Stuffed on turkey and doped up on tryptophan? How about some tech to clear the head! Wanna thank you Mom for that wonderful meal? How about a little tip of tech tidy-up!
(If you're a Mom reading this, then print it out and leave it somewhere conspicuous! )
Here are a few idea. Use a few or use them all, it's up to you!
- Clean out the hard disk junk!
This will free up hundreds of megs of disk space! Click Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Cleanup
- Error check the drive and defragment!
Open up Windows Explorer and right-click on the hard drive and choose Properties. Click on the Tools tab and there you will find buttons for Error-checking and Defragmentation.
- Get your Mom decent email address!
I like Gmail and I'm certain that your Mom will too! The interface is pretty easy to use and the spam filter excellent!
- Set up an IM program!
Take your pick - there's plenty to choose from! Best to try to standardize everyone onto the one platform, but if different members of the family use different IM programs then you might want to give Trillian a spin.
- Install antivirus!
Microsoft Security Essentials is a good, free and nag-free solution.
- Update browsers and plugins
Update all the browsers and let your Mom choose which one she likes best. Firefox | Opera | Internet Explorer | Chrome
Remember also to check whatever browsers are installed for updates (and add-ons), as well as Java, QuickTime and Flash.
- Windows Update/Microsoft Update!
You know what to do but your Mom might not! Make sure that you also check that things like QuickTime and Flash are also updated because these get real old real fast.
How you pull this off will depend on what kind of media your Mom has (take over your external burner if you have one and she doesn't!). A good (and free!) backup tool is Back4Win.
- Introduce your Mom to the wonders of RSS web feeds/Twitter/Facebook!
Whatever your Mom is into, there's bound to be ways she can better keep her finger on the pulse. Imagine all the fun your Mom can be having with RSS, Twitter and Facebook!
Check out my "Turkey Day" tech support kit on Hardware 2.0.