In an hour, I’m heading to my mom’s house in Birmingham. There, I’m not a geeky dad or a geeky husband; I’m a geeky son. And that, my friends, is the biggest challenge any geek faces in life. There is nothing quite like being the tech support technician for your folks.
This will be a big geek visit for me as there is much to do. My mother finally got internet at her house! No more relying on the whims of my iPhone’s Edge or 3G connection! No more borrowing neighbors’ wifi! No more stopping in Starbucks parking lots to load up on podcasts for the drive home! Real, genuine 3Mbps DSL goodness at exotic Casa de Mom. Sweet.
We just upgraded Maryalice’s laptop, so I gave mom the old one for Christmas. It’s set up and ready; I just have to add the wireless router this weekend and then the schooling begins. I get to train mom on her home email, Skype, video conferencing, spyware, antivirus, why to never open Internet Explorer… ahh, the joys of having a parent on a Windows box.
I carefully set everything up to run as smoothly as possible. Antivirus and Windows Update are updating nightly and running in the background. I made the computer part of my logmein.com network, so I can get remote access at any time to fix a jam. I have her documents and photos automatically syncing and backing up to Windows Live Mesh without her having to think about it. I created her IMAP email and Skype accounts and already pre-loaded the contact lists with the buddies she’ll want. Everything should be pretty well automated, as long as she heeds my instruction to never turn the computer off!
Holiday family tech support is pretty common among the geeks I know. Do any of you have work to do for mom and dad this Christmas?