My mom just set up her first computer, ever


My dad is in the hospital. For a while now. And to have something for him to play with and probably create a messy document structure to resemble his iMac at home, Bernhard and I bought him a 13 inch MacBook Air (the small one with 128 GB SSD, but that should do).

I know, I know: not the best time to buy a MacBook Air when Apple introduces new machines on Thursday, but we felt there was some urgency to keep our old man entertained. So, the Mac was bought and it arrived at my parents home yesterday.

That night, shortly before 10 pm, I was on FaceTime with my mom to help her set up the machine. My dad did not know about all of this and we wanted her to bring the laptop as a surprise: fully set up and with MS Office installed plus a bunch of documents he likely wanted.

Now, it is a challenge for someone who is not used to handle computers to set one up out of the box (even if it’s a Mac). Yet, despite the occasional confusion on where to click on and where to look at, my mom did remarkably well. Great, actually. We first connected via FaceTime and I talked her through the first steps (luckily I saved my parents’ passwords ands Apple IDs for situations like this). I was able to eventually take control of the new MacBook via iMessage for Desktop (which of course helped a lot on the last mile) and eventually the machine was ready: set up with my dad’s credentials, Microsoft Office installed and his Office documents from 2014 to today organized in folders by year.

I admit, I smugly congratulated myself for having bought and installed a Time Machine backup drive that I connected to my dad’s iMac when we were in Germany last December. This made transferring data from one machine to the other really quite simple (and I am proud of my mom for correctly unmounting that drive, pulling off the correct USB cable and plugging it into the Air and then do the same thing again vice versa without any issues).

I wonder what my dad’s going to say…

Edit 9 pm:
Unfortunately, the surprise is going to be delayed a few days, but we can wait.

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