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Old 14th December 2019, 01:21 AM   #1
Orphia Nay
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Family IT Support (Support Thread)

Because it's scary seeing our future.


Like when you freak out multiple times (and you've always been admired for your incredible patience), and cry DO NOT ASK ME FOR ANY MORE HELP.


They ring again the next day.
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Old 14th December 2019, 06:36 AM   #2
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Yeah. My Mom calls me whenever she gets popups on the computer. It's annoying, but I can actually deal with that one. We just about got her trained not to fall for the various scams out there
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Old 14th December 2019, 08:15 AM   #3
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Get her an iPad.

Seriously a few years ago I got my mum an iPad and the support calls disappeared into suppressed memory land.

She only reads webpages, her emails, occasionally buys something online and watches a few videos. The iPad restrictions in this case are a good thing.

Apart from a few issues of printing stuff and the odd attachment from someone she is completely self reliant these days.
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Old 14th December 2019, 08:27 AM   #4
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You know, that might be a good idea. On the other hand, eyesight is an issue, and the small screen on a iPad might cause problems.

I think we have an iPad sitting around, might see if we can let her do a trial run for a bit and see how she likes it.
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Old 14th December 2019, 09:39 AM   #5
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My mum has bad eyesight but I bumped up the fonts where possible and she seems to cope well. If the eyesight is really bad you could spring for a second hand iPad pro with a 12 inch plus screen.
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Old 14th December 2019, 11:04 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Hellbound View Post
Yeah. My Mom calls me whenever she gets popups on the computer. It's annoying, but I can actually deal with that one. We just about got her trained not to fall for the various scams out there
I wish mine could, but she died ten years ago. I just get to help my wife.
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Old 14th December 2019, 03:54 PM   #7
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I offered to set up linux with a remote management account for my parents but they both refused.

I can't really do much to help people who run systems that I don't use.

(Note the clicking on everything, and falling for every scam seems to be a very common experience.)
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Old 14th December 2019, 05:49 PM   #8
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We bought Mum an iPad mini a few years ago.

She's got an iPhone 6 too.

And a Macbook.

With Office, OneDrive, an HP printer, her digital camera.

She's nearly 80, and so dangerous she should have warning labels and wear hi-vis.

Last time I visited, she'd had no physical IT help for months. I spent 1.5 days doing tech for her.

Updating everything. (e.g. From the last OS to Catalina on the Macbook, which was actually rather fun, not having owned a Mac before.)

And yes, increasing text size on her phone, and logging her in to her right Gmail account so she could get mail on her phone, logging into other online accounts.

She gets into a big mess each time she goes into her service provider and they try to sell her things.

She doesn't know what she's paying for, and last time signed up for a plan and SIM for the iPad when it's wi-fi only.

Then kept hassling me to go and tell them they'd ripped her off because it was suddenly so expensive.

Only one call in the past 2 months, and I had put money in the bank by getting her plan to include personal IT help from her IT provider, and so I told her where to find the number to call in her bills, and haven't heard back.

I think she's good for a while.

Nice to be able to vent. Thanks!
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Old 17th December 2019, 07:35 AM   #9
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My dad just randomly tells people he works with that I do tech support, and would be more than willing to help. I set up a company called "I-T Dead PC's" and told him to send them there so that I don't have to do all of his friends IT for free. It's slowed the amount of people asking me for help that's for sure.

I don't mind helping people, but it gets out of hand some times. I limit my parents to only accessing the web through their cell phones. The mobile version are much easier for them to navigate.
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Last edited by plague311; 17th December 2019 at 07:36 AM.
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Old 17th December 2019, 08:58 AM   #10
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My dad, who clicks on everything, gets hit on the regular by web browser shenanigans that hijack the whole screen, displaying fake drawn-on Official Looking Warning Boxes, and mess up keyboard input. The last one even rotated the laptop screen display orientation! Then I get called to explain how to restart the computer without letting the browser open back up to the Evil Fake Page.

Any of you guys know how to disable the browser’s ability to do that sort of thing? Or indeed to stop allowing the installation of every malicious ad serving browser plugin known to man?

Luckily he doesn’t seem to get into anything worse than that. But it leaves my mother, who is Actually Very Good With Computers, afraid to touch hers cause she thinks Dad’s experience is typical.
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Old 17th December 2019, 09:24 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Lithrael View Post
My dad, who clicks on everything, gets hit on the regular by web browser shenanigans that hijack the whole screen, displaying fake drawn-on Official Looking Warning Boxes, and mess up keyboard input. The last one even rotated the laptop screen display orientation! Then I get called to explain how to restart the computer without letting the browser open back up to the Evil Fake Page.

