Tuesday, August 28, 2007


Mom vs. MSN

My Mom likes MSN.com. It's been her homepage for years, and I've accepted the fact that I won't be able to get her to switch to a better portal. However, every time Mom gets a new computer, she somehow gets tricked into signing up for MSN dial-up service for $9.99/month, despite the fact that she already has a broadband Internet connection.

Mom's a smart woman, so I'm not sure why this keeps happening. I think the new computers' desktops are always cluttered with crapware icons, she clicks them all to see what they do, and one of them offers to help her "get connected to the Internet," even though she's already connected to the Internet. And then an animated translucent butterfly pesters her until the clicks "OK."

I'm sure there are people who actually would find it helpful for a new Windows machine to assist them in setting up a dial-up account. But, it would be even more helpful if the MSN take-your-money wizard would detect whether a dial-up connection is really needed.

Next time I help set up a new computer, I'll be sure to delete anything that says "MSN" before turning it over to the owner.

Better yet, get her to consider a Mac instead?
No, I can't recommend a Mac to anyone, especially Mom. I like mine, but I think the costs of switching from Windows are too high for the average person. It's a Windows world and, ironically, being a Mac user in that world requires a lot of technical knowledge.

The fact that my last three Macs have died on me makes me even less likely to recommend them.

If Mom were to get a Mac, she'd probably get tricked into signing up for the .Mac service, which I find to be incredibly worthless.
Depends on what your using it for.

A "Mom/Dad" situation where it's being used for mostly mundane things such as surfing, email, etc..it's ideal.

None of the inherent Windows problems are going to crop up.

I'm always frustrated how I've become the entire families "Go to" guy whenever their Windows sytems get infected with that latest spyware, virus, or simply goes on the fritz.

Those whom have switched to Macs simply find that most of these problems never happen anymore..and my phone stops ringing.

IMHO, the extra costs are worth it when the OS isn't an issue due to proprietary software requirements.

Unfortunately you appear to have had a bad string of luck with your Mac equipment, however. I can see how that would sour your view.
Unfortunately, Mom uses her PC for work, and relies on some Windows programs, so switching to Mac would be more trouble than it's worth.

Dad would be happy with a Mac as long as he can find a good golf game and a good blackjack game for it.
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