So I'm pretty fit in the more theoretical and mathematical aspects of computer science, but I'm nowhere near a full-fledged admin, and I don't want to be. I can do what I need. When I can't do something I can learn it. But I'm inexperienced with most stuff that goes beyond administering my own box.
For my mother, I'm still the best she can get. So I'm pressured into playing the admin whenever I am there, because "who else should do it? And you study computer science, after all".
I have long given up explaining that computer science isn't really about fixing computers.
Well, yesterday I was supposed to configure their new DSL router. "New" isn't the right word, they've been paying for their DSL, and have had the router, since April without ever plugging it in because 'they can't do it, and the guy they wanted to do it didn't have time'. So I unpacked all that stuff, plugged it in, plugged the laptop in - great, I get an IP right away, so let's fire up the router config.
"I need your DSL login data. Account name, password and stuff."
"Your sister said it was on the router box". Extensive searching for a sticker with the needed data ensues, then, after her partner comes back, further searching for a letter from the ISP follows.
After two hours, she calls support. While I notice that her laptop is about as good at blackjack as I am, which probably means that I suck (I should probably not turn to gambling if I need money), she finds out that the login data has expired four weeks after they'd received the router, which means that even if we had found it, those two hours of searching were completely for the birds.
I wouldn't have wasted basically the entire afternoon if someone had picked up that handbook, put everything together and just entered the data using the STEP BY STEP wizard the router config program comes with.
I wonder why everyone is so afraid of technology. Why people can't just follow a manual. Why they think it's some kind of difficult, dangerous magic that only the initiated can handle. It's not.
So they call me so I can play the admin and do things they could have done themselves if they had read what's on the screen and looked at the manual - but they prefer to pay for DSL for four friggin' months without using it, or wait half a year for me to come visit before they get it fixed or so. I understand waiting a few days to delegate it, but not months.
Is that laziness, or plain stupidity, or something else entirely?
But hey, at least I got cake. And dishwater she calls coffee that comes out of those weird Senseo pad machines that seem to be a trend in my family. So I can't complain, huh?