PCs

Do you have time to fix your own PC?

In this guest post, TR member CTOS explains how she is so busy solving other people's computer problems that she doesn't have time to fix her own PCs. Is this a common dilemma for IT pros?
This post was written by Sandra Marr (aka TechRepublic member CTOS).

I spend a lot of time on the road and on the phone, helping other people get their computers to function – but when it comes to my home office PC and my children’s PCs, there isn’t enough time in the day to fix them. Each time I decide this will be the day they get my attention, the phone rings....

The crippled Windows Vista machine, with a high-speed processor and huge amount of RAM, can’t install anything right now and forgets where programs are, so it refuses to open them. From day one of its life, this PC has been announcing that it has a defective hard drive that will crash at any second. It’s been running over a year on this hard drive, but now it constantly “loses” things. I have stand by hard drives sitting here – external drives and secondary drives with mirror copies of the OS – but the time to actually perform the transferring of the OS never seems to exist. This sets the stage as to how I will get tasks done, or if I will get them done at all.

The HP tablet with Windows XP Professional is missing its input pen, and it won’t charge unless it’s on the dock – meaning the keyboard is folded underneath. It’s extremely low in RAM, making it the slowest PC in the office and thus the last one you would choose to perform any task. I actually made the time to get this PC back running, because my youngest daughter is very talented in the trashing department, and I wanted to get her off my Vista machine. However, she gets irritated over the slowness and lack of keyboard, so she continues to haunt my main PC.

The Toshiba laptop is also running Windows XP, but on the 28th day of its life, my oldest daughter decided to dump a large container of water across it, so it has severe water damage and is the most hindered PC in the house. If it gets shut down, for any reason, it takes a lot of effort to get it to boot up again. I have to remove the battery, attempt to boot, slap the battery back in place and repeat about 12 times before that wonderful XP logo shows up on the screen.

Right now, I have to use the XP laptop if I need to create, print, or open a PDF file, because the tablet is much too slow to accomplish office task routines. Unfortunately, the laptop doesn’t know that I have a Canon IP dual-sided printer, because my Vista machine, which controls the network, forgets that it can “see” XP computers now. To print, I have to carry the laptop to another level of the house and connect it with a wired cable to the printer. The Vista machine is capable of doing other tasks, like editing my videos and exporting them online. In fact, the speed of the Vista processor makes it the only PC in my home worth attempting this procedure.

When I have numerous tasks to accomplish in one day, it involves a rolling office chair, three computers, USB keys, and multiple desks to get them done. Since I run an “on site” small business, I do all facets of business in my home office... when the PCs are agreeable, that is!

Are you too busy fixing other people’s PCs to fix your own? Share your experiences in the discussion thread.

About

Sonja Thompson has worked for TechRepublic since October of 1999. She is currently a Senior Editor and the host of the Smartphones and Tablets blogs.

133 comments
NickNielsen
NickNielsen

When the primary home system was booted this morning, we received an alert from the drive S.M.A.R.T. software: hardware errors, incipient drive failure. I just bought a couple of 500G hard drives. Got a primary replacement and a back'em'up. Also got another 2GB of RAM. And, through corporate, have a $9.95 Home Use license for Office 2k7. My son needs that for school work. Gonna be a busy little beaver at home for the next day or two.

wesley.chin
wesley.chin

As mentioned, I was the only person with the skills and knowledge in IT at my employer. I had been open about what I did and how I fixed their computers. Too much I think. I had been warned by another IT pro that what I was doing was not good for my job. Didn't know what he meant. Now I do. Unknown to me, one guy had been ordered by management to take notes and shadow me,

john3347
john3347

Since I am now retired and the computer IS the project rather than a tool to assist in another project, I screw things up playing with my computers just to get to fix them.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I guess I'm just lucky, but none of my personal systems have ever required much attention beyond routine maintenance.

doug m.
doug m.