Any of you guys know how to disable the browser’s ability to do that sort of thing? Or indeed to stop allowing the installation of every malicious ad serving browser plugin known to man?

Luckily he doesn’t seem to get into anything worse than that. But it leaves my mother, who is Actually Very Good With Computers, afraid to touch hers cause she thinks Dad’s experience is typical.
What browser does he use? You can get an ad blocker and that'll stop the ads from displaying. It might just be as simple as that.

I block ads at the router since it's a built in package for pfsense, so someone else might be able to give you better ideas for application level ad blocking. I know there are a bunch of good ones. As far as the browser goes, I'd search how to shut off scripts and stuff. That might effect his viewing pleasure though.
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Old 17th December 2019, 11:15 AM   #12
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Get him an ipad. It may seem expensive but it's still cheaper than the hard liquor and therapy you need at the.moment!
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Old 17th December 2019, 12:53 PM   #13
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Mom: I'm getting way too many emails I don't want...

Me: You can just delete them.

Mom: I do delete them, but they keep coming. It's advertisements and just
filthy stuff I don't want to see.

Me: Yeah, sorry, it's spam junk mail and I'd just delete those. Next time I'm
over I can maybe tweak the spam filter a bit and see if I can filter more
stuff out for you, but spam is something everyone struggles wi.....

Mom: Whatever you can do would be great. I just want emails that are for me. It says I have 126 unread emails and they are all garbage! I've never emailed these people.

Me: Really?! Most all of those should be going to your spam folder and you can delete them. Where are you seeing 126 unread emails?!

Mom: They're in my emails!

Me: I know, are you in your 'inbox' or where do you see '126'?

Mom: Yes! Its under my 'inbox' where I get my email and it says "S-P-A-M
126" and I don't want any of them in there.

Me: You're looking in your spam junk mail folder. It's doing what it's supposed to do. Just delete all those.

Mom: But I haven't read them all yet. I need to see if I should keep it or not.

Me: Yeah, but those are...uh-huh, I'll come by this weekend and fix your email. Love you.
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Old 17th December 2019, 12:56 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Tony99 View Post
Mom: I'm getting way too many emails I don't want...

Me: You can just delete them.

Mom: I do delete them, but they keep coming. It's advertisements and just
filthy stuff I don't want to see.

Me: Yeah, sorry, it's spam junk mail and I'd just delete those. Next time I'm
over I can maybe tweak the spam filter a bit and see if I can filter more
stuff out for you, but spam is something everyone struggles wi.....

Mom: Whatever you can do would be great. I just want emails that are for me. It says I have 126 unread emails and they are all garbage! I've never emailed these people.

Me: Really?! Most all of those should be going to your spam folder and you can delete them. Where are you seeing 126 unread emails?!

Mom: They're in my emails!

Me: I know, are you in your 'inbox' or where do you see '126'?

Mom: Yes! Its under my 'inbox' where I get my email and it says "S-P-A-M
126" and I don't want any of them in there.

Me: You're looking in your spam junk mail folder. It's doing what it's supposed to do. Just delete all those.

Mom: But I haven't read them all yet. I need to see if I should keep it or not.

Me: Yeah, but those are...uh-huh, I'll come by this weekend and fix your email. Love you.
Do we have the same family?
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Old 17th December 2019, 01:23 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by plague311 View Post
Do we have the same family?
If so, it's your turn to go help mom with her computer. lol
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Old 17th December 2019, 02:56 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Lithrael View Post
My dad, who clicks on everything, gets hit on the regular by web browser shenanigans that hijack the whole screen, displaying fake drawn-on Official Looking Warning Boxes, and mess up keyboard input. The last one even rotated the laptop screen display orientation! Then I get called to explain how to restart the computer without letting the browser open back up to the Evil Fake Page.

Any of you guys know how to disable the browser’s ability to do that sort of thing? Or indeed to stop allowing the installation of every malicious ad serving browser plugin known to man?

Luckily he doesn’t seem to get into anything worse than that. But it leaves my mother, who is Actually Very Good With Computers, afraid to touch hers cause she thinks Dad’s experience is typical.
install a new hosts file - http://winhelp2002.mvps.org/hosts.htm

Seriously, that file blocks a good number of bad actors.
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Old 17th December 2019, 03:21 PM   #17
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A lot of people's parents around here are really into porn.

My mom once fell for one of those phone scams from "Windows support" and scanned the [rule 10] a check for over $4000. Luckily, I got there after work, killed the remote connection (ya, she let him remote in), did a malware sweep of the PC, had her cancel the check, and then expressed to him it was a bad idea to continue contacting her.

