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Windows 7: fixing other peoples computer issues, hardware/software

08 Feb 2016   #1
HAVOC

Windows 7 Professional 64bit
 
 
fixing other peoples computer issues, hardware/software

On occasion I get asked to "fix" some ones computer. It could be anything, laptop won't turn on or a program froze, etc. Sometimes I get asked for help on a subject I know nothing about (Excel comes to mind). Or they'll say "how do I do this...". I say "sorry, I've never used that program before".

How does the IT person of today acquire the knowledge to help in so many aspects of computer repair, hardware/software/mobile devices? Buying each and every program is just too expensive, as is buying the latest tech gadget. I will hopefully be attending an IT school in the near future, for now I use google but there are still some things I don't know.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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08 Feb 2016   #2
sgage

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by HAVOC View Post
On occasion I get asked to "fix" some ones computer. It could be anything, laptop won't turn on or a program froze, etc. Sometimes I get asked for help on a subject I know nothing about (Excel comes to mind). Or they'll say "how do I do this...". I say "sorry, I've never used that program before".

How does the IT person of today acquire the knowledge to help in so many aspects of computer repair, hardware/software/mobile devices? Buying each and every program is just too expensive, as is buying the latest tech gadget. I will hopefully be attending an IT school in the near future, for now I use google but there are still some things I don't know.
Well, I started messing around with what we used to call 'microcomputers' back in the late 1970's. I learned from years and years of experience. I learned from each and every client. You learn fundamentals, you learn patterns, you grow some intuition. You learn trouble-shooting skills. At some point, you've more or less seen it all, and even if you've never used a particular program or piece of hardware, you just seem to know what the issues are going to be.

I don't do house-calls any more, but I used to do a lot of them. There are so many different kinds of computer out there! Sometimes I had to engage my clients in random tech chit-chat, stalling for time while I tried to find the power switch on their computer.
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08 Feb 2016   #3
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

This is true - once you are known as a "Geek" people expect you to know everything. But I just tell them when there is an area that I am not familiar with - and there are many of these areas. Excel is a good example. I don't have the faintest clue. But Power Point is one of my specialties. I guess you can only help if you know the answer.
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08 Feb 2016   #4
Kevin Ismail

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

A luck, when ones come to you for help and it is within the area of your hobby or passion. A chalenge if it is not, but willing to learn. I'm working in a hospital that use hundreds of PC or mobile. Lucky that I was able to make friend with the whole staffs of IT department, learning much from them (though Im only a nurse) but I can be a little help to friends around. Now my passion move to android stuffs, and lso able to help some.

Find a way to learn things by making friend with people who fond of the subject can be one of the key beside attending school.

And what is good by helping friends? I often get free breakfast and lunch. And there are more people available when I need help.
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08 Feb 2016   #5
comitatus1

Windows 7 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by HAVOC View Post
On occasion I get asked to "fix" some ones computer. It could be anything, laptop won't turn on or a program froze, etc. Sometimes I get asked for help on a subject I know nothing about (Excel comes to mind). Or they'll say "how do I do this...". I say "sorry, I've never used that program before".

How does the IT person of today acquire the knowledge to help in so many aspects of computer repair, hardware/software/mobile devices? Buying each and every program is just too expensive, as is buying the latest tech gadget. I will hopefully be attending an IT school in the near future, for now I use google but there are still some things I don't know.
Are you getting paid to 'fix' these devices and computers?

It's admirable to desire to be helpful, but the acquisition of knowledge has a cost. Setting boundaries is important. Regardless of your experience, if you are actually providing people with a service, regardless of how 'amateurish' you feel it may be, you deserve to get paid.

Please don't misunderstand, I don't care if you get ALL your solutions off of Google...the fact that you are willing to try makes your time worthy of compensation.

Chris
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08 Feb 2016   #6
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

I understand the compensation argument. But you don't take money from good friends who invite you to dinner next Saturday.
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08 Feb 2016   #7
comitatus1

Windows 7 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
I understand the compensation argument. But you don't take money from good friends who invite you to dinner next Saturday.
It depends on the level of service you are providing.

I understand the 'I'll use the knowledge I've gained in the future' argument.

Ultimately, you'll have to decide for yourself what is fair.

For what it's worth, I never charge family members unless they insist on paying me. My good friends always insist on paying. A good dinner is often good enough!

Chris
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08 Feb 2016   #8
indianacarnie

 

Well, HAVOC , lol what I say when I'm in that situation is ...... I'm not totally familiar with that program,model,etc. but I know where to go to find out and then send them here (or our Sister forums) or come myself.
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08 Feb 2016   #9
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

I come from a country where money is less important to people than it seems to be in the US. I take a good bottle of wine any day over a $20 bill.
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08 Feb 2016   #10
strollin

W10 Pro desktop, W10 laptop, W10 laptop, W10 Pro tablet (all 64-bit)
 
 

I can't tell you the number of computers I've fixed in exchange for a 6-pack of Diet Coke! I usually don't charge people but expect them to only pay for any required parts.

I wouldn't walk across the street for a bottle of wine.
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