When writing software, I usually try to make the software simple enough that my parents could use it. My parents are really bad with computers, so it’s a good rule of thumb for making it easy enough for everyone.
Today, I got a call from my dad. He was having trouble with his computer, so he called up HP tech support. The guy told him that the easiest way to fix the problem was (dum da dum dumb) – to reformat his hard drive and reinstall the OS. I actually think the tech support guy couldn’t figure out what settings to change to fix the problem, but knew it “should work” on a brand-new computer.
I had setup my parents with a backup drive a few years ago, so my dad told the guy that he had a hard-drive backup. What my dad didn’t know, however, is that the backup drive was setup to work with his old computer, and the backup system was not installed on his new computer that he bought over a year ago. (I would’ve fixed this myself, but my parents live across the country, and I haven’t been there in years.) So, my dad dutifully deleted his hard-drive, and then called me to find out how to restore his data from the backup-drive. Proving that a little bit of knowledge can be a very dangerous thing. Ironically, he wouldn’t have deleted his hard drive and lost his data if I hadn’t installed the backup system in the first place.
I think I need to buy him a rebit drive.