While my mother was here, I was planning to dedicate some time to fight her computer illiteracy. As always, my bad planning and her sly (sneaky?) nature left us with about 40 minutes before her plane for all the teachings.
During those few minutes I only managed the bare minimum. Firstly, I installed Skype on her computer, registered her and configured her account, and made it to autostart in Online mode all the time. I gave her a brief lecture on what it is and how to use it (just the chatting part, no VoIP). Then we moved on to GMail. She had an account there for a long time, but never used it. I just showed her how to read messages, reply to messages, and compose new ones, and our time was up. No filtering, no labels, no archives.
While I was talking, she was mostly writing. With a pan on a piece of paper. She wrote almost a full page, re-drawing the icons and putting arrows all over the place. Too bad. When I came back from the airport, I noticed this piece of paper on my living room table, exactly where she left it.
After all these, imagine how surprised and proud I am to find my mother logged in to Skype every day for hours. She is chatting with me, participating in the conferences, and doing a terrific job. She also figured out the whole GMail thing. Probably not with labels and filters yet, but she does send emails. She even figured out the attachments, which I didn’t even explain to her.
I know that user interfaces are getting more intuitive with each year, but I still have to say – Ma, I’m proud of ya! Ya doing great!