Are You Your Parents’ Tech Support?


Have you ever spent an hour or so on the phone functioning as your parents’ (or grandparents’, or fill-in-the-blank) IT department? And you all feel like screaming – some cases actually screaming — out of frustration? You, because you know it’s only a Lysa McCarroll
couple of clicks and problem solved. Them, because “you said it was easy – only a couple of clicks and problems solved! What do I need this computer for anyway?”

Thanks to our TechPert Laurie Orlov’s wondering if “GoToMy PC is a metaphor for Aging in Place Technology” I was led to some must have software for the sandwich generation folks faced with this scenario: Cross Loop. An easy to download and install tool that enables permission based remote access to another person’s computer. Also called “desktop sharing”

This means Grandma Eileen in California can let her granddaughter Kim in Washington use her computer to see what’s on Grandma’s. And it goes beyond seeing. Kim can actually USE grandma’s like it ‘s her own. Run spyware programs, update and install software or help grandma learn how to use her computer.

How easy is Cross Loop you ask? Well, with one 80-something computer technophobe (“I’m scared every time I do something on my computer that I might break it.”) we were able to download and install the software and start desktop sharing in less than 10 minutes. Convincing them to do this took longer – “no, it doesn’t cost anything”; “only people you give permission to can access your computer”; “no, people wont know what you’re doing on your computer”; “yes it really is free” — you get the idea.

You can register for an account – but it is not required. Simply start the program, and if you are the one sharing your computer, an access code is generated for that session, you give that number to the person you’re working with, they enter it on their screen and you both click connect. Next you allow them to access to your computer and then they will see your desktop and their computer. And it works while running Skype. The two combined are a great communication and education tool.

Cross Loop also offers paid expertise for all kinds computer hardware and software issues. For more information, including detailed instructions, you can go to their website at:

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This Post Has One Comment

  1. Mrinal

    Thank you from all of us at CrossLoop – these stories do wonders to this small team since THIS is exactly what we started out to do. Enable ANYONE to get help!
    Please feel free to email me if you have any questions

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