Topic Title: Why are our parents so obtuse about computers...
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Created On: 09/13/2013 09:16 AM
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 09/13/2013 09:16 AM
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black_zion
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So I took the day off of work yesterday to catch up on some sleep, and what's the first thing I do when I get up? Go to my parent's house and work on their computer. Why? Because my father wondered why all his bandwidth was being consumed for no reason.

Come to find out he had the Sirefef rootkit. He couldn't understand how he got it because all he does is go to Facebook and he has Microsoft Security Essentials installed. No matter how much I tried to explain to him that this isn't the 1990s anymore and viruses and malware are quite sophisticated these days and you really need preemptive measures (such as NoScript) as well as a dedicated malware scanner (such as Spybot or Malwarebytes).

He also uses Windows XP, and I told him that it is coming to the end of its life in less than a year and now would be a great time to go ahead and upgrade, and that I even have a Windows 7 system setup for him. Needless to say he declined (quite vigorously). Then I suggested that I just reinstall Windows XP for him so he could start fresh. He declined that as well claiming he would lose something even though I kept telling him all his pictures, documents, and everything else would be moved to the Windows.old folder.

So they now use a somewhat clean computer that's quite slow (takes 5 minutes from POST till everything finishes loading, which is only MSE and Catalyst). Oh, and this isn't the first time they've gotten something either. Wasn't two years ago they had a virus which pretty much ripped the system to shreds and they still haven't reinstalled Windows from that time either...

Is it just me, or does it seem like our parents are being deliberately obtuse about computers?

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 09/13/2013 01:20 PM
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MD - Moderator
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No, they grew up in a time where if you bought a machine it would probably outlast them.

We know computers will not, and they do too, they just don't want to change.

Quite frankly it's a PITA to change over.



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Physics? Ha! This is clearly magic and devilry at work. Prepare firewood! We have witches to burn!


 


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 09/13/2013 06:09 PM
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Mkissner
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At least yours know HOW TO use one.. Mines are totally freak out at the moment I tell them to star my computer for me or to grab the mouse..

My mom is a school teacher, and she only types on the keyboard because the similarities with a typewriter machine..

Beyond that, my sister or me need to start the computer, start Word and config the sheet to a way that the only thing she needs to do is typing..

My father, he is a lost cause..

 

Best regards...



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 09/28/2013 11:21 AM
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msdos622wasfun
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My parents are from the "old" country, so it took them a long time to come to grips with this technology.  But my dad finally came around -- he bought himself a digital camera and we now have a big-screen Blu-ray surround-sound setup in the living room -- but I still think they're a little timid.  Still, they know now how valuable an information resource the Internet is, because they quite often ask me to look things up for them.

 

My dad used to be a toolmaker at Dodge Truck, and he said he retired just in time, because he said that computers were becoming the standard way for everybody to interact with the machines and enter data and stuff.  He said he usually had to have a coworker help him.

 

I remember one time I was at a computer store with my dad, and we were looking at a PC.  For the first time ever, I witnessed my dad grab the mouse and click it so that the demo playing on the machine would advance to the next screen.  Amazing.

 

Still, I find it interesting that smartphones sell almost in the billions, but there are still some folks floating around that are afraid of Word.



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 10/01/2013 12:14 PM
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MD - Moderator
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Originally posted by: msdos622wasfun My parents are from the "old" country, so it took them a long time to come to grips with this technology.  But my dad finally came around ...

 

My dad used to be a toolmaker at Dodge Truck, and he said he retired just in time, because he said that computers were becoming the standard way for everybody to interact with the machines and enter data and stuff.  He said he usually had to have a coworker help him.

 

So he's a machinist that if willing to do so could run a multi axis CNC machine... that's actually a skill that is in demand, and even a retired person with a good sized mill can keep making money while retired.



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The opinions expressed above do not represent those of Advanced Micro Devices or any of their affiliates.

Physics? Ha! This is clearly magic and devilry at work. Prepare firewood! We have witches to burn!


 


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 10/23/2013 12:44 AM
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kaitlin4599
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my dad is always correcting me telling me its not called a mouse its called a rat get it right lol parents lol

 10/23/2013 04:56 PM
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msdos622wasfun
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I think "rodent" is the politically correct term... 



