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Training a newbie tech.... What do you teach first?

By --Loki-- ·
I recently acquired a student.... He wants to learn how to build/repair computers, mainly as a hobby, but if he's any good I may use him in my business...

So he came over the other day, and had a box of parts, and I showed him about jumpers and pin-1 for cables and such, and how to basically fit parts together... simple stuff....

Now when I was learning this stuff, I taught myself, and I pretty much soak things up like a sponge, and don't remember usually HOW I learned something, just that I know it....

I realize that most people don't learn that way... lol... Sooooo... I need a lesson plan of some sort... What order to teach things in... what are the little things that get overlooked? I have a habit of just assuming that things are obvious, or that people should just KNOW things... (I'm probably not the best teacher for that reason... lol)

So I guess what I'd like to know is....

What are the things that you would teach someone that you think are important to being a good computer builder/tech? Everything from hardware to software is what I want to teach this fella... So I need help putting my knowledge in some sort of logical order... lol

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by JamesRL In reply to Training a newbie tech... ...

I've never trained someone from scratch, I've always had people with some exposure.

I would start with installing the OS. Build a PC for them, and have them first install the OS through the defaults, then do it again with the custom - have them play with some of the custom installs.

Once they can install the OS without too many thoughts, have them build the basic PC - put the MB in the case, install the base components, then boot it up, format, install the OS.

Then have them add the often additional components - video card, sound card, ethernet card etc. Install the HW, then configure it in the OS, one by one.

Once they have the basic box stuff, then you can move to networking.


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First thing?

by CG IT In reply to Personally.....

I'd tell the guy or gal to go buy Scott Muellers upgrading and repairs PCs as a reference book. Start reading. If they could afford it get some of the back editions. Knowing the boot sequence of POST, what a MBR is and how it's processed, how board layout is, what really is a AGP, PCI buss, PCI Express [meaning how they work.

Second, I'd give him a PC completely built and with an O/S and tell him to take it apart and rebuild it including formating the HD and reinstalling the O/S. To the level it was before he/she tore it down.

I think I would try to stress documentation and how important it is even if it's a time killer.

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Assess the newbie...

by RKG In reply to First thing?

Find out what overall skills they have, and use those to build on new abilities.
Start with an older but complete computer, and have tehm swap out the video card. Make certain they understand the component, what it brings to the computer. check technique; does the newbie need to focus on not damaging hardware when making the swaps?
Then memory, then replacing the hard drive.
Each step have the newbie see what difference the change has made on the system. From a 4 MB graphics system with 128 MB RAM and a 20 MB HD that barely runs windows, they have created a much faster computer, and they see the differences.

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Most important and Most overlooked

by ITSa341 In reply to Personally.....

Teach him the most overlooked and most important thing he can learn.
BEFORE making even the slightest changes MAKE A BACKUP!!!!
How many times have technicians done some simple thing that should be a no brainer and had it go wrong only to find no backups?
Our plan at SystemBytes is simple, before you even start the repairs, boot to a live linux cd and MAKE A HD IMAGE!! You are now protected from data loss and many hours of stress. You are more relaxed and can think more clearly knowing you can always recover any data or settings you lose.

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First off, use a grounded wrist strap

by mjd420nova In reply to Training a newbie tech... ...

Start off with a fully functioning system, teach them how to listen to the different sounds and watch the lights. Find a good comprehensive list of the beep codes and the diagnostic codes from the bios ( 100-CPU 200-memory 300-keyboard ETC) then move onto what's needed to make a bootable disk, partitioning hard drives, loading the OS and then drivers for appropriate hardware. Then work into dip switches-jumper bergs and last of all don't forget changing the CMOS battery and how to clear CMOS and password access work arounds.

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I always work with an anti-static strap-on

by Why Me Worry? In reply to First off, use a grounded ...

strap it and do your magic

I was dieing to say that...LOL

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by CG IT In reply to I always work with an ant ...


don't drop the soap!

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by --Loki-- In reply to I always work with an ant ...

Kinky...... lol.... Oh, wait.. You didn't mean THAT strap-on... Oh well... *puts her toys away*

lol... Thanks! I needed to lighten up a bit today... lol

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oh boy!

by CG IT In reply to Hehehehe
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by shardeth-15902278 In reply to Hehehehe

I got my start in PC's with a game called Cranston Manor, on an Apple IIe donated to our school. Spent hours trying to find the funny commands unusual commands would give. (ie "Pray -> Praying won't help you"....

I then recieved my first PC (Timex Sinclair ZX81 as a present for my birhtday the year following. I was too poor to buy any games, so I started writing my own. Over time, moved to a Commodore128, and built a speech processor for it ($20 in radio shack parts),along with writing a few games.

My point? Find a couple fun projects which meet some of your student's interests. Particularly projects where there is room to "hack". Those are a great way to help the individual develop an understanding of the fundamentals - an understanding not just of how, but also why.

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