So I was asked to give some camera lessons to a friend of the family. I'm both a photographer and computer savvy, so the friend brought both his camera and a laptop for help. I wasn't expecting to give PC lessons, but I didn't mind.
First, the camera: A beautiful, high-end model. I turn it on... and nothing happens. The battery is dead.
"Do you have the charger?" I ask.
"The what...?" is the reply.
A search reveals the charger is no where to be found. There won't be any camera lessons today.
Next, the computer: I turn it on... and nothing happens. The laptop's battery is dead, too. Fortunately, the AC cord is on hand. We start up the computer.
The friend hands me a wireless networking card for the laptop. "I need you to to install this," I'm told. "Then I'll have Internet at home."
I reply: "Well, you'll need a wireless router at home in order to use this. Do you have that?"
I try another tact: "Are you currently paying for Internet access at home?"
"Oh. No, no, I'm not."
"Well, then this won't get you Internet access all by itself," I say.
The friend then says, "Oh, I'll use the Internet from someone else in the building. That why I need this wireless card."
I look at the person. "You know, of course, that using someone else's Internet account without their knowledge is theft."
"Oh, that's okay. I'll just use it sometimes."
Not having wireless Internet access at my own home, I couldn't do much with the card. I apologized and said that we could install it, but not set it up and test it to see if it worked.
Then the friend hands me a CD. "Can you install anti-virus on my computer?"
I say, "Sure," and I look at the CD. It's Norton Anti-Virus 2002. Ancient.
"I've had it for a while," says the friend.
I install the anti-virus program. It slows the laptop down considerably, as the machine has only 265MB of RAM. I recommend a trip to the computer shop to top up the machine's memory.
I then point out that Norton's virus definitions will be up to date for only 90 days. After that, I say, they'll want money to keep the computer defended against new threats.
"Oh," says the friend with disappointment. "Maybe. We'll see."
It was a fun day.