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 10/23/2013 09:07 PM
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black_zion
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Perhaps I should expand from parents to include half the people that come to this forum for assistance. How many threads have we seen where the issue is caused by either cheap or outdated components (or an issue which could be solved with a 5 second internet search?) Backstreet Chinese power supplies that are more akin to a bomb than a PSU, ValueRAM which isn't worth the silicon used to made the stuff, 8 year old (or more) processors with less grunt than a smartphone, and old and/or low power graphics cards, and they can't understand why they have issues, and then get mad at us when we suggest that those are the cause of their issues and not Catalyst drivers.

And shall we even start with the number of people who complain that their crappy console port runs like garbage?

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 10/24/2013 12:58 AM
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Canis-X
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My dad taught me how to build a computer from scratch.  Matter of fact he just upgraded to Haswell, 4770K a couple weeks ago.  He had a lot of questions for me but he did his research too.  I was impressed, he is 66 and did everything on his own.  I live 9 hours away so I can't drop by.  

I remember when I was a kid though, he bought all the parts for his first comp and a big red book "DoS 3.0".  He had that thing read in a week and had it all built shortly afterwards....I remember playing billiards on it in monochrome color...LOL



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 10/24/2013 09:22 AM
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black_zion
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I remember my first computer, insert boot 5¼" floppy, turn computer on, boot, remove floppy, insert 5¼" floppy of program you want to run. The bad thing is some of the games I played in it were harder than the games of today...Oh for the days of 8 bits and less...

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 10/25/2013 06:47 AM
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MisterEd
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Originally posted by: black_zion I remember my first computer, insert boot 5¼" floppy, turn computer on, boot, remove floppy, insert 5¼" floppy of program you want to run. The bad thing is some of the games I played in it were harder than the games of today...Oh for the days of 8 bits and less...

My first computer was a TRS-80 Model I. It had Z80 processor @1.77MHz and 48KB RAM. There were two 5¼" floppies. The 1st floppy drive was for the disk O/S while the 2nd was for data. DOS was a 100 times as easy to learn and use as the O/S on the TRS-80. Today my computer has a CPU that is over 2200 times faster, has over 160,000 as much RAM and it has 10000 as much disk storage.

Most people that had computers 20-30 mainly did so because it was the new the technology. There were two types of people those that were just fascinated by the technology and those that actually tried to understand the technology. Those that understood the technology were those that wanted to either upgrade their computer or build one from scratch.

Today a computer is cheap compared to years ago. When a person built or upgraded a computer 20-30 years ago it was a very expensive proposition so he had to understand what he was doing. A person back then could easily spend $5000-$10000 on one computer alone.



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 10/25/2013 11:56 AM
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black_zion
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My parents bought their first Windows computer in 1995 for $1499.99. It had a 12 inch monitor, 75mhz Cyrix Super Socket 7 processor, 8MB RAM, ESS sound card, S3 Virge PCI graphics card, Windows 95, and a 631MB Seagate HDD. I still have it and it still works even though I almost killed it by attaching the P4 and P5 power connectors backwards (BabyAT form factor).

Minus my SSDs, that's what I spent on this computer including monitor.

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 10/26/2013 05:08 PM
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MisterEd
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Originally posted by: black_zion My parents bought their first Windows computer in 1995 for $1499.99. It had a 12 inch monitor, 75mhz Cyrix Super Socket 7 processor, 8MB RAM, ESS sound card, S3 Virge PCI graphics card, Windows 95, and a 631MB Seagate HDD. I still have it and it still works even though I almost killed it by attaching the P4 and P5 power connectors backwards (BabyAT form factor). Minus my SSDs, that's what I spent on this computer including monitor.

I bought the PC in January 1995 for $1800. It came with 12-inch monitor. The computer is long gone but this is what I think the internal hardware was.

Hardware:
MB: unknown manufacturer and model
CPU: Intel 486DX2-66
RAM: 8MB
HD: 750MB
FD: 3-1/2 1.44MB
CD: 2X CDROM *

Buses:
3 x 16-Bit ISA
2 x VESA Local Bus

Internal cards:
* I/O Card (16-Bit ISA)
* Video Card (VESA Local Bus)
* Sound Card (16-Bit ISA)

I/O Card had support for:
1 x IDE Port (2 IDE drives)
1 x Floppy Drive Port (2 floppy drives)
1 x Parallel Port
2 x Serial Ports
1 x Game Port

Operating system:
Windows for Workgroup 3.11 **

* The CDROM drive came bundled with the sound card. The card had a proprietary connector for the CDROM drive.

