Just "unswitched" my wife's grandfather

Discussion in 'Community' started by DavidLeblond, Jul 17, 2005.

  1. DavidLeblond macrumors 68020


    Jan 6, 2004
    Raleigh, NC
    Its a sad sad day. My wife's grandfather got a Dell after using Macs most of his "computer" life. Its not that he stopped liking Macs, its just he saw he could get a complete Dell system for $300. And I was to set it up for him.

    He had used an eMac (before that he had a first generation iMac.) I took that off his desk and put the 17" CRT monitor in its place (although he was pissed to find out that Dell's 17" monitor only has a 15" screen.) He said "Wow! So thats a Dell!" I told him no, that was just the monitor and lugged the rest of the monstrosity out of the box. He didn't seem too happy with that.

    So I got everything plugged in (with him saying more than once "wow... thats a lot of wires") and started his computer up. So he started to get excited again and wanted to see the internet. I told him it wasn't ready yet, I had some more work to do. So I started up the computer, jumped through its loops and restarted it. Answered "I agree" to no less than about 500 EULAs. Then both Dell's software and Norton's Internet Security suite got pissed at me because neither could connect to the internet (he uses Earthlink Dialup that wasn't yet installed.) Finally I got rid of them (although Norton kept complaining off in the corner.) Finally I got Earthlink installed and Norton immediately started downloading virus definitions which took about an HOUR.

    So then I had to install his printer... this has always been my pet peeve about Windows. I dislike popup windows, as everyone does. But I consider those insidious informational balloons in the corner to be just as bad as popups. Why is it whenever you plug a friggin' printer into a Windows computer it has to pop up and tell you that its installing like 20 drivers?? Its only one printer!!!! And all the while Norton kept popping up to tell me that its "allowing" something to install... I don't care! Why is "annoy the hell out of the user" the default setting on these things????

    So I finally finished with his computer and showed him how to get onto the internet. He asked if his computer would get any faster, I told him it wasn't. His old eMac (I do believe it was probably a G3, I didn't check) smoked the hell out of this brand new Dell. Something tells me he'll be switching back real soon.

    Sorry guys, I had to rant somewhere. Ignore me, I'm bitter. I gotta say though, I love the hell out of my iBook right now.
  2. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Apr 3, 2004
    Adelaide, Australia
    It's a sad day. :(

    As my family's resident computer technician (yeah, me, go figure :confused: ) I know exactly what you're talking about. There's nothing worse than trying to get Windows to work for someone who just wont understand why it doesn't.
  3. iSaint macrumors 603


    May 26, 2004
    South Mississippi y'all, near the water!
    I wonder if the specs on the $300 computer are up to snuff? There has to be some catch to be only $300. Plus, you HAD to set it up for him? I thought once we switched we didn't help windows users? What fun!
  4. Applespider macrumors G4


    Jan 20, 2004
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    Having spent a day last week trying to configure my aunt's new wireless router for her POS Win 98 computer (and my niece's iBook which connected like a dream), I know exactly where you are coming from - Zone Alarm here, Norton there, Windows everywhere else popping up stupid messages. She is considering a new iMac... I just wish she'd consider faster

    Then again, it took us an hour for her to remember her username/password for her ISP and then the next week, i got a call because her dial-up wasn't connecting since she'd forgotten that I'd told her if it appeared, she should hit cancel.
  5. ham_man macrumors 68020


