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QOTD: Are You Always Fixing PCs for Others?

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April 9, 2009 10:32:19 PM

I can't go anywhere without being asked to fix a computer or computer related issue...even the last funeral I was at I was asked to fix a computer. I guess thats what I get for being a Systems Analyst / Certified IT Technician.
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April 9, 2009 10:34:04 PM

PraxGTII can't go anywhere without being asked to fix a computer or computer related issue...even the last funeral I was at I was asked to fix a computer. I guess thats what I get for being a Systems Analyst / Certified IT Technician.


I know how you feel, it's gonna be ok. Don't worry. You'll get through it.
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April 9, 2009 10:34:08 PM

I am..

I also am asked on what hardware to buy/software ALL THE TIME.

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April 9, 2009 10:35:07 PM

I want that t-shirt, haha.
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April 9, 2009 10:35:54 PM

I am ALWAYS fixing computers for others, especially when I have built computers. Somehow people don't understand that simply because I put together the hardware doesn't mean I am responsible for all the Windows woes...
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April 9, 2009 10:36:19 PM

I work at a computer store so it only seems natural for people to ask me to fix their pc's. :p 
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April 9, 2009 10:37:14 PM

i need one of those tshirts :-)
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April 9, 2009 10:40:28 PM

I used to endup fixing peoples PCs a lot, but after explaining to them how they got in the mess in the first place.. the number of repeat fixes dropped off to zero.

I *would* like that tshirt.
but I also like the one I already have: "phd.com professional help desk"
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April 9, 2009 10:40:40 PM

Not a whole lot. Most of the computers that are around me are built by me and if I didn't build it I won't fix it.
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April 9, 2009 10:40:45 PM

a daily basis. am considering making a business out of it because im getting tied up as it is
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April 9, 2009 10:42:43 PM

lol. yep. Being an IT tech has that effect, not to mention a reputation as an uber nerd that precedes me amongst all my friends.
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April 9, 2009 10:42:48 PM

I work in a Paper Mill IT dep so yes. But I dont always say yes.
But im getting harassed most of the time as a free custom PC consultant. I should bill 150$/hour for consultancy...
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April 9, 2009 10:43:45 PM

yes and the pay sucks...
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April 9, 2009 10:43:50 PM

jsloani need one of those tshirts :-)

I think I seen it at Zazzle.com If you don't find it, you can print own version ;) 
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April 9, 2009 10:45:19 PM

Hrm. i should answer the 2nd question.

The most common problem was "Its slow" usually fixed by removing the 1,001 bloatware items from the system tray.
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April 9, 2009 10:45:57 PM

once every 2 weeks or so ? not so bad, i am a gamer
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April 9, 2009 10:46:29 PM

It never stops, but I'm guaranteed to be in my mother-in-law's will for my services :D 
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April 9, 2009 10:48:30 PM

Yes, I live in a foreign country were computer parts will cost you a arm and a leg. Most people are still in the Pentium 2 and 3 era here just because parts are so expensive. I get asked to fix some sort of computer problem on a daily basis and people will literally beag and beag until you do it as the have no one else to turn to. Right now the Principal of the school my brother goes to wants me to fix her three other computers at the school!

I find the main problems people are having with computers are:

1- Viruses.
2- Person Error.
3- Memory ram kneading to be reset. Its very dusty here!
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April 9, 2009 10:50:18 PM

Yes I'm always fixing others pc's. I worked for the GeekSquad for some time, and everyone finds out about it one way or another.
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April 9, 2009 10:52:14 PM

I have a lot of customers that get the 100% off friends & family discount.
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April 9, 2009 10:55:30 PM

Well I love my JOB... and i really need to feed my family... :) 
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April 9, 2009 10:56:41 PM

EVERY.FREAKIN'.DAY!

