>> Always the same questions:
>> - My computer doesn't boot, why?? And what shall I do now??
>> - My computer always shuts down after x minutes, why?? And what shall I do now??
My brother in law lives half a world a way, and he still calls me ....
= distance is irrelevant
>> An my favourite question:
>> - Do you know how I could do this in microsoft word??
My favourite answer, yes, but not in this old version.... (They always got the wrong version...)
And one more thing... When I say: just click here, and here and it's fixed... thats when the screen goes black, or the harddisc goes eeeeeeeeeeek! or this funny smoke poors out the back of the computer.
Why would one volontarily submit to such risks, with no insurance and no pay.. no way.
Gupta Team Developer 3.1
1. I was once called by my fathers friend to install editplus.
2. I was once called by my friend who lives 45 min drive from my place to setup his desktop wallpaper (apperently he had not activated his active desktop)
3. I was once called to format her floppy coz she was afraid that data on the floppy will be lost (because of the message that pops up) apparently she needed nothing that was on the floppy.
I'll write a suicide note on a hundred dollar bill - Dire Straits
I don't mind having fixing people's machine if I have the time, but it's the "help us do our homework" request that I'm tired with. I have an uncle who's working with kids, and every now and then, I get a request from them to help his protege's with their programming homework. I always hope for the best (as in help with parts of the program) but usually it's the worst (as in help me write the program)
"if you vote me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine" - Michael P. Butler.
I know what you mean. I got friends that call me up and want me to do their programming homeworks for them. there's no shame in people. Isn't they supposed to do their homeworks to actually learn something?
In high school I was taking a programming class (VB ) and the teacher assigned a little project (choose one out of two) due a week later. I could program then, but nobody else could, so everybody started asking me to "help" them (help=do it all for me.)
So I decided I would charge about $10 US for the easier and $15 for the more difficult. I said I would have no mercy even with those who were very close friends of mine. One project, I remember, was filling a combo box with a list of colors, and changing the form background as the list selection changed. Each project took me around 15 minutes at most.
I made over $200 that week! A very close friend of mine refused to pay me and said he would find someone else to help him. Half an hour before turning in the project, he came to me, 10 dollars on his hand, and ask me to do it for him.
I am more than willing to fix any problem with people's computers - often it's bit of a pain but it seems like a nice thing to do for my friends. But there are a few scenarious that I really hate:
1. Monitors set to 60Hz - It amazes me that there are people who leave there computers flickering like this. Luckily within 30sec I can have the it up to a more healthhy 100Hz, and all is well!
2. Chicken and egg situations - Computers that are broken in a way that is really tough to fix. Like when windows has a broken file, but you can only replace it using the web - which of course you can't get to without the file. You can either 1. Drive home, and hope you can get the correct replacment onto CD or 2. Reinstall which takes _ages_
3. Computers that need tidying - This is not so much an annoyance as a time killer. I really am a perfectionist when it comes to computers! I find myself spending hours removing all the spyware, and spending ages downloading the latest patches, usually over a dialup.
4. Large downloads over dialups - And with my luck the ISP will always hang up halfway through or somthing!
But most of all
5. The Rabbit Hole effect - You find a computer, and somone who's not good at maintaining a system long term. You will fix the computer to be the tidyest, most efficient, and best set up computer in the whole town, but you just know that 3-6 months later they'll phone you again because things have fallen into ruins!
Joel Holdsworth wrote: Chicken and egg situations - Computers that are broken in a way that is really tough to fix. Like when windows has a broken file, but you can only replace it using the web - which of course you can't get to without the file. You can either 1. Drive home, and hope you can get the correct replacment onto CD or 2. Reinstall which takes _ages_
Never had that happen to me, but a friend of my was trying to fix a PC for his grandma (and she is a technophobic). Anyway, my friend went to download the updated driver from MS, and she didn't want him to download it because she thought that Microsoft would use the driver to take over her PC!!!
Joel Holdsworth wrote: Computers that need tidying - This is not so much an annoyance as a time killer. I really am a perfectionist when it comes to computers! I find myself spending hours removing all the spyware, and spending ages downloading the latest patches, usually over a dialup.
