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The thoughts and theories of a guy who basically should have gone to bed hours ago.

I know, I know - what's the point? But look at it this way - I stayed up late writing it, but you're reading it...

Let's call ourselves even & move on, OK?


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Saturday, July 09, 2005

Help for the Tech Support Generation


Fog Creek CoPilot is software that's supposed to help resolve this problem:


"Click START"
"What?"
"Start. Click Start. It's in the bottom left."
"I have C - T - R - L in the bottom left."
"The bottom left of your screen."
"Oh. OK, I clicked it."
"OK, now click RUN."
"What?"
"On the menu that came up. Click RUN."
"It's not there."
"What do you mean it's not there?"
"It's not there. I don't have a RUN."
"What do you see? Read me everything you see"
"Recycle Bin... My Computer... Anna Navratilova J P G..."
"No, on the menu."
"What menu?"
"The menu that came up when you clicked start."
"When I what?"


Basically, you and your dad/mom/uncle/aunt each go to their website & download an app, which acts as a kind of traffic cop for tech support. Both computers send information to their server, and it sends it back to the opposite party. That way, you can take control of your technically-challenged relative's computer and fix the problem while they watch, without requiring a direct connection between the two machines.

Very cool idea. I see one problem with it, which is this:

"OK, you need to go to www.copilot.com"
"I need to go where?"
"Open your web browser"
"Wait - I'm getting my coat on"
"Why?"
"You said I had to go somewhere"
"No - you need to go to a website. Just sit down at the computer and open your web browser"
"Can I take my coat off?"
"Yes. Just open your web browser"
"What's that?"
"Click on the fancy 'e' near the bottom of the screen - next to the 'Start' button"
"OK, I see that screen with my news headlines and stock quotes. And a naked picture of Anna Kornikova that says 'Click here' to win $1,000"
"Ugh. Close the picture of Anna and type in 'www.copilot.com' "
"OK, I did. It's asking for my credit card number so it can credit me the $1,000"
"I thought I told you to close the picture"
"I thought I did. What does all of this have to do with my problem?"
"Nevermind..."

posted by Brian at 11:26 PM


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