That is OK though, I finally got tired of it and started charging a small amount and guess what? Yeah, things didn't slow down, guess that is the problem when you are a poor person living near rich people, they have money.
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April 9, 2009 10:58:29 PM

I'm no PC tech or anything, but I've been building and trouble shooting my own computer for many years now. My family has a lot of computers and for some reason, everyone comes to me when something isn't working. Even my brothers, who should be more savy than myself, end up asking me how to fix their computers. They've done schooling, but for some reason, I guess they just fall out of the loop of things. I even know their computers better than them, and they're the ones that put them together!

Most computer issues I end up dealing with these days are just spyware and adware making systems run slower or even just messing up the entire operating system. So, it usually means a reinstall, not that it's completely necessary all the time, but that's usually the easiest solution.
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April 9, 2009 10:59:11 PM

People always want help.
My suggestion is Google. If I don't know, I just use Google... it always works.

I used to help, but now all I help is my immediate family. I'm tempted to charge, because if I don't do it, they'll pay some guy at a store $100 an hour to do it (and apparently it takes 2 hours to install a VGA card).

Just say no! Oh yeah drugs are bad to, m'kay.
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April 9, 2009 11:00:08 PM

Most common problems anyway are.

1.) Virus (CONFICKER INFECTION) hehehe.
2.) Fried PSU.
3.) Defective Coolers.
4.) and a lot more....
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April 9, 2009 11:01:05 PM

Yes, but fortunately they almost all see to it that I'm well fed, and include me in every social activity that goes on. So, it's not a bad gig. Still, I feel bad when I get a plate full of fresh cookies when all I did was click the volume icon in Windows so that it was no longer in 'mute'. Sometimes.
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April 9, 2009 11:01:50 PM

I am always fixing other people's computer problems. I do it for free for family and friends. They always find a way to help me out someway and I do free lance work here and there.
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April 9, 2009 11:02:54 PM

I get people with 800mhz P3s with 256-512mb of RAM, who want me to clean off their malware in 20mins, mind you that they have 35 apps running at the same time. Also, they want to play games such as Crysis with this same computer. I also get people who think they can build a powerhouse computer for $300. I hate when people want me to babysit their artifacts for 10 hours for a Hot-and-Ready or $10.
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April 9, 2009 11:04:35 PM

I do it now and then, but on a voluntary basis. I think the only one I sometimes get fed-up of helping is my father ... he is just technical enough to be dangerous. To his defense, he WAS able to build PCs from scratch in the old 386/486 days with the various IRQ, I/O adesses, 3-4 different bootdisks for various tasks, ... It seems his brain never actually understood networking tho.
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April 9, 2009 11:17:21 PM

I fix computers quite frequently for friends or friends of friends, family and family friends etc. I enjoy it.
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April 9, 2009 11:23:14 PM

I only help certain people who I already know well.

I've had bad experiences with fixing people's computers only to have them break it again and then blame me for it. There's also the people who refuse to let me anywhere near their computer because they're afraid I'll "hack it" for whatever reason. Oh, and the people who beg me to fix their computer but then stand behind me to watch and yell "DON'T DO THAT YOU'LL BREAK IT" when I open the task manager or something.

Overall the most common issues I've seen are viruses, dust, fried PSUs and a couple of weeks ago a SATA cable that somehow got disconnected.
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April 9, 2009 11:31:58 PM

Well, I used to, until I started telling everyone to buy Macs. Now, I have no computers to fix, because they don't have issues! (at least as much as a peecee).
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April 9, 2009 11:32:53 PM

Although I can fix anything when it comes to computers. I never claim to anyone in RL that I can. Everytime I get asked "do you know how to fix computers", I normally reply with "you kiddin me? I never learned how to program my VCR"...
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April 9, 2009 11:46:42 PM

I'll do a little tech support and hardware fixes. But when they want their lagged down box cleaned, its instant format or nothing.
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April 9, 2009 11:47:49 PM

I have PEBKAC ppl stress.
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April 9, 2009 11:51:13 PM

Yes. And more often than not it's software related because they don't use protection: no firewall, no AV, not anti-nor-preventative anything. Even after I've told them. I'ts gotten to where I've almost become a pariah because I don't drop everything and rush right over.
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Anonymous
April 9, 2009 11:57:04 PM

never tell anyone you're good with computer, especially the elderly. people take the work we do for granted. geek squad charges 200 dollars for virus removal services.
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April 10, 2009 12:00:03 AM