    Jan 21, 2005
    Reminds me of the commercial with the little kid setting up a G3 iMac and this middle age dude setting up an HP, and connecting it too the Internet. Took the kid like 8 minutes and the old dude like 30 minutes. Just goes to show...
  6. jamesW135 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 30, 2005
    Thats very sad how anyone could compare a Dell to a mac. :confused:
  7. law guy macrumors 6502a

    law guy

    Jan 17, 2003
    Western Massachusetts
    I can relate. When my mother retired I wanted to get her a new computer to replace her 2 yr old compaq that was just terrible (spyware had made limp and the counter-SW programs at the time were not that great at fixing the problem). She was lured in by the cheap Dell deals, but the $500 PC ended up costing $1200.00 b/c it was so stripped down it needed some upgrades just to be a low-end system. I didn't push Apple on her too much - she'd used macs as a teacher, but had bought into the Dell being a bargain (didn't want to have me spend more than I needed to, perhaps) and wouldn't it be better to use what everyone else was using. I upgraded the RAM and put XP Pro on it instead of the stock "home", purchased the ever-pricey Office suite for her and it ran just fine. But the upkeep is really something and it's more than she really can keep up with. The solutions are sometimes as bad as the problems - both from a slowing the system down perspective as well as a "what do all of these do", "it says my update subscription has expired, I need to pay Norton more money?" etc., perspective.

    Thankfully, my father - also across the country from me - recently upgraded his Mac 601 clone to an iMac 20". He was worried that it might be complicated to set up and so waited for a friend from the Mac users group to come over and help. Report: as easy as setting up a new toaster: out of the box, plugged it in, turned it on. Reminded me of those ads for the original iMacs.

    AARP should do its members a favor and endorse the use of Macs.
  8. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Apr 3, 2004
    Adelaide, Australia
    Actually, one of the most depressing things I've ever heard about is when I was interstate once, my grandfather wanted to connect to broadband...

    My Dad, an avid Mac user since the very early days decided to take my place as the IT technician thinking it really isn't that hard. When he tried to connect his eMac to broadband he simply plugged the ethernet cable in and put in his username and password. That's it! He's never even had to re enter a password or anything since.

    So off Dad goes, round to the GP's, grabs the ethernet cable, plugs it in, types in the password in the first thing that pops up...



    Hmm... Tries again...


    Okay. Dad runs back to my iBook which I'd left at home (thankfully) and brings it round to the GP's plugs it in, surfs to the ISP's page to see if the net has been down, all within a minute. Nope, the connection's been fine... Right, so what the hell is wrong? I get a call as I'm baking on a beach in Bondi. There is no way I'm going to attempt to walk them through it over the phone. I tell them I'll be back within the week and they should just hold out 'til then or call a proper technician. They wont have a bar of it, why get a professional when your grandkid can make a lame attempt!

    So I return, go pretty much straight round to the GP's and start the tedious process which is connecting Windows 98 to broadband. With iBook in hand I download some drivers, burn them to CD, install them on PC...

    Seven hours later (no kidding :( ) Pa's up and running on the net. Still a million problems like McAffee not updating (required a reinstall) and some regular drop-outs, but the old man is finally up to speed (excuse the pun, please :) ).

    Sure, PCs may be cheaper on initial purchase than Macs but is it really worth it considering the seven hour difference between getting the two online! I mean, if time equals money, then I think 93% of the world (or whatever figure Windows users are at) are pretty well ripped off. :(
  9. keysersoze macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2004
    My Mom and girlfriend both have PC's that I religiously update with Norton and Software updates when I am around those computers. I think people just assume they are fine if they "just go on the internet" and browse. I have told them if they had Macs they wouldn't have to worry about viruses/spyware and **** like that, but then they reminded me that I'm the one that gets to deal with their computers! So I have to deal with the pain of keeping their PC's running, all because they wanted to save a couple bucks. :rolleyes:

    Note: 1000 posts Babyy--- Yaaa!!!
  10. homerjward macrumors 68030


    May 11, 2004
    fig tree
    sorry, another internet connect rant:
    once i got my new tower built, i turned it on, installed all the software, etc. then decided i wanted to connect to the interent. being across the house from my router i use a wifi card. in order to install it it goes install drivers>>turn off, install pci card>>turn on and let windows apply the drivers or something like that. it worked fine until i was having some problems with the windows firewall and i installed the nvidia one. it suddenly decided i didn't have a card installed, so i had to uninstall drivers, reboot and do the install again :mad: turns out the card has such crappy reception i have to turn on internet sharing on my emac and use a e-net cable to get online on the pc through the mac :rolleyes: oh, and don't get me started on windows zero-config wireless dealie. even if my wifi card monitor says im connected to the network, the internet doesnt work until the zero-config decides i am. :mad::eek::rolleyes:
    edit: congrats, keysersoze
  11. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

