So I've been a bit busy.
I accepted a job with Microsoft, and am now in the process of relocating to Redmond. I've started working, and so far it's been interesting and educational. I'll be happier, though, when we're done with relocating and my whole family is back together again. Spending any real amount of time away from my wife is just painful, and I've had to do way too much of that during this cross-country move.
So anyway, she's been having trouble with the Windows box she uses to play "The Sims 2". As an aside, EA should be ashamed of themselves to act like Sim2 for the Mac is anything other than an abomination; release a damned Universal binary already, you dorks.
The trouble with the Windows box is that the C: filled up and she couldn't find what was the culprit. Trying to debug that process over the phone is just more pain and suffering than one man (me) can bear, and I know it's just as frustrating for her to be trying to do these things and not having it go smoothly. I then remembered reading Joel Spolsky writing about having his interns build v1.0 of a utility to let people remotely drive another PC without all the rigamarole of piercing the firewalls and opening ports and all the other hoo-hah that usually accompanies remoting. So I says to myself, "Self! Give it a try."
Let me say that Fog Creek Copilot (http://www.copilot.com) is exactly the bee's knees. I paid my piddling ten bucks for 24 hours access, asked my sweetie over the phone to type in the secret code into a webpage on her end, and I was able to take over and solve the problem in about ten minutes. She's happy, I'm happy, all God's chilluns is happy now.
So as part of my delight with that service, let me encourage you to go check it out for when your relatives call you up to troubleshoot some other computer problem over the telephone. It was spectacular, and I'll be using it again next time this sort of situation comes up.