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As luck would (or would not, depending on your point of view) have it, it would seem that I have become the de-facto IT expert at home. I have literally no idea how this happened because I am not the tech genius The Mom purports me to be. The only thing I have that the rest of my family seems to be lacking is patience enough to keep pressing buttons until something works.

I offer you two recent incidents to make my case:

The first is, as you’d expect, from The Mom. I have, over the years, received many panicked emails from her, asking things she could’ve Googled herself, but decided, for reasons best known to herself, to ignore the time difference, and seek my help. Once, if you’ll allow me a brief aside, she even phoned me at work. At work in London, in the UK, I hasten to add. All so she could figure out how to put an attachment on an email to enter some hair brained contest. Anyhow, the latest situation involved a new printer she’d had to buy.

When she said the word printer, the word that flashed ominously in my head was: drivers. And how on earth to explain to her how to go about installing them. Thankfully, things have progressed significantly since last I owned a printer (which was about ten years ago) and there did not appear to be need of such things. Small mercies for which I am truly grateful.

She explained that Crazy D had got so far as to install things until the point where something, somewhere, wanted her Apple ID. Now, I have never made such a thing for her because of obvious reasons. She gets one of those and Lord knows what might happen. Next thing I know I’ll get a panicked phone call about how she managed to spend thousands of dollars buying things she didn’t know she was buying on iTunes.

I discussed matters with Crazy D, and pointed out that I felt it was not necessary to have such things for printer installation purposes.

He scoffed, threw up his hands, and basically insisted I no longer lived in the modern world.

He also confessed to having created an Apple ID for The Mom but no one could find the password anywhere.

After emailing my entire family to remind them in no uncertain terms that all The Mom’s passwords, usernames, and account details are to always be stored in the little drawer in her desk, I set about the installation process. And at no point was asked for an ID. This is because I don’t register anything with anyone, on principle. To me this step is like when you’re shopping and the clerk asks you for your email or post code. I give neither, only a scowl.

Anyhow, in mere minutes, The Mom’s printer was sorted. Much elation ensued. Problem solved. Though, it does bring up another question which is, Why was Crazy D registering things? It seems out of character to say the least.

But never mind. There was no time to consider it because L’il Sis had arrived, lap top in hand, with Netflix related problems. Actually, it was a Silverlight plug-in problem. One that I’d never had, so using common sense I asked the hive mind what to do. Google gave me some instructions, which I followed, and in mere minutes, L’il Sis was watching movies.

Success, though, was short-lived. When I went over to hers for dinner the next night, the same problem had occurred. So again I asked the hive mind. They’d developed no new answers, so I tried something on my own. I used a different browser. And again, things were fine.

So you see, I’m not actually a tech genius, just used to solving my own problems. This skill has been developed because I insist on using a Mac at my office. Mac support at such places is bad or non-existent. So I’ve had to learn how to do these things myself. While I don’t begrudge helping my family in the least, I do wonder what would happen if I fell off a cliff tomorrow. They wouldn’t be able to notify my friends, because, certainly, something would go wrong, someone would lose a crucial password, and that would be it. They’d be back in the stone age immediately.