    Staff Member

    Sep 19, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Sorry, DavidLeblond. But some people just have to learn the hard way, even grandfathers-in-law.
  12. yellow Moderator emeritus


    Oct 21, 2003
    Portland, OR
    I'm completely with you on the annoyance of informational balloons in Windows XP. Drives me nuts. Yes, THANK YOU, I know I'm connected via ethernet.. I DID just plug in the damn cable. Sheesh. :rolleyes:
  13. ravenvii macrumors 604


    Mar 17, 2004
    Melenkurion Skyweir
    Ugh, I had to deal with my grandpa's crappy PC (using AOL, too! :eek: ) today. And then Tuesday I'll have to take care of an aunt's PC, which (of course) got hosed with "a virus" (that's all she told me). And what fun! She's on dial-up too! :mad:

    And when I told them all the things they have to do to keep their machine from getting hosed in a week, they say "why should I do all that? I just want to browse the internet and use Outlook email! Do you do all those things?" and I go "heh, nah. I use a Mac."

    It's sad, people STILL think Macs can't do the stuff they want to do, when the only things they do is browse the net, IM and use email, all of which Macs do perfectly well. :mad:

    Ok you got me all worked up. I'd love to smack those people for being so stupid. If they're not family, I would too.
  14. DavidLeblond thread starter macrumors 68020


    Jan 6, 2004
    Raleigh, NC
    No, the specs on the $300 are pretty much a case of "you get what you pay for." Hell, my mother in law just got a Dell too (I know, two in one day... utter hell) but she opted for a more expensive model. The $300 one doesn't even come with an optical mouse! I didn't know they even PUT balls in mice anymore! It wasn't even USB! Amazing, I tell you. That must have been a "top of the line" Dell from 1996 that they just hadn't gotten around to selling yet.
  15. MattG macrumors 68040


    May 27, 2003
    Asheville, NC
    Wow...well it's not often you hear about someone going the 'other way'. It's sad, especially when it happens because of the price.
  16. iDM macrumors 6502a


    Jul 6, 2005
    The Commonwealth of PA/The First State-DE
    I still remembered when i switched from the PC I had built. I got the Pb delivered like 30 minutes before i had an exam, I thought ok I'll just turn it on and just see what happens in the first 5 minutes and then I'll go to class. Power it on OSX boots up I click on this thing called safari and the apple page comes up. We are talking what 5 minutes or less? I was speechless when it loaded, picked up my wireless router connected to it and allowed me to use the internet no questions asked.

    My other favorite Mac store is when all the other guys in my apartment(There is 7 of us) at one point lost their internet connection(the router went down, so we reset it) my roommates could not get there computers working for a week so everyone had to use my PowerBook. 1 working computer out of 7, I'm a believer.
  17. florencevassy macrumors regular


    Jun 1, 2004
    Princeton, NJ
    Good story, thanks.

    Although I am still a Newbie (switched last year) I can't see myself ever going back. I know that you can get a PC pretty cheap these days, but still...
    I just love the ease of use and elegance of Apple computers. I would rather have an ancient Mac than a new PC, that's for sure.
  18. wwooden macrumors 68000


    Jul 26, 2004
    Burlington, VT
    Sounds like we all have someone in the family who uses a PC computer. I bet we could go on and on with similar stories. But I still enjoy reading others and being able to relate to them.
  19. yg17 macrumors G5


    Aug 1, 2004
    St. Louis, MO
    I had the joy of not only setting up a Gateway PC for my grandpa, but also showing the 80 year old man who could barley work a TV how to use it. Took several minutes until he grasped the concept of clicking a mouse. Set up the POS computer and he gets a year of free internet through Gateway's dial up ISP back when they had ISP services (This is 1999, 2000ish).