I was once trying to free up some disk space on a friends PC. Just after she had gotten it, her sons installed some games onto it (MOHAA, AOK, etc.), and they put a lot of their pictures on it (they had over 5Gb of pictures) and suddenly poof! Their HDD was semi-full. Well, I looked at the system restore, and they had set it to backup 12Gb. She wouldn't let me change it.
Joel Holdsworth wrote: Large downloads over dialups - And with my luck the ISP will always hang up halfway through or somthing!
You must have good luck.
Joel Holdsworth wrote: The Rabbit Hole effect - You find a computer, and somone who's not good at maintaining a system long term. You will fix the computer to be the tidyest, most efficient, and best set up computer in the whole town, but you just know that 3-6 months later they'll phone you again because things have fallen into ruins!
People constantly ask me to fix their computer. Even for the most dumb things as: insert the cd, wait for the autorun and follow the instructions...
What they don't realize is that I (even in school) work almost 8 hours a day with that stupid computer. Therefore I don't want other peoples pc problems after work.
So when I don't know the people very well, a strong RTFM is the answer, otherwise a polite NO should do the trick...
Yes, I know, this is not very polite, but heck, I need my spare time for sleep and fun stuff...;P
A student knows little about a lot.
A professor knows a lot about little.
I know everything about nothing.
Yes, sure hairstylists and car mechanics and plumbers get asked for freebies, but a plumber is not asked to fix the wiring and a hairstylist isn't asked for a manicure.
That is my problem with people asking me for freeby IT work. They see I work with computers and assume that means I work with everything to do with computers.
Sorry chaps but I can't fix your linux box, should have bought Windows. Sorry mum, no idea about your Outlook Express problem, I do Outlook and Exchange. Sorry sis, Matlab I have no idea about, I use calc.exe. Pal, you want me to solder on that extra fan? Sure, if you don't mind me melting your motherboard in the process.
IT is too young for non-IT people to distinguish one dialect from another. I might know you do PHP and not ASP, but our parents sure as heck don't.
Give it awhile, wait for IT to really get into everyday life and the requests will become saner. Till then, smile and know the numbers of good hardware support guys
Paul Watson wrote: That is my problem with people asking me for freeby IT work. They see I work with computers and assume that means I work with everything to do with computers.
You just described my mom. She once asked me some out-of-the-blue question about some legal docketing software she uses at work. Never mind that I have no idea what docketing is, but she thought I would instantly know how to use this software, over the phone.
I remember once my mom asked me to set the speed dial buttons on a new phone. It turned out to be easy, but I hate using the phone I don't spend time on the phone or using a phone and she assumed i already knew how to do it.
Then again my mom always assumes I know how do use/fix anything electricity related
All rise for the honorable Judge Stone Cold Steve Austin - From Dilbert Episode 30
Sure they ask me, and I try to help. I.e. the car mechanic who happens to be a friend of mine fixes my motorcycle, so I fix his computer. They are friends or family, so they understand when I got to tell them if I had no time this time.
Besides, I like to work on something I can touch from time to time....
I reckon some people just have it in their nature to ask for freebies, but yes, it does seem like IT is a particular area of annoyance. After some time I've realised that it's a combination of things which leads to this. Lack of understanding, and the way we get used to all things IT related being instant. People dialup and download web pages, with no understanding of what's going on behind the scenes. They also have no wish to understand. They just want it to WORK! *
I've found a similar thing with photography however. Recently I was roped into being the only photog at a family wedding. I guess I just need lessons in saying "no". Or perhaps I've just been unlucky in my career choices
* Apparently today is my day for gross generalizations
Look at the world about you and trust to your own convictions. - Ansel Adams
Megan Forbes wrote: I was roped into being the only photog at a family wedding
That sounds like a recipe for lots of self-inflicted pain. A bunch of people related to each other, on an emotional high, looking to you to completely record their experience for posterity without getting in the way.
You are a braver soul than I.
Software Zen:delete this;
Last Visit: 31-Dec-99 18:00 Last Update: 3-Oct-22 21:47