WE didn’t just lose a son when our 18-year-old left home for university last month, we lost our IT specialist, computer repair guy and home entertainments guru.

Roscoe set up everything from Netflix and BBC iPlayer to Spotify and has helped us get new laptops up and running. It was him who insisted we get a smart TV, and installed WhatsApp on our phones. He has kept us in the loop.

I did suggest that, instead of going to university, he should consider having a gap year and staying at home. We have plenty of work for him here. I was only half-joking.

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I wasn’t joking at all when I said that, at the very least, he should train his younger brother up before he left. He didn’t.

The problem is, 15-year-old Albert became used to Roscoe dealing with all the IT issues too. So he never learned how to do anything either.

Every time I ask him if he can enlighten me over a computer problem, he shrugs his shoulders, grimaces, and says: “I dunno”. Perhaps, having seen how Roscoe became our IT slave, he has just decided he doesn’t want to get involved.

Either way, we now have no help and, having been dependent on Roscoe for so long, are incapable of sorting out problems on our own.

The first crisis came over the weekend Roscoe left, when his dad lost an important Word document on his Apple laptop that he had worked on for two days.

He looked everywhere, in his trash, on his desktop, in downloads, it was nowhere to be found. I wasn’t much help, adopting the same approach as I would when the boys lost a book bag or sports kit.

“Well, where did you last put it? It must be somewhere?”

Lengthy calls, lasting around three hours in total, to both the Apple and Microsoft helplines didn’t help. They hadn’t a clue where my husband could have put his important document either.

After having a mini-meltdown, he ended up doing it all again from scratch.

In the meantime, I’m struggling with my smartphone, which keeps messaging me to say my storage is full. Normally, Roscoe, who says I need to delete apps and shouldn’t keep so many tabs open, would take it away and sort it out.

But I don’t really know what tabs are or how I opened them. Nor do I understand what or where the iCloud, where much of my stuff is apparently sitting, is. How do I get to it anyway?

Last night, when we were asked to put in a password while in the middle of watching something on ITV’s catch-up service, we turned over to BBC iPlayer instead, which then asked us to re-register, I looked at Albert. “I dunno,” he shrugged.

So we had to call Roscoe again.

A week ago, I had problems trying to email pages for a magazine I produce to the company which prints it, as I always do.

But the computer said ‘No’. A message from Microsoft said: ‘Publisher cannot save this file’. There was no explanation.

So I phoned an expert, who talked a lot of gobbledegook, suggesting I install a pdf writer in order to create a virtual printer I could send the documents to.

He may as well have told me to go out and fix the carburettor or replace the alternator belt in my car.

And then the screen went blank. I couldn’t open anything. I turned the computer off and on. I left it overnight, then tried again. I asked Albert: “I dunno,” he said.

There was no other option, I had to take it to a computer repair shop. “I think it’s died on me,” I told them. “I’m worried I’ve lost everything.”

They called me later to say it had been fixed. “We just had to adjust the brightness setting,” they explained.

I think I need professional help.

OUR recently-graduated 21-year-old phoned to say how his first week of work for an accountancy firm in London, which involved five days of tuition and study, had gone.

“It’s tough, so intense,” he told me.

“We start at 9am and, apart from an hour for lunch, we work the whole way through until 4pm. Honestly, Mum.” I did resist the temptation to welcome him to the real world.