    A year later, he calls me up and says "I heard AOL is good, I want it" Ugh, AOL and good should never be mentioned in the same sentence. But this isn't a man you argue with it. When you've owned your own business since your 30s, you develop arguing and haggling skills and your 15 year old grandson is no match. "OK Grandpa, I'll be over next week to install it." I'm not even going to go into detail about how that went. Installing AOL on a Windows 98 PC and showing someone who is clueless about computers how to use it. You know how that went.

    So over time, he updated virus defs, but absolutley no spyware protection ever got installed. So after a couple years, it gets pretty bad. I dreaded going over there to fix it because it would literally take 10 minutes to boot into a semi-useable state. Another 5 minutes for AOL to launch and connect. You get the idea.

    So about 2 years ago, he wanted broadband. It all came down to cable or DSL. I was crossing my fingers for cable because that meant a technican from Charter had to come out and install it (install cable jacks and all that jazz) because I really did not want to deal with that computer. DSL had self-install kits, no techs :( So he called up SBC (DSL ISP) and asked them which was better, cable or DSL. Well, guess what they said. So now a DSL self install kit is in transit to his house for yours truly to install. Sad thing is, cable is really better. 3 Mbit service while DSL is the same price and only 1.5, but you don't argue with him. Installing the hardware went without a hitch. Plug in the modem and filters, pop in the ethernet card, connect the neccesary cables, ect. The software install wasn't fun. Remember when I said it took 10 minutes to reboot? That was when Windows wasn't complaining about a network card and the 3985435 drivers required to make it work. Plus, SBC's software requires countless reboots. So after being there all day, DSL is finally working, but the computer is too damn slow to even process all the incoming data from the web, so it isn't a huge improvement over dial up.

    Less than a year ago, I get a call from him that he wants a new computer. Normally, I'd recommend a Mac, especially after all the previous crap with his computer. But, I was not about to sit there and teach him how to use a completley new operating system when he had to call me for step-by-step directions to type a letter in Word. So, to stop me from going insane, I kept my mouth quiet about Macs. In retrospect, I should have told him about Macs. This was before the days of the cheap Mac Mini, but he's loaded and could have gotten a maxed out G5 with dual 30 inchers without putting a dent in his checkbook. Anyways, he goes to Circuit City, and the salespeople there tell them what he wants to hear and goes home with some HP piece of junk (Although the 17" LCD is nice). Gets a multifunction printer with the little LCD screen for digital photos and flash card reader when he will never own a digital camera. Also, he gets extended warranties on everything which was probably a waste. I get to set it up, joy. I happily disconnect that Gateway pile of trash and get the new HP hooked up. One thing that gets me, in the year 2004, HP still includes a ball mice with their computer, when optical mice can be had for under 10 bucks. Whatever. Boot it up and let XP tell me about how I'm going to have the best, problem free and secure computing experience of my life as it proceeds to reboot the computer more times than my PowerMac has been rebooted since I bought it. Fortunatley, I can skip the step of SBC's software, I just use XP's built in PPPoE client to do the work. And out of the box, the computer was decentley fast. Nothing amazing, but compared to that Gateway, fast. Its all setup, and I leave and have to go to his house occasionally to fix a thing or show him another, and everytime I use that computer, its the same slow piece of junk his Gateway was, just an updated operating system doing the sucking. Having to troubleshoot that computer makes me happy to go home and use my shiny PowerMac.

    And I still don't know why he ever bought a computer. They have a ton of various investments and accounts and whatnot. Quicken would be great for them, but they still do paperwork by hand the old fashioned way. Every letter I've ever seen him mail was hand written, not typed. I don't believe he has ever bought anything online. He still calls us for every little thing when he has our e-mail addresses. He doesn't take digital photos or use a DV camera. He doesn't listen to music. I think he has it just to say he has a computer or for that rare occasion when he gets a website address and wants to see it.

