Since I moved to Almonte, I have embarked on a second career as unpaid IT technologist for the seniors in my neighborhood. It keeps my mind sharp and I get the occasional free coffee out of it so I suppose it’s worth my time.

Today was a typical day with a couple of my “Clients.”

Client #1 – Install new Photo Printer on Windows 7 All in One

This client had a small Canon Selphy photo printer which ceased functioning, so she sent her husband off to Staples to replace it, and he came home with a newer but similar model.

  • Client #1 had removed the old printer from the list and uninstalled the driver so that saved a bit of time.
  • I had hoped to use the old printer’s USB cable but Canon has changed the connection from conventional printer USB to mini-USB, so the old cable would not work.
  • Fortunately the new printer was wifi capable and Client #1 has a wifi network, so after some futzing around with SSID and passwords I got it connected.
  • Installed the Windows driver and after putting in the photo paper the printer did its job. Task complete.

Client #2 – Fix eMail and Subsequent Issues

Client #2 has a Compaq desktop from 2007 or so running Windows Vista. He was complaining that he got two copies of every email when he downloaded it using the Windows Mail program that comes with Vista. I suggested maybe he could just read the mail with his browser but he has two email accounts and likes to get them together with Windows Mail.

  • As I suspected the accounts were keeping a copy of the emails on the POP3 server after download so he got each email twice.
  • After removing the option to keep emails his personal account was downloading one copy of the email but his business account wasn’t downloading anything even though the mail was showing up in his browser.
  • Checked settings and his business email account was also set up to receive from his personal account. Changed the settings to reflect reality and now he is getting one copy from both accounts.
  • Noted a lot of crapware on his machine – Conduit Search, Ask Toolbar, Film Fanatic – so I ran a Malware Bytes scan and removed 400 pieces of malware. After getting rid of Film Fanatic from Chrome, it’s all good again.
  • Uninstalled a particularly dumb piece of software called HP Advisor that slows things down and puts an ugly dock at the bottom of his screen.
  • After all this Vista runs a bit better but I wouldn’t want to have to reboot it very often. Oy…

After all this I continue to believe that computers are too difficult for most seniors to manage properly.