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Google Faces Its Most Difficult Challenge Yet

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It's been argued that two separate annual family get-togethers in back-to-back months is somewhat of an overkill. Just four weeks after having to endure smalltalk about ladder wholesalers and the christening of a distant cousin over dry turkey comes yet another familial obligation. The faces, the conversations, and the red-level stress is relived in the exact same fashion. While little has changed over the course of a month, you'll still get the slew of updates to Susan Boyle's tour dates and the best prices on canned succotash.

But amidst the talk of flatware origin and the recipients of "free rides," there inevitably comes a point where you're pulled aside and asked to help figure out an issue with a parent's computer. Beneath the desktop double-stacked with icons there lies a problem that mom just can't get the hang of. "You write a blog, right?" she asks. "You could probably figure it out."

And after a lengthy sessions of running Ad-Aware and moving photos of your newborn niece out of the WindowsSystem folder, you're ready to explain in explicit detail just how to attach a file to an email. But typically, by that point, you've missed the 1:15 am flight back to La Guardia.

Only to return the next day with questions on how to "use the Yahoo to listen to those MB3s."

It's an unenviable responsibility, playing the family's tech support representative. And with the variety of issues -- usually simplistic but secondary to larger issues that also have to be addressed -- there never seems to be an end in sight. Wouldn't it be nice to have some help?

Well, Google feels your pain and has introduced a straight-forward, parent-friendly guide to performing basic tasks that needn't be brought up in between the main course and dessert.

Dubbed a "Tech Support Care Package," located at the gloriously named, the guide features a list of tasks under categories like World Wide Web, Media, and Finding Information. Once you check off the lessons of which your parents could benefit, the site comprises a friendly email with the video lessons attached. From there, it can be emailed to your parents and -- provided they have Flash installed -- you have a bit of IT weight lifted from your shoulders.

Unfortunately, Google has yet to offer an option to convert this guide into an audio format and implement it into Google Voice. Until then, you'll have to deal another issue: "Why don't you call us more often?"
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