I seldom have time to fix my own, yet I am expected to be available at a moments notice to fix those of family members or friends. It is similar to other professions such as mechanics, plumbers or painters, who sometimes are too busy to fix up their own homes or cars.

wesley.chin
wesley.chin

Being the only tech savvy person, I fixed all of the PCs when other people had problems. And there were quite a few problems - more than could be counted on with the hands of an army batallion! Many people were still of the mindset that simply deleting the folder of a program uninstalled it! In fact, IT as a whole was put on the backburner. Prior to my hire, all IT procedures, such backups and security, were regarded as unnecessary and an afterthought. Consequently, my initial days were long ones. Gradually, I got things up to speed and replaced the antiquated, hit-and-miss manual system in place at the time, and educated people on the correct and proper computer practices. Still, there were a fair number of problems that arose, which I had to fix. Being well versed in the use of computers, I had relatively few problems to deal with on my own computer. On the rare occasions of problems, I fixed my own PC at work, often on my own time, after hours. I could not afford to do otherwise - other than myself, no one else had the level of skills or knowledge about computers needed. A PC that is down equals loss of productivity. And no one wants that!

Exposecurity
Exposecurity

Mine is broken right now, power supply issue, dont have time to get to it so using laptop. it was exactly the same with my Dad who used to repair tv's in the 60's and 70's. Ours was always on the blink but there were a line of repaired tv's waiting to go out.

roger
roger

What are you, 12? Stop pretending that whining is news.

alfred.nims
alfred.nims

Once again I see this has turned into a Windows bashing question. Shame we can't get past these things. In answer to the original question... It is like most repair or maintenance people. The car mechanic's family usually has to wait longer, the plumber will still have a rusted pipe in the house the carpenter's wife is wondering why her husband is remodeling the neighbors basement and hasn't finished theirs. Same same. We get paid for doing other people's things but not our own. We HAVE TO MAKE time for ourselves and loved ones. I make sure I do.

faustolg
faustolg

This baby is cared every time it is needed, I use it too much to be careless about it. But since I installed 7, well the task is much easier... and to all so called "linux users", if you are using ubuntu, you love windows, but you'll never admit it. ubuntu = Debian's stolen work, Bad windows imitation, Linux for -not so smart- humans.

pmwork1
pmwork1

Nope. If an issue occurs with any of my home business machines I know that unless I have a clear 3 hours to dedicate to sitting on line or on the phone with the software vendor (usually Microsoft) the job will only get half finsihed and I will be left with my pants aroudn my ankles not able to use the thing. By the way I am fed up with Microsoft not fixing bugs, denyin ghtey exist and shifting the responsibiltiy for advice to the "volunteer" MVPs who often make the excuse that they are "only volunteers" so dopnt blame us if the advice is wrong or just an opinion!

lastchip
lastchip

that reminds me why I chose to move to Linux. Of course, no operating system will stand up to water being dumped on the hardware, but each time I boot up Debian and it appears on the screen, I thank my lucky stars, Windows is history. Truthfully, Debian is a seriously boring system; I never have the need to touch it. It really does "just work".

notpublic
notpublic

2 weeks ago my 2 year old HP laptop went nuts with GPU issues -- with some googling I found it *might* be solved with improved cooling, or may require crazy efforts regarding "reflowing" the GPU. So my laptop has been in a completely disassembled state since then, taking up our entire dining room table. I have the copper shims to replace the thermal pads put in by HP, and am ready to try a reassembly. Unfortunately, the day after I took it apart, a coworker brought me his daughters virus laden laptop (for the second time in 6 months) and asked for a wipe/reinstall. The day after that, another coworker brought me his wife's laptop with wifi connection issues. The day after that, another coworker brought me his laptop with display issues. They all actually waited about a week, because we also have 2 children including a newborn, and I didn't even have time for *their* computers. But eventually they all got them back -- and still mine sits in pieces. (And although I am an IT Pro, I don't ever charge for sidework like this, so it's not as if they provided me $ to put towards my own computer woes...) The hour + that it's going to take to reassemble mine, test it, and (hopefully) satisfy myself that I don't need to take it apart again for a ghetto reflowing attempt will be lucky to show up before the end of the month. I don't exactly mind helping folks out, but it's definitely true that doing my own work consistently takes a back seat to theirs...

dogknees
dogknees

But not the inclination. After spending the day sorting out others peoples problems, the last thing I want to do is more of the same when I get home. Trouble is, now everything is in the one box, if the PC is down, so is every other form of media or entertainment in the house.

