering her Avon (she's an Avon lady).

Over the years, Anthony and I have been her tech support. To be fair, she hasn't needed all that much tech support, really. Not like my grandmother, but that's another story. Really, there's only been the odd problem to solve (which seems to be my job) and a few installations to do (which seems to be mostly Anthony's job).

In the last few weeks, a problem has sprouted up. From what my MIL was saying, I had no idea what was wrong. I did suggest that she uninstall and reinstall Juno, which is what she uses to connect, and which my SIL did. Still, she was having internet troubles and could I come fix it? Honestly, I don't think I can is what I replied. I don't know what's wrong and I don't know all that much about computers, really, regardless of my now 11 year old computer engineering degree that I haven't kept up at all, pretty much sticking to surfing the web in my own computer forays.

We did give her Mozilla to install, or, more accurately, have my SIL who is at her house twice daily on school days install, as it seemed to be IE that was causing her troubles. That was tried and it failed. She asked if Anthony could come by.

Now, poor Anthony has been working overtime for most of the last three weeks, staying late and going in most Saturdays. He doesn't really have the energy to tackle her computer problems just now, but was feeling a sonly duty to go over when he could. So, I stepped up and said I would go over and have a look to see what I could do.

Today, in spite of the all day drizzle, I mounted up Jack (my touring/commuter work donkey type bike with fenders) in my rain gear and sloshed out to her house. At first, it seemed that Mozilla was working fine, so what the heck!?!?! But, that proved to be short lived.

Updates were certainly needed and were happening automatically, slowing things down. But, the problem went deeper and I didn't know if I could fix it. What I was able to do was solve the issue of access to her pictures by putting a short cut on the desktop. Then, I sat there and waited for the virus program to update.

What I eventually realized, though, was that the virus program had gone rouge and was what was actually causing the problems. It was constantly running a scan, breaking down and dumping it's data, hogging the CPU and quickly using up memory. I uninstalled it and, viola, everything worked just fine, or as fine as everything can work with slow as molasses dial up.

Of course, we can't just leave her computer unprotected from viruses, so I started the install of a new version of her anti-virus program. After ten minutes, it was 1% done and the downloading of Microsoft updates had gotten up to a whopping 11%, having been working on it for about an hour.

I decided not to hang around while those finished up. I hope either my MIL or my SIL is able to take it from there with the information on the note I left. Thus concludes my DIL-ly duties for today, no?


  1. You're a saint.

    Saint N.

    I have invented your future career... in 'let's everybody bike!' Portland, what could be more environmentally friendly than geeks on bikes?

  2. Oh my. I'd hate that. I really do not love messing with computers...strange that I majored in Computer Engineering in that case, eh?