Byte Me Article 286 – Computer User Tips

Top Tips for Computer Users

This week we look at computer users themselves and compare styles of use that also have a large bearing on the reliability of your computer.  I am also going to reference the styles of use of a motor vehicle as there are similarities which can help provide clarity on this article.

We not only supply all IT equipment but at least half of our business is the repair and upgrading of existing computers.  Literally every week we have dozens of computers brought in because they are running slow, crashing, behaving abnormally or simply not running at all.  The first thing we have to determine is whether it is a hardware problem or a software problem.

If the PC is not booting at all – or does not get as far as showing the Windows screen, then mostly it is a hardware problem and so we start on diagnosing what is wrong.  At this point, if it is a desktop PC and it has not been on a UPS then 9 times out of 10 it has coped a power surge and needs components replaced which can be risky – or total replacement which can work out cheaper in the long run.

However if the PC can boot into Windows then also 9 times out of 10 it has a problem caused but the operator.  This is where we see a giant disparity between user styles.  There is on one hand your overly confident and ‘quick clicking’ user that gets themselves into trouble and there is your more cautious user – which we rarely get to see.

This is in fact greatly similar to car use where a more conservative or cautious person may go their entire lives without an accident as opposed to the opposite driver style that no one wants to insure as they have a crash every year or two.  Just the same as panel beaters we are kept very busy by this later style of user!

I can remember just starting out with computers myself while going to Uni and sometimes being a little too game for my own good as well as not being prepared for bad PC events by having a good backup system.  At the time I had one of the first CD burners in Rockhampton which I used heaps – for music!!!I got to around the 3rd year of a 5 year full time course and because of a virus and a panic attack I lost all of the first 3 years of assignments and notes – without having a proper backup.  Well at least I could listen to some great music while I drowned my sorrows for the next few days.

If you are facing a question on your screen that you are unsure of then the cancel button is often your friend.  You can also use the resources of Google to better see the implications of what you are about to do. We don’t always have this luxury when in traffic in a car – however in some cases when a button is pressed on a computer there is no turning back.

My suggestions are simple.  ‘If it aint broke, don’t try to fix ‘, properly read the message on the screen, don’t rush things or make changes when you are under a time constraint and consult with Google if possible when in doubt.

Future Byte Me topics can be emailed to [email protected] and Bruce is contactable at Kerr Solutions, 205 Musgrave Street or on 49 222 400.

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