Internet for Oldies

This year’s Christmas vacation, we’re introducing (if not intimidating) our parents to the modern world of computers. It has been a week already and most of it were spent on buying a new pc, setting it up for internet use and an almost never ending tutorial for our mother on how it will be used to connect to the internet.

I can still remember that more than a couple of years ago, my wife and I gave my mother a cellphone for her to join the SMS generation. I can still picture her laughing out loud upon discovering that she had just sent a text message to herself. Luckily after some patient sessions with my wife (with the unnecessary texting even when they are a couple of feet apart) she learned the basics slowly and was able to send us messages while we are at the airport on our way back by the end of our holiday vacation.

Now is her time to transition to the more complex world wide web.

Fortunately with some organizational and training skills I acquired from work, I got to somehow manage and make the sessions less stressful by labeling almost every wires on the back panel, capturing actual hardware pictures and screenshots. All of which were then transferred to a Word document as a training material, printed and had it available for her to refer from it while doing the start-up from the very beginning – from plugging the AC cord, powering up the UPS, powering the CPU, logging into Windows XP and then connecting to the internet via dial up.

And it doesn’t stop there yet. Once connected, more questions poured in. “What is an icon? What’s a double click? Why double click on some and single click on the others? What’s a domain? Why’s there an @ character? What’s a shortcut? Why’s the Window’s Start button got the Turn Off computer option? Why did the message turned to Read (status) when she hasn’t even finished reading it?”. And these, are just a few of the long list of “WH” and “How” questions that I never knew would come.

Despite all that, I think my patience is paying off. She’s already sent a couple of emails to my sister abroad and some to a family friend. She’s already started surfing the web and had already filed some of her Favorites which she checked a couple of times if it is still there. Just to make sure, I guess. I think my “relocating building” analogy is a bad one.

Though seeing the progress happening, today I checked some books in our local bookstore expecting to see some computer self-help book applicable for people like my mother. Well I saw Basic C++, How to Upgrade your PC, Do-It-Yourself: Fixing a PC and other books with Fundamentals written on it which when I opened contained a lot of computer jargons that would only reassure me that the new PC at home will never be opened again once we leave home back to work.

I come near a book from local authors “Internet Fundamentals” but lacked the basics on the PC’s operation. If I would have expanded my self-authored material, I could have made some bucks out of it. It’s so frustrating, but so far I haven’t seen a book with a direct approach to Internet for Oldies. Hopefully, I’ll chance upon on it at Powerbooks once I get back to Manila.

I’ve got few more days here in Bacolod. Tomorrow I’ll be teaching my father. Fingers crossed.


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