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Windows 7: Help needed with school assignment

21 Oct 2014   #11
Boozad

W7 Pro x64 SP1 | W10 Pro IP x64 | W8.1 Pro x64 VM | Linux Mint VM
 
 

Good piece Stefan. I've thought of another major difference which I meant to touch on the other day but never got round to, apologies there. When taking your machine to a store it's like you've said, minimal effort apart from travel and payment, but you learn nothing. The person/people who work in the store may give you some miniscule amount of information as to what they've done, but to the uneducated they may as well be talking Klingon. Or, if they do pick up on the fact that the person paying for repairs isn't well versed in computers they may blind them with technical jargon knowing that the customer will remain scared of dealing with problems themselves as it just sounds far too complicated. Future custom in the bag.

On the other hand, when dealing with a forum such as ourselves, it takes a lot more time and effort but the payoff is huge. Newcomers land here every day and those that get their problems solved take away a massive chunk of knowledge. It empowers the user and shows them that they can learn about computers, maybe more easily than they thought.
I found my way here with an issue years ago, and while I was certainly no computer illiterate I recognised my knowledge only scratched the surface. I stuck around, lurking at first then actively helping other users, and I'm still learning to this day. I never thought I'd get to the level I'm at now (which admittedly is still light years behind some of our members) but it goes to show that getting involved with forums not only helps get your problem solved, it gives you the opportunity to learn from some of the best in the business and, in turn, raise your PC skills immeasurably.

You ain't getting that from a PC store.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Oct 2014   #12
nommy the first

Microsoft Windows 8.1 64-bit Professional
 
 

Thanks mate

While I get your first point, it is already discussed in the intro and throughout the article after that. I don't think I should empathize it any more.

I do agree completely with your second point. In fact, I came here the same way you did I'll try to put in the article that the person requesting assistance will also gain a huge amount of knowledge.


Nommy
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Oct 2014   #13
nommy the first

Microsoft Windows 8.1 64-bit Professional
 
 

Here's my final draft;
---

How can online forums, like Seven Forums, help you?
in comparison to store-bought assistance

For the past two years I have been actively contributing on various online tech forums. In the time I have been doing this Ive seen numerous people who, in the middle of the troubleshooting process, tell the people helping them that they went to a store and spent copious amounts of money on something as easy as reinstalling Windows. Things like that have always been on my mind, especially since there are lots of forums that give great, free, technical assistance. I always wondered why people chose for the store instead of these forums and with this article I hope to show these people that forums are a great option.

Id like to show these people some of the advantages to going to a forum instead of ending up in a store where a shady guy ends up charging you 500,00 because your flux capacitor turned out to be broken and needed to be replaced. In order to show these advantages I have interviewed three experts and asked them the following questions.

What do you need to invest?
A very important question to which Gav (Boozad), a valued member and long-time contributor of Seven Forums, the worlds largest Windows 7 knowledge base, answered time, patience and a willingness to listen and learn. He also said that when you take your machine to a store its minimal effort apart from travel and payment, but you learn nothing. The person behind the counter may give you some miniscule amount of information as to what theyve done, but to the uneducated it might as well be Klingon.

On forums this is different. You only need to log in with your account and create a thread describing your problem. Maybe you need to run a tool or two and upload the output of the tool so that the people helping you have a bit more information, but after that youre done. Just sit back and wait for someone to notice your thread. Once you have gotten a reply its time to start working, because youre doing this together with the people assisting you. Unlike going to a store you actually need to do something in order to get a result. The people helping you will give you instructions you need to follow. As Gav said, Weve all seen threads go south when users dont follow instructions, try their own fixes without detailing them, get angry with people trying to help.. None of that works towards getting the best out of the support thats offered on these forums.

The main difference
Of course there are many differences between going to a store and asking for help on a forum, but the most important one, as Gav says, is trustworthiness. Unlike forums, stores exist for one reason alone, to make profit. Yes, theyre providing a service, but so are coffee shops and hairdressers. You simply cant know if the person behind the counter is going to fix your problem and be done with it or if hes going to cut corners and charge you excessively for something that was done in 15 minutes.

Forums on the other hand dont want to make a profit. The people giving assistance on forums might have many reasons for doing so, but at the end of the day they all work towards one goal; helping you with your issue. There is nothing to second guess maybe except for the expertise of the member trying to offer help, but that could be said about stores too. Jack (Layback Bear) adds to that; our methods and satisfied customers are all over the net. Anybody can research the Seven Forums and find out just about anything. You most likely cant do that with a brick and mortar store.

The only drawback at receiving assistance on a forum is, as David Best (MrNeeds) says, that the people assisting you dont have physical access to the machine. This means that it is a lot harder to pinpoint certain issues than it would be in a store. But, as Jack replies to that, there are people in all skill levels on these forums. If more help is needed we will find a member that is more skilled with that particular problem; we do work together to help solve problems.

Payment vs results
As both Jack and Gav say; our charge for this help is the same for everybody; FREE. Since technical assistance isnt something tangible, its very hard to put a price tag on it. Stores can basically charge anything they want. Simple things like reinstalling Windows could end up costing you hundreds of Euros.

The best assistance
While this question is very hard to answer, since there really isnt a set definition for the best assistance, it is possible to look at the people assisting you; I dont think Ive ever seen one Microsoft Most Valuable Professional or Community Contributor, let alone a bunch of them, working together in one store Gav says. Looking at the people giving assistance on Seven Forums, there are plenty of MVPs and MCCAs working there.

But, as Jack says, all tech forums are not created equally. One forum might specialize in one issue, such as virus removal, while other forums have knowledge on multiple issues. People looking for help must do their homework looking for the proper forum.

At the end of the day it all comes down to one point; are you willing to work with the people assisting you, or do you just want to sit back and wait for someone else to fix your problem? Andrew (Andrew129260), contributor at Seven Forums says that A forum is not going to cut it for people who either cant learn, wont learn, or refuse to learn. That is why paid shops will always exist.
---

I really only took out some grammatical errors, shortened the sub-headlines, rewrote the intro and added a quote from [b]Gav[/b]'s previous post, but all together I'm pretty satisfied with it


Thanks a mil everyone!
Nommy

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

21 Oct 2014   #14
andrew129260

Windows 10 Pro
 
 

Nommy, I love it. Great job. I also love my bit at the end Well written.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Oct 2014   #15
Layback Bear

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1
 
 

Some how sneak this in at the end.
It's not nice to talk about how good your car is without pictures.
Here is a picture.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Nov 2014   #16
nommy the first

Microsoft Windows 8.1 64-bit Professional
 
 

Sorry for the long wait guys, school took their time with the grading process.
But my grades are finally in!

For English Writing Skills they gave me an 8.9 (A) and for Journalistic Writing Skills they gave me a 7.1 (B). So on average I passed with an 8(A), which is sufficient for 5 ECTS and one out of five passes needed for my Honours certificate

Thanks again everyone for all the help you gave me, I couldn't have done it without you guys


Nommy
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Nov 2014   #17
Layback Bear

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1
 
 

Very good Stefan.
You got such a good grade in English Writing Skills, I'm thinking you did better than most in this country can do.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Nov 2014   #18
Boozad

W7 Pro x64 SP1 | W10 Pro IP x64 | W8.1 Pro x64 VM | Linux Mint VM
 
 

Brilliant stuff Stefan, excellent grades mate
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Nov 2014   #19
andrew129260

Windows 10 Pro
 
 

Great Job!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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