If you’ve ever been baffled by the conversation about a car service, as most people have, you’ll be pleased to hear that computer repairs are now almost as difficult. Computer and car owners have one thing in common- They own machines they don’t know a thing about. Most computer users get battered into a level of experience having to do basic things, but holding a semi-informed conversation is about the limit of knowledge.
The general conversation, however, is like a post-mortem:
Computer owner: It was making a beeping noise when I started it up.
Computer technician: Yeah, that means the hard drive’s about to crash.
Computer owner: Oh, well… now I know… thanks…
As sparkling conversation goes, this goes nowhere. A lot can be learned, after the event, but not like that. The computer owner is no wiser, and the fact that hard drives can crash for many different reasons never enters into the mix.
Even more unproductive, arguably, are the software/hardware computer issues. If a video card goes on the blink, be prepared for a very helpful, almost unintelligible monologue.
Computer technician: The video card’s had it. You’ll need a new one, $100 for a good one that OK? You’ll need a high performance card to get the best out of this duo core. Of course you could go for a combination TV card, if you want to hook up to the TV? If you watch a lot of videos online or DVDs on this computer, I’d suggest… (Blur of words, followed by expectant silence)…that sound right for you?
Computer owner: Guess it’ll have to be, won’t it?
Several hundred dollars later, the computer owner is now the proud, if almost entirely uninformed, possessor of a brand new something or other. The good news is that the screen does work.
Computer owners aren’t about to become tech-literate overnight. Computer technicians spend years getting to this level of proficiency and unintelligibility when computer troubleshooting. Without the slightest intention to confuse the customer, they leave the customers hoping they understood at least some of what they’ve been told.
The short answer to computer ignorance
Like car ownership, computer ownership is a case of managing your needs. The best way to get a decent grip on your computer and get the best out of it is to do a course, and at least learn the fundamentals properly.
Like cars, computers suffer as much from their users as from any defects. Some people happily park their computers right next to a nice window where the sun can cook them very effectively. Others manage to put their expensive computers in areas where steam, cooking fumes or other useful additions to the hard drive can accumulate. Some people hook up to ancient power points and forget to use a power board, and the computers get fried in any case.
A computer repair job can be very like a car repair– A job that wouldn’t have need doing if the owner knew what they were doing. Take the hint, learn how to manage your machine, and you’ll have far fewer problems.