What is this blog all about?
Well, you have to start somewhere. That's a simple bit of conventional wisdom and appropriate for what will be the first post of my first blog.
Since my teens, I've helped hundreds of computer users. Some had barely touched a keyboard before and others knew just enough to get themselves into trouble. I am good at what I do for three main reasons: I'm patient, detail-oriented and tenacious.
Patience is required because computer issues can be frustrating and doubly so when the expert you rely upon seems rushed or unsympathetic. This virtue is particularly important in phone or e-mail support where you aren't physically interacting with the device. Convincing other to follow simple instructions is not as straight-forward as you might think.
Having an attention to detail is critical. Your PC works through a complex interaction of components: CPU, memory, video, software and so on. Tracking down a particularly elusive problem takes not only time, but also often requires extensive preparation and research. I never skimp on the details, however trivial they may seem.
Which brings us to what I feel is so often overlooked by computer technicians these days: tenacity. In other words, you don't give up... ever... until the job is done. There is a certain mindset, especially in the retail repair environment, to take shortcuts; getting a paying customer out the door and a new customer in the door by any means necessary. Too often a novice tech (or even an experienced one) will jump to the quickest, easiest solution to resolve a problem. Wiping a hard drive when a software fix would suffice or encouraging costly upgrades when basic maintenance is required are often first steps when they should be the last.
I got out of the retail tech game for one reason and one reason only: I hated the constant pursuit of profit at the expense of the customer. Well, that and working those wacky hours!
So this gets us back to the purpose of this blog. The advice you will read here is free. In the spirit of complete disclosure, you may see advertising or links to sites that sell useful products, but only if I truly believe in them. Ask anyone who knows me: I'm a lousy salesperson!
Please contact me if you have a particularly thorny issue that needs to be resolved. Odds are what you need is good advice and not an expensive trip to a tech or frustrating call to support.
To get things started, my first real post follows. Let's fix that PC!