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Submission + - Ask Slashdot: How best to set up a parent's PC? 2

CodingHero writes: My mother uses a recent enough PC running Windows XP and has a broadband connection, but her primary method of interacting with the online world remains the AOL software. She also likes to download and use various seasonal wallpapers, screensavers, etc. Usually all this works fine and I don't get family tech support calls, but occasionally something big goes wrong. Since she lives 400 miles away, that means I get to provide phone tech support. While I can usually get something fixed through simple instructions, sometimes it's just too complicated to properly diagnose and explain over the phone (e.g., a trojan infection that anti-virus won't get rid of on its own). I'd like to set up the system so that her account is not an Administrator and that I can easily (and securely) remotely connect to fix problems, install stuff she really wants to use (after proper vetting of course), and so on. Moving to Linux or a Mac is not an option. Upgrading the system to Windows 7 and breaking the AOL habit, while seemingly the best course of action, is going to mean a lot of my time up front to explain how to do things all over again, time that I don't have a lot of right now. Has anyone else had a similar experience? If so, what did you find was the best way to re-educate a parent and/or set up a method to securely remotely manage a system, or at least lock it down to better protect it?
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Ask Slashdot: How best to set up a parent's PC?

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  • We have the same situation, and we have LogMeIn setup on their PCs in case they need assistance. If they're the type that don't remember too much at once, and need to read instructions on how to do something, then I suggest you setup a cloud-sharing foler (Dropbox, Wuala, etc) and create a "handbook" or "how-to", which you can update and edit from home. On their side they'll have a shortcut on the desktop to read it. For instance, you can create a Wiki or an HTML document (suggestion: Wikidpad). On your p

Forty two.