    But he isn't an isolated incident, its Windows who is at fault. At college, I'm surrounded by PC users who know their stuff; if they're messing around with drivers, they don't delete what shouldn't be deleted; they have updated spyware and virus defs; they know what they're doing when working inside the computer. No problems they have can be blamed on them. The guy in the dorm next to me built his own PC (I can build one too and have, but I'd rather buy Macs :D) and Windows refused to shut down properly. Another one 2 doors down, his self-built Windows PC all of the sudden quit recognizing his CD burner. Only solution for him was to reformat. Guy across the hall from me, his HP laptop would just start getting extremley slow, and after virus and spyware scans showed nothing. Temporary fix was to reboot, and do the same every couple hours. And I'm in my little corner of the room happily doing things on my Mac and the only problem I had was the wide range of music on the campus p2p network was keeping me from studying.
  20. Mechcozmo macrumors 603


    Jul 17, 2004
    eMacs aren't G3, only G4.

    But still painful. We have a PowerTower Pro 225 running as guest e-mail and internet computer. For 8.5 years it has run... no problems ever. Even now it doesn't have viruses and spyware. People are amazing when I tell them how old it is. Only issue is that it is a bit slow... but next time I get a chance I'll install iCab and see how it goes.
  21. Cooknn macrumors 68020


    Aug 23, 2003
    Fort Myers, FL
    He'll be back. Windows will make him miserable :cool: Owning a Mac is like staying at Hotel California. You can check out, but you can never leave ;)
  22. solvs macrumors 603


    Jun 25, 2002
    LaLaLand, CA
    I can't tell you how many times I've told a person I keep helping fix their PC to buy a Mac. Only for them to buy another PC and we start the same cycle again. Funny, the people who do listen to me and buy a Mac never call me about computer issues. We should just stop helping these people. Tell them to buy a Mac or no more playing help desk.

    Too bad we're too nice for that, or there'd be more Mac users and we'd have a lot more free time. ;)
  23. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    I have never had a problem connecting a PC to the internet. They also....."just work."
  24. jiv3turkey748 macrumors 6502a


    Dec 30, 2004
    i remember one time my uncle was showing my granpa how to connect his digital camera to his pc they had to go to start and my computer and it shoeed up as a drive on my computer and u had to open the drive and copy the pictures to a folder and even after doing that there was no way to really edit or organize the pics(i guess for some reason he didnt have the soft ware that came with the camera) the whole time i was like you no on my ibook all i have to do is plug the camera in and press import
  25. katie ta achoo macrumors G3

    May 2, 2005


    Thankfully, I only have to deal with windows when I'm installing anti-virus software, updating it, running spyware checks, running adware checks, running anti-virus checks, defragging, etc.

    My mom has (thankfully) been scared into downloading NOTHING. The news on TV and myself have successfully telling her that. (muahhaha)

    Bleh, the other day, my dad had me trying to install a wireless card into his laptop. No big deal, it's just pcmcia, right?
    So, I put it in, it gets recognized and CRASHES, just having the card in it.

    This goes on for about 45 minutes before I stand up, walk TO the AirPort Express base station, and get it to connect while I'm 4 inches away from it (the windows status says "average" reception at this point) I set down the laptop, it immediately crashes, and I just kind of tell my dad "..All set up! I think it may have frozen itself but.. it's your problem now!" and I went back to my PowerBook, woke it up, and instantly got on the AirPort system.

    I swear, when I'm all rich and stuff, I'm gonna just outfit my whole family with iBooks and stuff.

    At that time, I'll also be head of The FOMC of VP of Finance at Apple (I haven't quite decided yet..) and I'll make EVERYONE switch to apple at the Fed. (If I'm finance at Apple, I'll ring the opening bell for the NYSE and demand the floor be changed to a Unix base.)

    Ah, a whole family of iBook'ers. It makes me smile, just thinking about how little tech-support I'll have to do. :D :D :rolleyes: (they'll find a way. HAHA)

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