Gram is on a computer finally!

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For the past few months my gram has been trying to write down her history, first on pen and paper, then on a typewriter.  I have been trying to convince her for the longest time that she needs to get a computer.  Fast forward a few months, and my dad has a spare laptop.

So for the past few weeks I have been kind of nagging my dad to format the laptop and install XP on it so I can help get my gram into the 21 century I guess.   Finally Saturday my dad is off and is able to start working on the computer.  This works well until he gets frustrated with the laptop because the drivers do not want to load.


After doing about an hour or so of phone support we finally get the computer running via the nic card (wired).  And get my dad to install UltraVNC.  For those that don't know what UltraVNC is, its a remote desktop program.  Thats the easiest way to explain it (VNC= Virtual Network Connection).  I get to see her desktop in real time, and I have control of her mouse.  

I then get the into my dads router and open up all the ports for VNC.  For the next 12 hours I am updating the laptop.  XP SP1, SP2, SP3 in that order (not fun) via Microsoft update.  Finally get the video drivers, and the wireless updated, now its Sunday.   I have to work on Monday so the rest had to wait till I got back from work.

Monday after work I get another call from dad, his internet radio is not working.  So we trouble shoot that for about an hour while I download OpenOffice and Firefox to my grams laptop.  Once thats done, its time to setup some initial websites and preferences  to the computer. 

My dad has already set her up with an email account, so I went and set her up with a Geni account attaching her to my tree.  Once this was done my dad walked the computer down to my gram's bedroom and handed the phone over to her.  During all this I was still VNC'd into her computer.

I was so happy to be able to show her all that I had posted on Geni from family members to photo's and documents.  I wish I was there to see her when she was able to actually see everything instead of me always just telling her, guess what I connected X to X.  Now she has the ability to see how X was connected to X.  

I then went and showed her how to use OpenOffice, and explained to her how she can now transfer everything she has typed up onto the computer and make edits and updates a lot easier then with the typewriter.  

I cant wait to see how well this lesson went and to see how many times she will call me for help trying to do this or that.  What ever helps her write out her story because I am sure its a great story.  My gram is 83 years old and immigrated to this country from the Czech Republic around the 1940's I think.  I know her ship was diverted to Halifax instead of heading to New York, I know a few more bits and pieces but will wait till she is finished, maybe I will be even able to post bits and pieces up here .   I will be sure and update everyone on her new experiences with computers.  


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