It often feels like 50% of the time when a family member contacts me its to either fix a computer they have or help them get a new one.
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April 10, 2009 12:33:34 AM

The only time I hear from family is when they need their computer fixed, or wanna buy a new one. I make suggestions and offer to build them one as parts typically come with better warrenties than propriotary desktops, but they still end up buying the crappy Dell. That I end up fixing repeatedly for them, or upgrading because it doesn't meet their needs. So I have built of a reputation of he who farts A LOT with in my family circle.

Probably the most common issue with family is fixing what they've attempted to change, or just simple malware removal. Even though I show them repeatedly how to use AVG or Malwarebytes.
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Anonymous
April 10, 2009 12:45:46 AM

I've been building and working on computers since I was 10 and have had the reputation throughout my life as the guy that can fix anything that plugs into a power outlet... That's over 19 years of fixing people's broken computers. Sometimes it's frustrating to me how little people understand about their computers (and all other technology in their lives).
Nothing surprises me anymore about what people do to their computers, but the most common problems I deal with are "my computer's gotten slow," and malware infections from emails, thumb drives, and dodgy websites. (These often go hand-in-hand.) Of course my personal computer never has problems like this since I'm a control freak and nothing runs besides my OS at startup. I don't even use AV except to scan promiscuous thumb drives. I haven't had a significant hardware failure or malware issue since 2002 when a couple of RAIDed Maxtor drives burned themselves up. :p 
I can't blame people for not understanding their computers since nearly all hardware/software is designed/written by engineers for people that think like engineers. I think like an engineer, but most people don't.
The irony is that software which is written for the average non-engineer (such as Office 2007 and MacOS) are *loved* by my non-tech savvy friends, but completely confound and frustrate me. >.<
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April 10, 2009 12:48:13 AM

No, I sleep at night...
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April 10, 2009 12:53:24 AM

Thankfully I don't have a fancy title or anything that makes too many strangers ask me for help; but I'm usually the "go to tech guy" to fix all the ID:Ten-T errors.
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April 10, 2009 12:54:41 AM

Oh yeah - I am forever fixing or consulting on some problem. For some reason I don't understand I can do a 10 hour call with a customer with complete patience and even good humour. But 10 minutes of helping relatives is almost unbearable and I have zero patience with them. Anyone else have that problem?

Of course I probably caused the problem by building their computers in the first place... *sigh* Foolish me :) 
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April 10, 2009 12:59:18 AM

Help fix, help pick one out, help upgrade, build, set up, install.....I WANT THAT FUCKING SHIRT!!!!!!
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April 10, 2009 1:02:01 AM

cablechewerOh yeah - I am forever fixing or consulting on some problem. For some reason I don't understand I can do a 10 hour call with a customer with complete patience and even good humour. But 10 minutes of helping relatives is almost unbearable and I have zero patience with them. Anyone else have that problem?Of course I probably caused the problem by building their computers in the first place... *sigh* Foolish me


The phrase "Money talks, bull**** walks.", comes to mind.
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April 10, 2009 1:24:55 AM

I make good money doing it.....
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April 10, 2009 1:36:03 AM

Fix / upgrade computers, buy parts and install them for people, installing software, telling people how to do something using various software - even if I don't have/run that software ... basically anything buy turn the machine on/off for them.

I've never even been to Bangalore, so I don't know why people now think that I'm tech support or why I'm expected to drive 2/4/8+ hours to fix something (for free of course) that they messed up. I've got to get an unlisted number.
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April 10, 2009 1:40:08 AM

Yes, quite often. It usually ends up being extremely old PCs with bad ram or PSUs that people want to keep for as long as they can. Fun fun. Anyone notice that there are no PC repair places that offer a fair price? Why haven't any of us grouped up and started this? We could make millions! What would people think if computer work was actually possible at 25% of the cost of Geek Squad?
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