The kicker is she's still pissed at me over it.
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Old 18th December 2019, 09:07 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Tony99 View Post
If so, it's your turn to go help mom with her computer. lol
I...uhm...have a meeting.
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“There are times when the mind is dealt such a blow it hides itself in insanity. While this may not seem beneficial, it is. There are times when reality is nothing but pain, and to escape that pain the mind must leave reality behind.” - Patrick Rothfuss
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Old 18th December 2019, 09:39 AM   #19
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Ya...I have to do...anything else
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Old 18th December 2019, 09:45 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Donal View Post
Ya...I have to do...anything else
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“There are times when the mind is dealt such a blow it hides itself in insanity. While this may not seem beneficial, it is. There are times when reality is nothing but pain, and to escape that pain the mind must leave reality behind.” - Patrick Rothfuss
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Old 18th December 2019, 09:49 AM   #21
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I am no expert, but accumulated knowledge over 40 years of fiddling with computers gives some pretty useful basic skills. I can Google like a boss as well

Hardest part for me is trying to support my 70 year-old step dad, who thinks he knows what he's doing, but invariably doesn't, and is always about 2 operating system versions behind, so it's hard to be sure exactly what he's seeing.

In one case he resorted to driving 400 miles to bring me a laptop he couldn't get working, only for me to sort it out in about 10 minutes.
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Old 18th December 2019, 10:09 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Worm View Post
I am no expert, but accumulated knowledge over 40 years of fiddling with computers gives some pretty useful basic skills. I can Google like a boss as well

Hardest part for me is trying to support my 70 year-old step dad, who thinks he knows what he's doing, but invariably doesn't, and is always about 2 operating system versions behind, so it's hard to be sure exactly what he's seeing.

In one case he resorted to driving 400 miles to bring me a laptop he couldn't get working, only for me to sort it out in about 10 minutes.
No lie, Darat's idea is the best for anyone 55yo+. Get them something Apple. It's expensive, but it's sandboxed and it's extremely hard to break.
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“There are times when the mind is dealt such a blow it hides itself in insanity. While this may not seem beneficial, it is. There are times when reality is nothing but pain, and to escape that pain the mind must leave reality behind.” - Patrick Rothfuss
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Old 18th December 2019, 10:36 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Donal View Post
A lot of people's parents around here are really into porn.

My mom once fell for one of those phone scams from "Windows support" and scanned the [rule 10] a check for over $4000. Luckily, I got there after work, killed the remote connection (ya, she let him remote in), did a malware sweep of the PC, had her cancel the check, and then expressed to him it was a bad idea to continue contacting her.

The kicker is she's still pissed at me over it.
Wow, I would have just wiped the hard drive after that. My Dad very nearly fell for a phishing scheme from "Amazon" a few weeks ago. He said the only thing that stopped him is they asked for his SSN#.
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Old 18th December 2019, 01:39 PM   #24
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Probably would have been the smarter move, but she had a lot of business related stuff that is a pain to re-install. That PC has actually been replaced since then and she is pretty good about keeping tabs on her credit card and such. Which, ironically, is what led to the incident. I posted the full story here, with her blessing, of course.
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Old 18th December 2019, 03:30 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by plague311 View Post
No lie, Darat's idea is the best for anyone 55yo+. Get them something Apple. It's expensive, but it's sandboxed and it's extremely hard to break.
Not something Apple! Something iPad.
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Old 18th December 2019, 04:00 PM   #26
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Maybe a Kindle Fire 10? That has enough apps on it that it might be useful for the purpose.
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Old 18th December 2019, 04:09 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Lithrael View Post
My dad, who clicks on everything, gets hit on the regular by web browser shenanigans that hijack the whole screen, displaying fake drawn-on Official Looking Warning Boxes, and mess up keyboard input.

The alternative is my mother's raging paranoia. She refuses to buy anything online. Nothing. Ever. Period. She's convinced that an army of hackers is just waiting to pounce the moment she enters her credit card number on a website.
A few years ago, an insurance company had a commercial warning people not to post their vacation plans online (meaning publicly accessible social media) because criminals sometimes use social media to find places to rob. She misunderstood and thought that hacker-burglars were constantly monitoring people's email for any mention of upcoming trips so they could rob their houses.
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Old 18th December 2019, 10:23 PM   #28
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My dad (80) is generally pretty good, but just last night he called me because he couldn't work out how to attach a picture to an email.
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Old 19th December 2019, 01:42 PM   #29
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My mom texted to ask how to install Google on her internet. She said she did it on her phone okay but can't do it on her computer.
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Old 19th December 2019, 02:31 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
My mom texted to ask how to install Google on her internet. She said she did it on her phone okay but can't do it on her computer.
I had to format my mom's laptop and she gave me extremely specific instructions not to delete "the Google" because she uses it all of the time.
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Old 19th December 2019, 05:04 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by plague311 View Post
I had to format my mom's laptop and she gave me extremely specific instructions not to delete "the Google" because she uses it all of the time.
A perfect opportunity to incentivize your interaction with your mother and encourage learning. Tell her that she must memorize the proper steps to login to her email account by tomorrow morning or you will delete "the google"!


