Dial Up / Windows Update / MSE

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by philby, Jun 23, 2010.

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  1. philby

    philby Registered Member

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    Hello

    I need to get a very elderly lady going on a new laptop which she has just bought for the sole purpose of emailing relatives abroad. She used to go to the local library to do this but physically can't get there anymore.

    She has insisted on using dial up and asked me to 'secure' her machine.

    My experience on dial up years ago was that my machine couldn't chew gum and walk at the same time when online: I remember staring at 'send/receive status' in Outlook for 15 minutes plus when trying to send a mail during an inadvertent Windows Update session with Updates set to 'automatically download and install'.

    So, I was thinking of:

    1. MSE (no pop ups / ties in with Windows Update) + Windows FW
    2. Set Windows Update to 'notify only'

    That way, she will only have to 'click here to download and install' at a time convenient to her (ie when she can leave her connection on for however long the updates take).

    Sandboxing her browser etc. is a no go: she had to call me after I left her with the machine as she didn't know how to shut it down...any learning curve has to be absolutely flat!

    I don't want to leave her totally vulnerable but, at the same time, she will not be able to handle any prompts for user input at all - probably not even that one for Windows Update.

    Does this make sense? - I'm finding it hard to think backwards here and avoid her having usability issues with dial up.

    philby
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2010
  2. FastGame

    FastGame Registered Member

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    MSE and its updates suck real bad on dialup, Avast is the best followed by Antivir. Windows update set to auto has never given me a problem other than it might take days to finally complete :eek:

    Dialup is free where I live and I use it all the time to save on my 3G bandwidth limit (5gb a month), take out todays multimedia and dialup isn't quite as bad as people make it out to be.
     
  3. YeOldeStonecat

    YeOldeStonecat Registered Member

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    I'd walk away from supporting someone on dial up, tell her how painful and prohibitive it will be, and how much longer it will take to get things done (if she's paying you, she'll lose money having you there all day versus having you there for 1/2 an hour do to things over DSL or cable).
     
  4. FastGame

    FastGame Registered Member

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    Guess that shows what kind of person you are..........:rolleyes:

    and

    With all the expertise you have maybe you could figure a way to take/get the laptop and do all the so called large updating on high speed, you think ?

    My only question is does this "very elderly lady" have high speed available ? if so it couldn't cost much more than dialup.
     
  5. HAN

    HAN Registered Member

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    Wow! While you may be 100% technically right, that's pretty cold! :eek:

    I am on slow dialup @ home but have the luxury of laptops. So I can deal with it by going elsewhere occasionally. But for someone who can't, you have to do the best you can.

    I agree that MSE is out. Just huge updates. And I also agree, Avast is the one to choose. Currently, it's the least intrusive freebie, bandwidth and nag wise.

    As for Win Updates, there's no good answer there. Set to Notify and then download on her schedule probably is best.

    IMO, Sandboxie can be ran by newbs. But since you are there, only you can truly size things up in this particular situation. I have a clueless computer friend that runs Sandboxie (I set it up) and it has saved him a couple dozen times in the last 2 months. I have had 2 or 3 calls about it but after that it's been quiet.
     
  6. philby

    philby Registered Member

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    OK - thanks for the input, I'll follow the advice re. Avast in place of MSE.

    She has no access to high speed at all - I suppose I could take the machine away once a month and run Windows Update....

    As for SB; if I recall, I used to have to run IE unsandboxed to update Windows - she wouldn't be able to cope with that at all...

    philby
     
  7. allizomeniz

    allizomeniz Registered Member

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    Based on my own experience with my parents and hearing about other people's experiences, this woman is probably going to need full-time assistance. People of a certain age are used to passive media like radio and television. They expect computers to be the same way. They don't want to learn much beyond how to turn it on/off and check their e-mail. The most simple request for input sends them into a panic, mostly because they don't know what to do, but they're not interested in learning what to do either. On a computer at the library a person doesn't have to worry about any of that because it's a ll taken care of, and that's what some people need really. All I can say is good luck. :D
     
  8. CloneRanger

    CloneRanger Registered Member

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    How about Returnil or the like, set to be always on at boot ? As long as she doesn't want to save any emails locally, and uses web based email like hotmail for eg !
     
  9. philby

    philby Registered Member

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    That was my initial thought exactly - that's what I do with my kids' machines and my own (with Outlook and favourites relocated).

    She uses Gmail, so my original plan was to use Returnil and then Google Gears to enable her to compose/browse her mails offline.

    I then tested Offline Gmail myself and realised that she will be easily foxed by the offline / online switching routine.

    Perhaps I'll try her on Returnil and divert Windows Live Mail to another partition.

    Thanks for replying.

    philby

    EDIT: I'm going in circles here! The reason I originally discounted Returnil was because of the need to switch out of 'drop all' to 'save all' mode for updates!

    Maybe I'll just start driving her to the library :) :)
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2010
  10. Sadeghi85

    Sadeghi85 Registered Member

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    Well, if you keep Returnil, you can disable updates and drop the AV, right?
     
  11. philby

    philby Registered Member

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    Right!

