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Sysadmin help

My college friends Tom and Katie, and their daughter (my un-god-daughter) Tia came to visit on Sunday, on their way home from seeing family in Wales. We all went out to lunch at the Plough and Harrow (again! I seem to be going there quite a bit recently, which is definitely a good thing).  Then Katie and I waved Tom and Tia off in the car, and Katie stayed on overnight. I took the Monday off work, so we were able to have a good long chat and catch up properly.

Like Christopher, Katie is an Apple computer fan, and I really wanted her expert help on the subject of his iPad. Chris had only had it for a matter of a two months or so before he went into the hospice, and had never shown me how to use any of it beyond the web browser and a few games. He also hadn’t told me his iTunes/Appstore password or written it down anywhere I’ve found. So the upshot of all of that was that I’ve been using it stand-alone for the past nine months.  It’s never been “synchronised” to the desktop, it was running a very old version of the iPad operating system, and was getting distinctly unstable – it really hated the Independent newspaper website, and I had to give it a hard reset every time I’d been browsing that newspaper.

Between us, Katie and I broke into iTunes by guessing his password, updated the details to be mine not his, synchronised it to the desktop machine (which itself hadn’t been turned on for 10 months so needed a lot of housekeeping and security updates), updated iTunes and the iPad operating system, updated all of the apps and downloaded some more, and generally tidied things up. Perhaps the one change I’m most pleased about is that she changed the “from” name on the email app, so that it now appears to come from me, rather than Chris. Up until then, if I saw something while browsing on the iPad that I wanted to be reminded about at work, I would send myself an email. But when I logged on at work the next day there would be a message in my inbox apparently from Chris Booth – and that was getting upsetting.

None of it turned out to be particularly difficult, but there were a lot of stages involved and it took all afternoon. It was really helpful to have someone to help me walk through it all, as I’m sure I would have got discouraged half way through. Up until then, I’d given up at the guessing the password stage. I’m afraid that’s another example of me shamelessly making use of my friends when they come and visit!