TechyamI
TechyamI

Simple answer to the title of article is simply NOPE. Long version would sound like this: ok well I see some of the nastiest people or person I should say. And apparently he doesnt go online to do anything, and I bet he just likes feeling special :D. I know your pain, you got kids I got a child. I am self taught, lots of trial an error when I started out lots of nice sounding freeware games and such. Lots of reformats later I am here today. On facebook, yes the networking most talked about virused site. The games are cool there until the viruses kick in and become obvious. Then again you can simply get one from posting, or clicking on someone's horrid link that they sent or some virus did. The child then comes into play when your computer is frequently over heating or the thing freezes, or it's going to dump a massive important file. Or facebook game wants you to uninstall it's bad link and add another. So odd, never seen this before facebook. The child is crying he/she wants mommy, mommy mommy mommy look at me, mommy can I play outside, you know my rules you to young to be out there by yourself. Mommy can you... list is endless. Then come your clients into the picture, who either phone you or type an email cause they forgot what a phone is for. Then incoming call from your oldest daughter, another one coming to you from your youngest brat that has a hold of your cellphone... opps I left it somewhere she could reach. Techs cant live without their gear, once they get used to it and realize all the wonderful things they can do. Problem is no matter how up to date you still have the invisiable computer monkeys. that the program cant find because they happen to be the ones, that make your software dead to the world, disabling it's abilitys to do anything including warning you, the computer user. Cause of the fact that computer users are well aware of the better programs but, the computer virus writers, hackers all know about how popular it is. So they write code specifically to disable the well known well used anti- software and their companys.

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

I always found that my own computers ran like clockwork, knock on wood. It was family and friend's computers I groaned over fixing. You HAVE to make time but rarely want to after working all day. On the other hand, this is not unique to IT at all. Same goes for fixing cars. I'll spend time taking care of people's cars but when I get home, showered and all cleaned up again, the last thing I want to do is drop my own transmission, pull the differential out etc. I keep saying 'this weekend I'll put some time into my own car FOR SURE!' Weekend rolls around, I hit the track, go camping etc. No more fixing my own car. Monday I'll work all day, go out on a few roadside calls or get people through AirCare after work and again, while driving along I notice something that needs to be taken care of in my own truck. I know what it is, I know it's a quick fix or a cheap job, it isn't imperative and again it sits on the back burner. And so goes the turnstile, round and round while everyone else's business is taken care of, people's vehicles run like a dream and I wait until the 11th hour and finally face a heap of work for my own, grudgingly as I have let it all pile up. yup, nothing worse than taking care of your own stuff when you spend so much time taking care of other people's stuff too.

mikifinaz1
mikifinaz1

To me it seems like a fatal case of people pleasing. It takes a little spine to back people off and deal with your own issues. There is this word, often forgotten in this age, that fixes this rather quickly. Just say no. NOT NO!, Not no? but a straightforward no. All of life is about priorities and if you can't set them you are up the creek.

NexS
NexS

Would rather do more productive things with my time. If the computer is unusable then I will tend to it out of necessity, but other than keeping it on an on/off workability, I don't do much else to it. For example, the two USB ports on the front of my case still don't work and to fix it would involve having to remove the case from the pidgeonhole in the desk, pull it apart, fiddle with the insides and reconnect it, but I'd much rather plug in the Epiphone and make some noise.

jck
jck

If I have a family member/neighbor's PC to fix, mine will often wait til late in the night. Of course, I have a total of 11 PCs in my house, so I have to keep an eye on all of them and work on them constantly. Gaming... development... remote automated research... router controllers... it's tough. :(

Juanita Marquez
Juanita Marquez

When I get home, I just want stuff to WORK, so I don't necessarily go for the newest, shiniest thing - I go with what I trust. There are 3 PCs in my household (4 if you count the laptop I need to do some work on to get running again). One has XP, 2 have Windows 7. I generally just surf, chat and play games at home so I don't need much. I have these operating systems so I can do experimental tweaks when users at various workplaces have issues, and to maintain my skills with each. One of the 7's is my SO's work machine. He also has an affinity for installing software that I wouldn't (and have banned from my machine) because it eats into performance. I warn him not to install such things, but my pleas fall on deaf ears and result in hours of him swearing at mishaps, until I go fix the thing. My machine, the XP, runs great. The other 7 (a laptop) runs great as well, probably because there is less dubious software on it also. I let the masochists deal with bleeding-edge tech and most betas, unless I see a need for it or am feeling particularly adventurous.

fabiogil
fabiogil

I have no time, so the laptop we bought just recently has the same software it was shipped with. I have only installed Citrix Agent for remote access and that's it. Windows updates run on a regular basis so I don't need to worry about a thing ... ah! and I don't download anything, so far so good.

