Randomness (r_ness) wrote,

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

Or, Chapter XCVII in a continuing series: "Adventures of Randomness as parental Macintosh support tech"

So, Dad calls up and says he wants the admin password to the desktop at their place. Apparently he has managed to wedge his browsers (all of them) in such a way that he cannot log into his email.

Instead of giving him the password, which I can't remember anyway as it's one of those "my fingers will remember when I'm sitting at the keyboard" things, I drive down. It's 300 miles or so but definitely worth my driving down instead of his making things worse.

I arrive at the house after driving overnight. As an aside, I really love driving through the Northeast in the wee hours of the morning. I was doing a fairly steady 80 on nearly empty roads. Priceless.

I walk in and confront the machine. Dad is still asleep, and I feel like I have a shot of having this fixed before he wakes up.

Sure enough, neither Firefox nor Safari will load a website using the https: protocol. Poking at Google for a bit I discover a few things to try, none of which work until I discover he has somehow enabled parental controls on his own account.


I scratch my head, squint a little, and after a few tries come up with an admin password. I'm in. I turn off the parental controls.


However, weirdly some apps are still loading at startup, despite my having unset all of them in his account during the first stage of troubleshooting. I do not ask why one of them is the Taylor Swift Air app. I don't want to know.

I poke around some more. I look at the console.

Aw, crap.

I told him not to install MacKeeper. Apparently he has tried, but failed to completely remove it, and it has evidently left some random bits around. Grumble. I told him he didn't need MacKeeper.

After a brief moment of thinking, "I should just leave it this way", I fix that too.

Total elapsed time, including breaks for snacking (Mom is difficult to fend off when she's trying to feed me): 50 minutes.

It's working now. I am, unsurprisingly, now even more sure I should not give him the admin password.

ETA: And he installed MacProtector, too. *eyeroll*

I think I've blown that away now.
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