** I installed Windows 95 beta in April 1995. Windows 95 was released in October 1995 but I did not get it until January 1996.

The Windows 95 beta program was free for anyone that signed up for it. The version in April was on a CD but I remember one of the update versions a couple months later coming on floppies. It was fun installing Windows 95 using floppies.

The monitor configuration program for Windows 95 beta showed all available resolution/refresh combinations. Unfortunately I made the mistake of setting a combination too high for my monitor. That killed my monitor. The Windows 95 release only showed the resolution/refresh combinations that were valid for the monitor.



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 10/26/2013 05:58 PM
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black_zion
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Only if it was setup as something other than a "Generic PnP Monitor," I remember choosing the wrong refresh rate several times and trying to figure out which of the resulting images was the correct one so I could change it back.

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 10/27/2013 04:49 AM
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MisterEd
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Originally posted by: black_zion Only if it was setup as something other than a "Generic PnP Monitor," I remember choosing the wrong refresh rate several times and trying to figure out which of the resulting images was the correct one so I could change it back.

Remember this was a beta OS. This part was obviously broken. Instead of showing just the safe settings for the monitor all available setting for the video card were shown. After selecting an out of range setting by accident the monitor never worked right again. I had to get a new monitor.



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 12/17/2013 09:03 AM
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Moodtastic
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I remember our first computer but I was 5 at the time and I could not tell you the spec but it had windows 3.11 - although windows was used secondary to DOS which my brother used to play games.

I do remember the replacement that we got around 1995/1996. It was a Packard Bell, Pentium 166, 16mb RAM with Windows 95. It also had a 28k modem and we used AOL... Good times! I think at the time it cost around £1100.

What is odd is my Dad has been using computers all these years but he has little knowledge about them. It is like he froze in time. He can use the internet and open word but anything more fundamental is beyond his interest. He is probably more at home in command promp!

 02/09/2014 04:17 PM
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LComeno
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I *had* to reply to this thread.  I'm a 56 yr old grandma of 6.  That said, I got online back in 1993, when you needed to learn at least basic Unix to even get around online, since there was no World Wide Web or windows programs yet that worked with the internet.  I watched everything we have today come into being and I must say it's been rather cool.  I ran an IRC network for 15 years, finally letting it go once IRC started to die out and my health was preventing me from getting online everyday as I felt I should be when running a network.  I started building my own gamer computers 16 years ago and also maintain the home network we have here and run all the coax, etc. needed.  Not that I don't trust the cable techs, but I don't trust them after I had a couple bad ones mess up more than they were able to 'fix'.  LOL.  (Haven't had a problem since I took it over.) 

I will admit to being rather lame when it comes to software issues, but my hubby is good at that, so he does the software and I do the hardware.  Yes, there's also a good joke that can be made from that line, which we both tend to have fun with (we rarely act our ages .. he's 63 yrs old.)  He and I met in a usenet forum 16 yrs ago and reached our 15th wedding anniversary this last year.

I must say though, his son and my 2 sons and my daughter ... none of them are able to do software or hardware like we can.  So like you guys complain about your parents, we complain about our kids not knowing anything about what we take pretty much for granted.    Funny how the generation gap works pretty much the opposite in our family, but then again, I've never been very normal! 

 02/09/2014 04:38 PM
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black_zion
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Let's add some insult to injury, the computer I built for my parents a little over 4 years ago with a Corsair TX650. The PSU was starting to go out, it started putting off that smell of burning electrical wiring. It was packed full of dust since they never cleaned it, so I figured it finally started getting to it. They asked me if I had one on hand and I did, my spare SeaSonic X750, that they could buy. So I go over to their house, figuring that since it the Corsair carried a 5 year warranty (and I bought the thing) that I would RMA it for replacement, and what do I see on the counter? My father HAD TAKEN IT APART. So there went $100...

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