maclovin
maclovin

But after reading the comments posted....it is frightening how many people out there sound like "techs" that I would not even let NEAR a PC. Many sound like "Google-it" techs. Ones who thought "I should get into this computer stuff" and thought they'd call themselves a tech because they can install Windows and pass an A+ exam. The ONE machine that you're supposed to always rely on, which becomes your ULTIMATE TOOL, is YOUR workstation: Unfettered solitude. How many of these phone calls are callbacks, I wonder? If you can't keep yours running, how can you keep others' machines running? If you don't have time to work on it, WHO is getting time to screw it up? I think some STRONG self-evaluation is needed for those who seem incapable. Or clarification, if you'd like to explain who's messing these machines up so much that you need to repair ALL of them?

Papa_Bill
Papa_Bill

I concur, mostly, but if my fave laptop were to go down, I would have serious TR blog withdrawals.

CTOS
CTOS

And machines need maintenance and tuning to run well. I find the average person/business/corporation that can be found out there (but improving!), will all have the mind set that this is not a machine and they do not have to keep "on it". It is possible that the mindset of this generation, the toss and buy a new one I am referring to here, is behind this problem. But you will still have the older generations, that should know better, that will refuse to keep updates installed, update virus protection, let things run for weeks before telling you about an error or notification they received. By then, the Restore Points are long gone, to use for a "simple recovery". That means long hard hours to be put in. I agree so well with you Wesley! I noted that you do your work after hours at home...mine end up happening in the hours between 11pm and 4am.

lzdwren
lzdwren

If you spend JUST A LITTLE more for a Mac, You do not need to fuss with your home computer. That is what I did, and it works very well.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

I prefer KitchenAid, although I'll settle for a Sunbeam.

CTOS
CTOS

When a computer needs to be repaired or has issues to solve. Once you need to wait on a phone or try to find a missing driver, timeline can jump off the bridge! I go out for a "simple repair" and spend hours there, because the computer is so messed up! Especially in the home user environment, there will be every type of Maintenance needed to be done, when I get there. The "printer not working" will end up with troubleshooting, which leads to Windows Updates, which leads to.... All to get the printer functioning for the customer. Leave before you have solved that particular problem, no matter what reasons for the delay, they will never call you in again. The home environment is tough, it is just not the same as a Corporate setting.

ian
ian

You answered your own question in the second sentence ... the phone rings. Everyone is living in an age where they MUST answer the phone, MUST read emails as soon as they come in, MUST reply to text no matter where or when etc. etc, etc. I am one of the fortunate people. My land line has an answer machine,I answer it when I want. My mobile has voice mail, I answer it when I want. My email has an inbox where I can leave messages, I read them when I have time to sit down and reply to them. If I was on call, I would work on smaller projects that I could leave, if I am not on call don't call me. I had a similar discussion this weekend with someone who is still tied to their digital umbilical cord, (texting while driving - downright dangerous, answering their mobile while in the middle of a conversation - downright rude). Q. What if it is an emergency? A. call 911 Q. What if someone is taken to hospital? A. Then it is already out of your hands and in more capable hands. The simple answer is, if you have a project to do, then set your time and go do it. If you were on call that weekend, that was bad planning on your part If you are ALWAYS on call, you are in the wrong job, afraid to hand over the reins to someone else or work for a company that doesn't recognize contingency planning. Whichever, it's time to make changes.

azbat
azbat

Yes switching to Linux keeps the others off your hardware ... but if you try to get some WinDoze users to switch to using Linux, beware ... some users are very much like a cat .... do not like change .... even though Ubuntu looks similar enough it can cause those users who have to have their icons in the exact same spots and bookmarks non-alphabetized (because they don't know to use Sort By) .... to call you every two seconds ... I put Ubuntu-netbook remix on a laptop for someone and it had them almost in tears with confusion, so beware!

CTOS
CTOS

NotPublic, I so hear you and feel your scenario! I do not have a little one in the house, but I have a grandson in the house and when he comes, the whole life as I know it ends! :) I make a day for my repairs and the phone rings with a crisis. Away I go, next day is something else that must be accomplished, etc. Ours ends up last in line and the line tends to not stop growing.

alfowler
alfowler

Having tried several Linux/XP dual-boot systems over the past 4 years, this post comes xia Ubuntu, I am keeping one box for XP applications that I'm loath to dump. Linux does not need a virus app, nor a fragmentation app, is faster and as I own the hardware, no need to shell out for another licence when my hardware needs upgrading. I build and re-build my boxes to suit my needs. However, in XP or Linux I have my work in progress backed up every day and imaging backups done weekly, unless a new application is about to be installed. Lastly I try to keep little fingers out when the grandchildren arrive to access their pals and on line games, so far with little luck. My only PC headaches are usually generated by me.

