Family Technical Support


Avoiding technical support today, I told my parents - sorta sarcastically - they ought to just go down to Walmart and get themselves a $300 PC that would be better than their Pre-USB Pentium II, 64Meg, 5 Gig Gateway they've had for quite a few years now. I'm sick of hearing about Windows 98 screwing up on them every other minute and complaints about it being "slow". I've VNCed into that machine a dozen times but it's impossible to clean out the cruft that's been built up...

I give my parents lots of suggestions. They rarely listen to me, however here's the email I just got from my Mom:


Went and got the computer at Wally World. It's emachines.

Has 60GB and 256 MB

Dad is opening the box now.

I will call you if we get into trouble.

Love Mom

A hundred thousand thoughts are crossing my mind. What OS is it? What processor? What software comes with a WalMart PC? How am I going to get their old data transferred across to the new box? I'm thinking to plug in the old HD into the new box, but then there's the whole master-switch jumper nightmare to worry about. All of their apps? Oof. Mom saves everything, so I'm sure they have the disks... but you know how much CRAP comes with every peripheral. She has like 5 CDs for her scanner alone, but only one contain the actual drivers...

Wow... what have I done? It's a good thing I'm on vacation this week...


Later... They did a good job - they got an eMachines W2060:

  • Bundled with eView� 15L LCD Monitor
    0.297mm Pixel Pitch, Active Matrix TFT
  • AMD Athlon� XP processor 2000+ (1.667 GHz) with QuantiSpeed� architecture
  • VIA KM 266
  • 7.25"w x 14.125"h x 16"d
  • 60 GB HDD
  • AOL service included
  • 256 MB DDR (PC2100)
  • 56K* ITU v.92 ready Fax/Modem
  • 10/100Mbps built-in Ethernet
  • Microsoft� Windows� XP Home Edition
  • 40x Max. CD-RW Drive; 3.5" 1.44MB FDD
  • Premium Multi-Media Keyboard, 2-Button Wheel Mouse, Amplified Speakers
  • AC '97 Audio
  • S3 ProSavage8� integrated (1 AGP slot available for upgrade)
  • Pre-Installed Software: Microsoft� Windows� XP Home Edition, Microsoft Works 7.0, Microsoft Money 2003, Encarta Online, Adobe� Acrobat� Reader, Microsoft Media Player, Real Player, Internet Explorer, Netscape, MSN, CompuServe, McAfee Anti-Virus (90-day trial version), AOL 7.0
  • 6 USB 2.0 ports (2 on front), 1 Serial, 1 Parallel, 2 PS/2, Audio In & Out, Mic-In & Head Phone jack on front, 3 PCI slots (2 available)

Not bad... (They spent a bit more than $300, but I can work with this.) ;-)


I CANNOT BELIEVE WHAT A PIECE OF SHIT MICROSOFT XP IS! 45 Minutes and we're still not online. No clear errors. No connection.

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