November 22nd, 2005
Categories: Uncategorized

I Will Not Fix Your Computer


I know a lot about computers. Hell, I’ve got a degree in it, and I feel that – although I’m not getting paid yet by the IT industry – I should use my skills to help others.

For example, over the weekend I went to see the lovely A, who has no end of trouble with her PC. Although I didn’t do a huge amount, I did clear off some useless software (why do computer people insist on using PC-Cilin?), install some better software (though I did uncharacteristically stop short of installing Firefox), and set it up so she can listen to Yahoo! Launch. All relatively simple tasks for people like me, but for poor Alyson (who readily admits she’s a technophobe), it’s all relatively scary.

More importantly, she was very appreciative.

I also don’t mind if someone comes to me for an opinion. For example, Ally emailed me about that fan I installed. It’s nice to feel wanted, and feel that my knowledge is useful, it’s a bit of an ego boost (on a similar, yet unrelated note, I had an email from a language professor from a University in Seattle a few months back, asking me about the Welsh language and how I pronounce my name…I felt so educated then).

What I do hate though is people who come around with their pc/laptop, drop it on my lap the second I walk in from work, and expect me to fix their laptop (that has happened before). Some of these people then get a hissy-fit should I admit defeat (which, when I’m tired, I do so bloody quickly), and question the value of my degree. Which is ridiculous, it’d be like asking a GP to perform surgery, or a electrical engineer to build a boat.

For those who are reading this and know me, contemplating asking me a question, I’ll just say I’m generally as a rule of thumb rubbish at networking queries, okay at hardware problems and pretty good at software issues. That being said, if I cannot answer you’re question, 90% of the time it’s not that I’m trying to get rid of you, and I genuinely don’t know the answer. If you ask me between the hours of 5 and 7, and after midnight, you’d more than likely be in the 10%. Thank you.

If I ruled the world (and here’s hoping), I’d instigate some sort of PC Users licence, and make it illegal to use one without it. It’d be relatively easy to pass, with a theory (with questions such as “What do you do when a guy from Nigeria who promises you $100 Million wants your bank details?”) and a practical which teaches general PC maintenance.

I think that’s why people are so scared of PC’s though, is lack of confidence. Before I fitted my graphics card, I was scared off for opening up my PC for fear of sneezing or something and frazzling my PC for good. I believe around 50% of problems could be fixed by anybody who could use a screwdriver and can read a manual.

So before you come knocking on my door with your laptop in tow or spend £20 down at PC world, buy a book, read some websites, and try and fix the problem yourself.

You know, you may even learn something…

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