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Thinking outside the box

  1. Mar 29, 2010 #1


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    I am posting this because I am sure there are plenty of other folks out there who have elderly parent's or relative's who want to use a PC, and are not all that savvy with them.

    When they run into problems, getting competent help can be expensive, and time consuming, not to mention aggravating trying to get them to explain what is wrong with them over the phone to you.

    This is the case with me and my elderly Mom.

    I bought a new laptop for her (she being barely computer literate) to replace an old clunky slow one.

    Had it shipped to my home, (Windows 7) installed Firefox, Skype, configured her g-mail account, antivirus sw, screen capture sw, etc... then searched for and found free peer to peer sharing software.

    I used https://secure.logmein.com/US/products/free/" [Broken], I downloaded the client on my PC and the new laptop, ran the client and registered my e-mail and Mom's e-mail with the company.

    To use, simply, launch the logmein client, select desktop sharing/send an invitation and send the message.

    On the other end, when Mom gets the e-mail she clicks on the accept link, and then I can share her desktop remotely, solving problems, giving instructions over the phone, all while controlling her computer.

    It makes things a whole lot easier that way.

    You don't have to use the one I choose, there are a bunch of them if you search on "free desktop sharing software".

    The way most of them work is similar to what I just described.

    In the future, I may have her put a microphone and webcam on her laptop so we can communicate using skype as well.

    I cleaned off her desktop icons and left only the ones I want her to use in the toolbar, you do this by right clicking on the desktop and under view, show desktop icons, clear the checkbox. They are still there, but for simplicity sake, hidden for now.

    If anyone has any other neat software to suggest for computer illiterates, feel free to post them here.

    Good luck...

    Rhody... :cool:

    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 9, 2010 #2
    I sympathize. just be patient, and slow down when you use the mouse, else they'll stop following what you're doing and lose interest.

    Or, print this out and scotch tape it the her laptop lid:

  4. Apr 14, 2010 #3


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    Using remote control access to her computer I got her to login to gmail,
    select and read messages, hit reply and then send, to send a response, and showed her the basics of how checkbox's work, and how to delete e-mails, and navigate in gmail.

    It all seems so trivial, but to someone who has never touched a computer
    their whole lives it can be quite intimidating. I showed her if she got stuck in anything
    what the backout plan is and how to reboot her laptop, and suggested that she try something new each day.

    A work in progress for sure.

    Rhody... :approve:
  5. Apr 27, 2010 #4


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    One more thing to consider, the free version only lasts 30 days after that as I just found out it is 69.95 $ per year. I just got the popup this time when I tried to log Mom in.

    So free access is only good for 30 days, but I must say in those 30 days the product for the most part worked pretty good.

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