If she gives you a "look" just say "remember all those times you made me eat my lima beans? You didn't really think that you would get away with that, did you"? And give her a maniacal smile.
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Old 19th December 2019, 05:43 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by Elagabalus View Post
A perfect opportunity to incentivize your interaction with your mother and encourage learning. Tell her that she must memorize the proper steps to login to her email account by tomorrow morning or you will delete "the google"!


If she gives you a "look" just say "remember all those times you made me eat my lima beans? You didn't really think that you would get away with that, did you"? And give her a maniacal smile.
Genius!
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Old 19th December 2019, 05:54 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by Tony99 View Post
Mom: I'm getting way too many emails I don't want...

Me: You can just delete them.

Mom: I do delete them, but they keep coming. It's advertisements and just
filthy stuff I don't want to see.

Me: Yeah, sorry, it's spam junk mail and I'd just delete those. Next time I'm
over I can maybe tweak the spam filter a bit and see if I can filter more
stuff out for you, but spam is something everyone struggles wi.....

Mom: Whatever you can do would be great. I just want emails that are for me. It says I have 126 unread emails and they are all garbage! I've never emailed these people.

Me: Really?! Most all of those should be going to your spam folder and you can delete them. Where are you seeing 126 unread emails?!

Mom: They're in my emails!

Me: I know, are you in your 'inbox' or where do you see '126'?

Mom: Yes! Its under my 'inbox' where I get my email and it says "S-P-A-M
126" and I don't want any of them in there.

Me: You're looking in your spam junk mail folder. It's doing what it's supposed to do. Just delete all those.

Mom: But I haven't read them all yet. I need to see if I should keep it or not.

Me: Yeah, but those are...uh-huh, I'll come by this weekend and fix your email. Love you.
Originally Posted by plague311 View Post
Do we have the same family?
I think we all do.
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Old 20th December 2019, 06:03 AM   #34
Darat
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And this isn't just a matter of age, whilst the youngsters aren't put off by the jargon and interface it is quite remarkable how ignorant they can be. Youngsters tend to be strong on their apps but not anything else. And the "I'm not a computer person" is often bandied around by the youngsters*



*youngster - anyone under the age of 30
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Old 20th December 2019, 06:56 AM   #35
TragicMonkey
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I can forgive ignorance on details, like not knowing exactly where to go to connect a printer to a computer. What I find aggravating is ignorance about fundamentals, like not knowing the difference between the internet, the local network, and one computer. I'm certain in forty years I'll make exasperating stupid errors like how to turn off the electroshock on the sex robot, but at least I'll know the difference between the Matrix and my holodeck.
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Old 21st December 2019, 02:24 AM   #36
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You can switch the electro shock off?
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Old 21st December 2019, 12:51 PM   #37
Elagabalus
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
I can forgive ignorance on details, like not knowing exactly where to go to connect a printer to a computer. What I find aggravating is ignorance about fundamentals, like not knowing the difference between the internet, the local network, and one computer. I'm certain in forty years I'll make exasperating stupid errors like how to turn off the electroshock on the sex robot, but at least I'll know the difference between the Matrix and my holodeck.
Suddenly, I see Robbie the Robot saying something like "Oiling my traps, darling. I'm afraid I'm a little out of practice. Maybe that's what happened to us? It's very hard for a working service droid to shine as a robot every minute, and you demand perfection" in that sexy monotone voice of his. **Sizzle**
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Old 23rd December 2019, 09:15 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
how to turn off the electroshock on the sex robot, .
"I got chills
They're multiplying
And I'm losing control
Cause the power you're supplying
It's electrifying!"

Sandy was a sexbot!
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Old 23rd December 2019, 03:09 PM   #39
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When I visit my parents for Christmas, I get to do IT support. Based on what she said on the phone, my mother somehow got the "Your Windows is corrupted and all of your files will be deleted in x seconds. Click here to repair it" malware.
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Old 23rd December 2019, 03:30 PM   #40
quadraginta
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Originally Posted by Leftus View Post
install a new hosts file - http://winhelp2002.mvps.org/hosts.htm

Seriously, that file blocks a good number of bad actors.

If you're going to tinker with your hosts file, HostsMan is a powerful and convenient freeware program that takes a lot of the labor out of it.

Been around quite a while. Fairly mature and well-flogged software. I recommend.
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