Every Breath You Take…

er, perhaps that should be “Every Key You Type”, but anyhow…

I don’t know if you’ve ever had somebody who looks to you for tech support, but it can be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it feels pretty impressive to know that you are the (or, in modesty, one of the…) uber-geek(s) amongst your close circle of friends/relatives (Dave Parkinson excepted) – but being on call all week long, at any random moment, pro bono… well, it can get old. Especially if you need to make house calls. (Ever try talking someone nearly computer illiterate through replacing a missing toolbar, or “finding” that bookmark list that just disappeared, or troubleshooting why Firefox won’t load and explaining how to kill the process because it apparently still thinks a previous session is running?)

In desperation, I turned to a friend who I heard does this sort of thing for his family/friends. It turns out, he uses GoToMyPC. While I’m sure it works wonderfully, it’s a bit out of my price range – I don’t really think $20/month is worth it in the 6-10 instances a year that my services are required (now that I think of it, $1 per use just might be). So I continued to dig until I stumbled across LogMeIn. Apparently, they make their money through IT guys who find their fully-functional versions worth the money – but for po’ boys like me, they’ll let me access another computer remotely for free through my browser. You get a month free of the full version, but it’s overkill for my uses. All I need is to check out my mother-in-law’s computer and fix the latest glitch.

And yesterday, it paid off! We’re in the middle of dinner prep… I’m cutting up grilled chicken for our Chicken Caesar Salad and the phone rings… sure enough, Firefox won’t load and it’s giving this confusing error message. LogMeIn!!! Ah yes, it appears an older instance is still running. Ctrl-Alt-Ins (because Ctrl-Alt-Del will activate MY TaskManager, this is the hotkey for the OTHER user’s computer), delete the firefox.exe process, attempt to run the program again, and voila!!! It worked! Complete situation solved in less than 5 minutes. No household visit necessary. No week or two of feeling guilty because I don’t really have the inclination to drive 15 miles to look at what seems to be the problem.

I’m sold! (I just hope they continue to allow me to use this for free!)


One Response to “Every Breath You Take…”

  1. Wow – that is impressive. If my dad finds out, I think I’ll be doing remote maintenance, instead of just on vacations! šŸ™‚

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: