Friday, April 30, 2010

The Phone Call

this_week_on_atwt A recent phone call from my 86-year-old mother made me realize just how far she has come in embracing technology.  These phone calls started years ago after she and Daddy got their first VCR.  They were both working at the time, so the VCR was programmed to record As the World Turns.

Unfortunately, every time the power went out, which happens frequently in Arkansas during the spring storm season, the VCR would lose its memory.  So I would get a phone call and walk them through reprogramming the VCR so they wouldn’t miss an episode of their soap opera.

Although Mother now has a DVD player, she does not have a DVR, so she still uses the VCR to record TV shows.  I’m not even sure if she’s still watching As the World Turns, but I know she records Dancing With the Stars so she can also watch American Idol which airs at the same time.  The good news is that she can now program it herself, so I haven’t had a VCR help call in years.


However, a few years ago we decided that Mother would enjoy having a computer so that she could email her children and grandchildren and we could share photos of the great grands with her.  She’s also been able to use it to keep up with the scores of Atlanta Braves games.

Atlanta_Braves Mother started following the Braves when most of their games were on TBS, and she has continued to be a fan even though most of the games have moved to SportSouth or Peachtree TV.  We set her up with a Yahoo account and Yahoo as her home page.  There on the left hand side is a sports score module where she can check in on the Braves score.

This brings me to the recent phone call.  She had gotten online to check out the baseball score, but it wasn’t there.  My brother had visited recently, so I assumed that he had logged in to his own Yahoo account and hadn’t logged her back in.

This has happened before, especially after the grandchildren have visited.  Most of them have Yahoo accounts for fantasy football and baseball, and they are constantly logging in to manage their teams.  Most of the time they fail to log Mema back in to her account, and I will get the phone call to walk her through the steps.

After painstakingly taking her through the process of getting her home page back, she still couldn’t see the Braves score, so I decided to log into her account on my own computer to see just what she was seeing (or not seeing).  Sure enough, the Braves score was right where it was supposed to be.

That’s when it hit me.  The screen resolution on her older monitor is lower so in order to see the score module, she needed to scroll down.  It seems that Mother was on her home page all along, and all she needed to do was scroll down.

product-wifi Hunter recently suggested that we get her an iPad and a wireless router so that she can watch all of the Braves games.  I’m not sure I’m ready to go there.  Although we’ve come a long way from VCR’s to computers, until she can master scrolling, I don’t think she’s ready for an iPad.

And did I mention that she doesn’t know how to type!


nanny said...

How sweet! She's doing great I'd say....DVD, VCR and computer! I remember the darn VCR...I'd come home from work and the lights would be blinking....make me so mad, cause I too recorded ATWT!!! Is she upset about it going off the air? Sad that the soap generation is ending! I was raised on CBS soaps!

John McCallum said...

Any 86 year old who tries to keep up with the tech changes in our culture is both courageous and current and will not doubt master scrolling after one simple lesson. Good for her!

Glenda said...

Kathy, I can't type & do quite well
at least I think so

Just Breathe said...

Wow, she is doing a great job of it. My dad (86) doesn't want to give in to new things but my MIL does pretty well on her computer. They both have DVD players. I hope I am like that at 86.

Sarah Frost said...

This is so funny! My 89 year old mother loves her computer too! One of her College Square friends passed away recently only one month away from turning 101. When I asked Mama if she had any regrets concerning Miss Cornelia, she said she just wished she had showed her some things on YouTube!!!!! I immediately called my brother and we had a big laugh!!! Way to go, Marion and Helen!!

laurie @ bargain hunting said...

I'm afraid she's way ahead of me! I can't watch a rented movie unless someone is here to start it for me. I can't believe I just told you that! My husband has so many remotes and so many gadgets, I just can't keep up with them. Your mother is amazing, and I think it is great that she is willing to give all of these gadgets a try! Before we know it, she'll have a blog! laurie

Robin said...

Sounds exactly like phone conversations with my!

xinex said...

BTW, I miss playing Words with you. I think I am a little better now, getting used to my iphone....Christine

xinex said...

Wow! That's amazing at her age, Kathy! It's wonderful!...Christine

Hunter said...

I watched an MLB game on an iPad recently and it worked great. As long as she has a good broadband signal, this would be the solution to her dilemma.