CTOS
CTOS

I believe that if you have a degree, you worked for it. I also believe that if you want to be a true talent, you need to explore beyond what you were taught. That is how a person becomes great at what they do. All of the great TR community have talents, some in writing, some in technical, some in design, etc. That is what makes a community great! To find that some get tired out from working long hours and wish to spend time with their loved ones, do a hobby, play a game, snore on the couch...it makes us REAL. It does not make us "sham Techs", "and how dare we call ourselves one"... Real people do experience issues, trying to fit all things into one day. Take me for example: I usually retire around 3 am and get up for my daughter at 7am. Short nights get tiring. When you have a lot of complications with an OS or a piece of equipment (with included experience on nasty it CAN be to fix it); verses: get that accounting report for the bank done by tomorrow, or that legal letter written.... The repairs will lose out. Life is life and it takes up time. Do we take it as a good thing or badly? I welcome all TR's out there to share with us, whether with common time constraints or none. I have enough experience to know, one day I will not be able to fix a PC, so I have to enjoy it while I can! I have DOS here, all the way up to Vista, for fun. I have spare towers around, to have swap parts for the ones I do want to keep running. Why? To play with. LOL Play is a part of life, if you want to have a good one. ;)

awgiedawgie
awgiedawgie

My first question (which is really quite irrelevant) would have to be, how and why do you have ELEVEN PCs? Even on a major family get-together with all the sibs, plus my kids and all the nieces and nephews, IF everybody who has their own PC, brings it, we only come up with 10 - counting the dedicated server/router controller, and my Mom's netbook that she never uses. Of course, my second (and main) question would be, why do you have to work on them constantly? Sure, I keep an eye on all the computers here, but I don't remember the last time I had to actually work on any of them. If someone keeps breaking them, make them either learn how to fix them, or stop breaking them. If you just keep fixing them, there's no incentive for anyone else to stop breaking them. If they're simply breaking down on their own, you may want to consider a new technique in repairing them - maybe a more drastic approach. Now, don't get me wrong - I'm not trying to offend or be cocky, although it may sound that way. Just trying to save you a little time and stress if possible. As much as I love working on computers, I'd much rather be outside mowing the lawn or cutting firewood - although I'm not relishing my latest encounter with poison ivy.

Papa_Bill
Papa_Bill

for a contract negotiation. Let's see. 11 machines in the house, at $50 per contract week,Plus parts and software, base service call. Teeny-boppers watch to help, xtra $25.00/hr. God, you're gonna be rich as Creosote!!

TechyamI
TechyamI

Sounds like you have more than your share of sticks where they shouldnt be? So let me guess this IT tech is a fraidy cat with a side of no professionalism. You seem to lack common sense. If someone is busy with business they work on their computers by: typing out emails replying to clients that lost the ability to phone insted. They the ones that are business prone, and good at it would be the ones to not have an extra several hours to um hmm let me see FIX their computer. When they get home from draging people and things from point A-> B-C they dont really have much patience for their computer, let alone fixing it. If you think that a computer never gets virused even with a newly updated anti-spyware, anti-virus, firewalls, anti-malware. Checked everyday at least once a day you dont seem to know the networking site called Facebook.

bkindle
bkindle

I used to have time to "play" with my computer and network equipment. I miss that a lot. It's how I learned everything I know today and how I prefer to learn. But once I started working full time IT in a corporate environment, that has really cut into my 'play' time and I keep putting up with things like "no money" but "I want everything" syndromes, and constantly fixing stuff that just needs replaced. So yeah, there's a lot of repeat calls for these types of issues. My personal laptop has started to gather dust because I am a bad tech and neglect it in favor of coming home to the wife and dog, and promptly falling asleep on the couch. As far as the "google-it" tech comment goes, that's not really a fair comment to make to someone who actually shows an effort to learn. I found out early in my career that you can think you know everything IT, but someone will always know more and make you look like an ass. I always encourage people to learn by ANY means necessary.

