I’m trying to drag my sister into the 21st century from the
point of view of her home computer.
First, I gave her money to get a broadband connection last
Christmas. She finally got it set up before I was going there
to spend a few days in March, but not on the desktop where she
reads her mail.
Then last summer I upgraded my desktop computer and gave her
the old one — it’s slower and has less memory and disk space and fewer CPU’s
than my new one, but lots more than her current one.
But she still isn’t using it. It doesn’t have a floppy drive,
and her old machine doesn’t have a CD writer, so she hasn’t
figured out how to get her files across. She hasn’t even
tried connecting the wireless adapter, because her experience is
that every time she connects something new she has to remove
something old, because she doesn’t have enough disk space.
I could of course spend an afternoon there and fix all of this. But
she doesn’t like having someone just fix things for her; she
wants to do it herself. And she won’t talk to someone who knows
more about how to do it than she does, so she doesn’t know what to
ask me to bring to help her do it. And I have trouble figuring it
out, because she won’t talk to me. I delivered my old computer
with the graphics card still in it, although I knew it wouldn’t
work with VGA if that was there because I just didn’t know
whether she had a monitor with a DVI connection. Yesterday she
tried setting up the computer (not on her desktop) and it didn’t
work. I did remove the graphics card before I left, so the
computer is working, but not yet connected to either speakers or the
The next time she skips town and I go down to spend time with
my mother (she’s in good shape for 87, but shouldn’t have to
live alone), I’ll get the network set up outside of her
desktop. But I don’t know how many more months or years she’s
going to keep on with the old desktop and the dialup modem.