For at least the tenth time this year (and probably more like the twentieth or more), my dad asked me to "fix his computer", at a most inopportune time. Makes me wish I had one of those assertive ThinkGeek shirts telling people I won't. Nearly ever program is generating runtime errors or fatal exception errors, and there's a metric fuckton of system and other files missing. My guess from what little I've done is that he either has a virus (or three), or one or more of his primary master HD's heads is dead or dying.

Let me backtrack. My dad has no security whatsoever on his computer. None. No firewall, no sharing limitations, nothing. He has an antivirus program installed, but it's almost three years old and I don't think he's even done the online updates. On top of that, he's installed shit like Kazaa (the regular version, not Kazaa Lite) and other programs that let spyware and adware come along for the ride. He's installed AdAware and some commercial spyware elimnators to attempt to correct it, but it's a losing battle. Moreover, although he'd never admit it, he roams pretty freely around all sorts of sleazy porn and warez sites; the kind of places that in real life would be in the dark alley behind the bar that's really a cocaine-trafficking front. Perhaps most damningly of all, he uses Internet Explorer, and an older version with known security holes at that. I've tried to explain to him that this is analagous to fucking a thousand prostitutes without using a single condom, but he doesn't listen - he just let's himself get gonnorhea and then expects me to cure him.

What irritates me more than anything else is that computers are hardly new to him. He's been using a PC since at least 1990 - back when you still had to kinda know what you were doing to use one. He was cruising around BBSes when most people thought a mouse was just an ugly little rodent that stole cheese. You'd think he would be a bit more tech-savvy.

And my mom is just infuriating through all this. She keeps gloating that "her old computer works just fine". (The computer in question is a craptacular E-Machine with a 400Mhz Celery processor.) Given her short temper, I've refrained from pointing out to her that it "works" because she doesn't fucking DO anything with it. 95% of the time, she's either on one of Yahoo!'s Java games, reading the news, or browsing around eBay. It's not even that great for web browsing; sites like Penny Arcade and MegaTokyo make the whole screen visibly refresh every time you scroll, and graphics-intensive sites like GameSpot are practically impossible.

*sigh* My parents suck with computers.