steve
steve

At home I did not use a desktop for about a year, just a netbook. Just got a desktop for the TV and it is nice streams video etc. Work is another story, I run two computers all the time, a newer daily driver and an older one that has things installed that are a pain to reinstall, or won't run on newer 64bit systems. I am always the last to upgrade, but it amazes me how I do more with my machin eand rarely have a broken issue, vs. people who never click on a thing and need reloads almost monthly. I love Drive imaging. Oh and if it takes all day to reload Win 7 you must have a slow machine, I can reinstall, update and install office suite and configure machin ein about four hours, while doing other things and stepping away. I am not great it is just that easy. I have installed Win server 2008 R2 and had it running in less than a day, the old systems no way. and you are right, what are you doing to your machine that hoses it all the time?

Lazarus439
Lazarus439

Please explain in fine detail why a "MACINTOSH" (1) never has a hard drive fail (2) never has a problem with its charging system and (3) is immune to water damage. The original articel has NOTHING to do with software; it's all about defective machinery.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

[i]You answered your own question in the second sentence ... the phone rings.[/i] What he said was "If an issue occurs with any of my home business machines I know that unless I have a clear 3 hours to dedicate to sitting on line or on the phone with the software vendor (usually Microsoft) the job will only get half finsihed [sic]..." Nothing there about the phone ringing. In fact, the context strongly implies that he will be initiating any phone calls.

lastchip
lastchip

I put in a Debian system just over a week ago into a commercial environment, spent about 15 minutes demonstrating the basics and they loved it. All I changed was the wallpaper to "brighten it up" and the comments were; Wow!! And that was on an ancient machine that to all intents and purposes, was ready for the scrap heap! I have also written a help (README) file that I place on each users desktop. Hopefully most of the common questions are answered in there. My standard follow up telephone call just prior to the weekend, elicited a response, "this is just great, exactly what we've been looking for". So my response to you is, yes, one has to be careful about managing any change, but done well, it can be the start of a very happy and successful partnership. I know (with all due respect to them) they cannot (and don't want to) administer the computer. So who's going to get the support calls, given that most techies don't know one end of Linux from the other? ;-)

notpublic
notpublic

Half of the friends and family tech support I do are malware based, and wouldn't exist if folks would either 1) Be a bit safer with their habits or 2) Use Linux. As a Linux user myself, it's been years since I've felt I was giving anything up to Windows in terms of applications or overall desktop experience. *But* there's no doubt that most of these folks want the ability to grab shrink-wrapped games off the shelf, or download them from BigFish or etc -- and so as unlikely as 1) is, it's still more likely than 2)... :-( I will say that the next time I buy a laptop, I'm going to do some investigation into how well the mfr has done in the past regarding basic things like cooling though. (The cooling is only half of their GPU issues on this product line, but since what I found was not just a thermal pad, but a misaligned thermal pad that wasn't even covering the entire GPU, I think it could have been done better.) I've really loved this laptop, but dead in the water after two years with an issue that I've discovered to be alarmingly common across this entire product line is unacceptable.

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

Too true, I work to live I don't live to work. I have my certs and plenty of hands on experience, after that it just gets boring and I look for a new trade to conquer. Just like work, once I achieve targets easily, I want to find something new to do, I need a challenge. However, AFTER I am at work, and no longer being paid, or have decided not to take on 'extra curricular' work of my own, I will often choose to do sweet f-all. I spend less and less time working, for myself or anyone else, and spend more and more time just chilling, with friends or by myself (quiet time!). I used to burn both ends of the candle but I have too much desire for fun time these days, less than 7hrs in bed and you wouldn't want to run into me the next day. I am very high energy but find that energy needs replenishing more and more. I prefer to work when I want to work and play when I want to play, the former becoming less and less each day. I make time for me now, instead of constantly running around helping everyone else out all the time, though I still do it. any of my friends will agree that no matter what I am doing, even if woken from a deep sleep, I will jump up and go out to help them. I can't help it, I just can't NOT be there for people that need me.

