Are you someone’s computer guru?

No matter how much, or sometimes even how little, you may know about computers, you may have found yourself getting a call from a friend or relative requesting your help in resolving a problem they’ve encountered with their computer.  If you’ve ever had that experience, you are by definition “their computer guru” or as my friend Don Vernine likes to call it a “computer lizard.”  Knowledge about these matters is relative.  So long as you know more than the person asking the question, they look upon you as possessing magically acquired knowledge that is beyond their powers of understanding.  In such circumstances, it is helpful to have them go through a structured problem solving process beforehand, so that you can cut right to the chase and identify and resolve the problem.  This morning, my friend Paul Moor sent me a link to a Computer Problem Report Form that is sure to speed the process considerably.  Check it out and read it carefully.  You may find it very informative.

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4 thoughts on “Are you someone’s computer guru?

  1. Colm Smyth

    Have you seen the Star Trek movie where Scotty picks up a mouse and says “Hello Computer”? I think some people who buy computers expect to be able to operate them the same way, so I’m definitely printing off multiple copies of that form (I’m afraid some of the computer “users” who ask me for help might not actually be able to operate the web version).

    Aptly, I’m now about to write a blog article about the basic mechanics of blogging; I helped a friend to start a blog and now I’m their personal blogging assistant. A piece of advice: never setup a blog for someone who doesn’t know what control-C does or how to recognise and modify a hyperlink in HTML. It’s amazing how many intelligent folks despair at the sight of an angle-bracket!

  2. Perry Post author

    Hi, Colm. It’s good to hear from you. And thanks for the warning to “never setup a blog for someone who …” It sounds like it ranks right up there with “never get into a land war in Asia” and other wisdom of the ages. 😉

    I’ve taken a look at your entry at the new blog, where I see one of your commenters has already wanted to jump to video blogging and another takes issue with your suggestion about using a word processor to prepare blog posts. It’s the curse of being a teacher. Some of your advanced pupils want to correct you, based on their own experience, and some others can’t be bothered with learning to walk before they ask for tips on how to win the Tour de France.

    As Clare Booth Luce said, “No good deed goes unpunished.”


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