Tuesday, May 01, 2007

What Now?

A normally peaceful Monday night was ruined, thanks to my father-in-law, and his dinosaur of a computer. I received the call from my wife on the way home from work, and as soon as she mentioned that he called, I knew my evening was shot. The man has had the same computer for close to 10 years now, and when he purchased it, it was bottom of the line. The Commodore 64 thinks this computer is slow.

Anyway, the computer has caused him several problems over the past 5 years or so … or should I say that it has caused me those problems. He bought a printer for it a few years ago, and of course, it was a pain in the ass to find drivers that would work with his computer … somehow we figured it out. Then, he somehow “reconfigured” the internet page so that one could no longer type in web addresses (don’t ask). Then, he somehow reset his password to start up the computer, and had no idea what he reset the password to. I’ve been able to remedy all of these “situations,” until this latest issue.

This time, he decided he wanted to switch internet carriers to Verizon … which offers a much faster DSL service. Of course, my wife volunteered me to help install this. I knew this would be no easy task, but since I’m one helluva guy, I agreed to help (like I had a choice).

So, I went over there around 6:30 p.m. The task of installing the dsl modem originally seemed like it would be easy – plug in the modem to the computer, and plug in the phone line into the modem … however, since the computer is older than dirt, there is no Ethernet connection. I figured this wouldn’t be a problem, as I can connect the modem to the computer via the USB connection … and normally this would be fine, but since the father-in-law still has Windows 98, the USB connection did not work … believe me, I tried everything. I even called the Verizon help line, which was even less helpful.

Finally, after a few hours, I proclaimed that I was unable to finish the task. He mentioned that it might be time for him to buy a new computer … however, he later decided that he would just keep the dial-up service … which of course means that I should be getting another call from him at some time in the near future to put out some other fire … I immediately suggested to my wife that she and her brother and sister get together and buy him a new computer .. I’ll keep my fingers crossed.


Jeff said...

Geek Squad.

schooskie said...

I think the computer is older than the people who work at geeksquad.
Your services will not be offered until a new computer is purchased.

El Padrino said...

fo real

xmas or something
put that thing out of it's and your(s) misery

Christina_the_wench said...

I have learned never to let friends and family know you KNOW computers. Damn, you're stuck now. Trust me. ~sighs~

-B- said...

Best line of the day, "The Commodore 64 thinks this computer is slow."

That is classic dude. Me thinks it will be YOU buying him a new computer in the not-too-distant future. Like the next time he calls. lol

snowelf said...


You may just need to install a new ethernet card, and be able to get away with it. (they are about 14 dollars at Target ;) ) My fear is that the computer won't have a fast enough processor to handle the pages, though, defeating teh purpose of DSL to begin with. :P

There is a lot you can still do to help this computer, but we all know he really would be better off with a new one.

However, if he "can't" change, I can give you lots of tips if you need them.


minijonb said...

i used to keep an extra Windows 98 machine around as a museum piece... then i woke up. props to you for trying, but no more help until he enters the modern age and buys something new.

Los said...

Jeff - Exactly

Schooskie - But when will that be?

ElP - The gerbils in that computer are getting tired!

Christina - This is definitely something I need to take to heart.

B - Ah, but the Commodore was once cutting edge.

Sow Elf - I didn't want to open the computer up - never done something like that before. I'd probably short out the entire thing.

Minijonb - The thing is, he could buy a computer for like $300 and it would be 1,000 times better than the one he currently has.

Ink and Stone said...

What you have to do is purposely fry the computer but make it look like an accident so you don't get blamed. Then, he can buy a new computer. Say at Dell, they got decent low-end systems that are relatively cheap.

Superstar said...

~rolls eyes~
Even I have enough *knocks on head* wood upstairs here to know when to take it out to the feild and SMASH it to bits!
~Tips back Xantini~
Some party huh?!?!?!

Steph said...

So you're 'that' person? The one techie retarded peeps like ME phone to fix their computers?

You have my sympathy.

Rainman said...

Sounds like my old man and his old POS.

I think I would do the FIL a favor and accidently spill a 64 oz coke into the case. :)