maclovin
maclovin

A) My sticks are just fine B) Name calling (not that it's the best one, "fraidy cat", but hey) is a sign professionalism? C) Common sense = Having properly working tools to complete your job, whatever job it may b. Find me a mechanic that can complete repairs with broken wrenches. D) "If someone is busy with business they work on their computers by: typing out emails replying to clients that lost the ability to phone insted." What??? You lost me....that's not even a sentence. E) "They the ones that are business prone, and good at it would be the ones to not have an extra several hours to um hmm let me see FIX their computer. When they get home from draging people and things from point A-> B-C they dont really have much patience for their computer, let alone fixing it." -Kind of confused, but I think I get the gist. Well, part of your work is, as I stated above, having proper tools. Thus, repairing your machine would qualify as work time. Unpaid, but still work time. You should have known this when you get into such a business. F) "If you think that a computer never gets virused even with a newly updated anti-spyware, anti-virus, firewalls, anti-malware. Checked everyday at least once a day you dont seem to know the networking site called Facebook." -True, new viruses come out. But, most people just stupidly open attachments without thinking about it. NOBODY, I repeat, NOBODY will send you an .EXE file in an e-mail. I can't count the number of years I have preached that. - Facebook, yes...okay, and what exactly were you trying to point out there? Facebook does NOT send you viruses, period. The only emails you get from Facebook are updates, they will NEVER send you an email with an attachment. This is common SENSE, as you referred to earlier. Facebook even tells you that in some sections. This is common knowledge on the internet, and those Consultants that aren't conveying this knowledge to their clients are more worried about coming back out to make more money rather than actually SERVING their clients' needs. Call me whatever you want. But I will say, "common sense" the the first term in my dictionary....then the A's start. Every time I have to deal with a company that had an outside consultant do all their work I listened and by the end of the conversation of them telling me what they were told by said consultant, I just wanted to cry...or kill someone.

lastchip
lastchip

Anyone who thinks they know it all, is in for a very rude awakening. I've been doing support for many years now and the more I know, results in my understanding of the huge amount I don't know. The computer world is massive and I've yet to meet the superhuman who knows it all. There are many that think they do, but.....

Papa_Bill
Papa_Bill

One hell of a stereo amp, but those 6550's sure get hot.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

Maybe they've heard our pleas[e]... ;)

Papa_Bill
Papa_Bill

That every time software is "upgraded" or "updated" you have fewer options using it...

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

You can't reply to the article or blog post from within the discussion; you have to go to the original article, scroll to the bottom of the page, and post from there. It's an interface issue. The one thing I used to like about the ZDNet forums was the two links that gave you the option to reply to the member's post or reply to the article.

ian
ian

Nicely caught Nick. I was actually replying to the original post, not to PMwork

CTOS
CTOS

So they say. :) It is why I take on troubleshooting oddities, I love it! Did I tell you I stuck to a Windows7 Upgrade fiasco, until I nailed down the issue and could return the PC to it's owner, with a smile a mile wide? She knew the DVD would not function, I had updated her as I worked and the issues that developed. She knew it would come back updated to 7, but crippled in the DVD department. She was a very delighted customer when I came in and showed her the drive was working now... It took me a long time to isolate it, since there was no assistance to be found anywhere: at manufacturer's sites, MS site, NOR Google. It was my baby to solve. It makes me feel great inside, to take on weird things and solve them... Even more so, when the customer is appreciative! Besides the fact that a single parent can not afford new PC's ever year, since they are buying parts and games for their children etc.; buying new because they come out, or are the "hottest Tech" going, does not make logical sense. Burning my candle from both ends has paid me back, no doubts there. Time to make change before the wick runs out, right Oz? :) Let's go have some fun!

CTOS
CTOS

I have noticed a rise in computer issues, sometimes to the extreme levels of malfunction, after users install the Zynga Toolbars for the games on Facebook. The Games claim it is better if you use the Toolbar, but there is a fake Toolbar out there which is malware/spyware causing some issues. Another Facebook related problem, is the fake pages offering coupons/gifts and also the ones that say "this guy went to the extreme, when his girlfriend cheated! Come and watch the video!"... or similar. They spread around, I watch my contacts online passing them around, while I shake my head. They have to install and allow this item to gather their contacts' info, before they see the Video. Facebook posts notices about them fairly quickly, but many are tempted into watching them. Damages done. One person I know has been hit twice through the Games on FB. Totally reformat needed to recover. Now who says that it does not take time for fixing a pc? LOL They have no one that adores FB I guess in their customer base...

SKDTech
SKDTech

I would assume he was referring to the "watch this funny video" and other malware installing hyperlinks that infest the pages of the less cautious users as well as the drive-by ad malware.