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IT support for your parents (10 Jan 2005)
"Usually it's only a couple of hours. This past year, however, she upgraded from a dial-up connection to a cable modem, and the machine got infected badly with spyware," says Gina, 29.

Her 56-year-old mother-in-law, Becky Bailey, "usually saves up her questions and problems for when we visit". Gina tries to nip future problems in the bud.

"The trip before last I set up a scanner for her and there's now a text file on her desktop titled 'How to Use the Scanner.txt'."

Occasionally Ms Bailey resorts to phoning Gina, hoping to avoid the hefty costs of premium rate IT helplines.

"Last week she called on her cell phone from a store where she was picking out a digital camera. She didn't trust the salesperson. Other times it's just how to do something in Excel for work, or why clip art won't show up in publisher. Simple questions."
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