    That just leaves the contacts folder for Windows Live Mail: I know I can 'move' the mail folder to 'D' by relocating the 'store folder', but do you know how to 'move' the contacts folder / address book, so that when she adds an address, it doesn't vanish on reboot?

    In Outlook, it's easy with just the PST file.

    Then I reckon she's good to go (though how far she'll get, I couldn't say!)

    Thanks for thinking this through...

    philby
     
  12. RuyLopez

    RuyLopez Registered Member

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    Consider something like WebTV instead of the laptop, if it is available in her area. No problem with using email that way and nothing for her to maintain in any real sense.
     
  13. Sadeghi85

    Sadeghi85 Registered Member

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    Well, I have no idea how to move the contacts folder, but if using a paid product is not a problem then you could get ShadowDefender and exclude that folder.(maybe Returnil Home Lux can do the exlusion too? I don't remember)

    You can set password for SD, disable tray icon, 'desktop tip' and context menu so she wouldn't even notice it or accidentally change its settings.
     
  14. YeOldeStonecat

    YeOldeStonecat Registered Member

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    And what kind of person does that make me? Hmmm...I do computer for a living..that's how I bring money home for my family. I'm not going to "volunteer" my services for free to people, save for family, and good friends and one or two close neighbors that I consider good friends. Everyone else....sorry, if you're taking up hours of my time...I'm going to charge..because that is my profession.

    Adding to this, since I've been doing computer/SMB consulting since back in the dial up days....I know from experience how nearly impossible it is to get things done online via dial up these days. "The Web" has moved to be optimized for broadband. Even with special compression and proxy services that some of the few dial up services have these days, it's impractical, and frustrating for the end user. Just 2 weeks ago I had to do a remote support session to setup remote access for a new employee of a client of mine, he had 2x locations to have setup, I found his first was on dial up. 1.5 hours later ...not much was able to be done, that was expensive for the client.

    Just like if you have to fix/support a very old computer for someone....like some Pentium 3 with 256 megs....if you're there working on the machine, stuff like installing service pack 3 for XP will take quite literally over 2 hours, plus other things....may take 4-6 hours or more...and end up being a too slow of a computer for them to use. Versus spending 800 bucks on a new PC..having you get all that work done in under 1 hours...net result is less money spent over the whole project, and a happier end user.

    You give an eye roll because I can give an honest opinion based on actual fact and real life experience over many years of doing this as a profession, I can forecast what will actually be a better or worse experience for the client, including financial end result. I roll my eyes back at ignorance.
     
  15. zfactor

    zfactor Registered Member

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    as someone also in this profession i have to agree and i hate to. but when you are charging by the hour cost gets out of hand at times with dial up. and i can not simply afford to charge someone for say only 1 hour if im actually there for 4 otherwise id end up out of business. i of course will give dial up customers a break on cost a bit but i do not work for free and i would never ask them to work for free either, i am the type of person who likes to help everyone so it was very hard for me to come to that realization but after some jobs that ended up costing me money when sending out one of my guys and paying him for all that time i just can not do that anymore
     
  16. philby

    philby Registered Member

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    YeOldStonecat:
    I have to agree - this morning was an absolute nightmare when I went to visit her.

    Had a pop at installing MSE (she insisted) and grew a beard while the initial update ran and then failed.

    I forgot to take the AVG / Avast installers with me and we both nearly expired waiting for the relevant sites to render just to pull down the installers! I abandoned the d/ls when the pages did finally render: life is indeed too short.

    I've brought her machine home to set things up on my adsl connection.

    I think it'll have to be Returnil + no AV + no Windows Updates...

    Tonight, I'm going to relocate those Windows Live Mail contacts/mail folders.

    philby
     
  17. MikeBCda

    MikeBCda Registered Member

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    I agree that MS (Update in particular, but other areas there as well) is the pits to work with on dialup, mainly because their servers are very slow, no matter what day or time. I'm on DSL, and even just downloading the installer files (via their bulletins) for manual installation, I can typically get only <10 KB/sec using FDM and 10 sections. Compare that with often >300 from other sites using the same method. So while I still use Update online, I make a point of waiting 2 or 3 days after Patch Tuesday (and preferably late at night) to hopefully avoid the rush, with little or no visible improvement other than reducing the risk of timeout-disconnections.

    Back when SP2 first came out, I was still on dialup and had no choice but to send for their CD. By the time of SP3, I had DSL and thought I'd try online installation, which took about 45 minutes for the 175 megs or whatever it was.
     
  18. funkydude

    funkydude Registered Member

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    Sounds more like a throttling issue with your ISP. I've had full download speeds since.. the dawn of time? Dialup, and along all my DSL stages, 256k, 512k, 2m, 4m, 8m...
     
  19. MrBrian

    MrBrian Registered Member

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    Or use a cloud AV such as Panda Cloud Antivirus. I setup Returnil + Panda Cloud Antivirus + separate partition for data on my father's machine.
     
  20. HAN

    HAN Registered Member

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    Does Panda Cloud run ok on dialup?
     
  21. MrBrian

    MrBrian Registered Member

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    I don't know :doubt:.
     
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