As a computer user, are your Reactive or Proactive when your computer has a problem?
On a side note: In the IT (Information Technology) world computers don't have problems they have Issues. (Something I think everyone should know).
Reactive: Your computer has an Issue (problem) where a device (hardware) has failed. You immediately call your local repair shop, or bug the IT Department at work, or call a knowledgeable friend/cousin/nephew to fix the problem. You don't know what a back up is and if you do it is about two years old. You may lose all your data.
Proactive: You have done some research in to do it yourself computer repair. You have the hand tools you would need to remove and replace a failed device. You have acquired the necessary software to assist in fixing software problems with the Operating System or the installed software. You have also read up on (and maybe have the books) what makes a computer work and can identify most of the parts in the computer. If it fails or has an Issue you can either fix it or find the correct procedure to fix it with in a few minutes.
A reactive user will spend a lot of time trying to find someone to fix their Issue, and then spend more time and money having it fixed. (This is ok because they help me pay my mortgage every month and I am looking at buying a Corvette soon).
A proactive user says: Let it happen, I will fix it! (No worries, and there goes the Corvette).
What does a proactive computer user need that the reactive user would not prepare for?
First is knowledge, finding where the advice/information is located, being able to use that knowledge when needed.
A few sources of this knowledge are:
- The IT Department at work
- A library
- The internet
- DIY manuals
One of the problems with using a library or the internet is the jargon or as I like to call it Geekese. Being able to decode what the author of the repair article has written is time consuming at best, next to impossible for the most people.
How do you over come this knowledge barrier?
You could spend a few months at the local college and take some computer science classes. This would help a little but if you really wanted to know what these geeks were talking about you would have to join one of their cliques or hang out at one of their haunts like a forum online or the local coffee shop (they still go there don't they?).
Of course you could bug your companies IT Department every time you had a problem, err Issue but that would get old in short time.
So you are down to the last resort: Do It Yourself manuals.
These manuals range from the beginner to the expert. From a beginner's series to the Technical Manual that engineers use.
Which one is right for you?
One of the problems with the library and the internet is that the books and articles are written for people that understand the subject matter. That is, it is written by a person knowledgeable in the computer field and will for the most part use computer jargon and nomenclature for the text. (Geekese for Geeks, I just did it in this paragraph.)
A Proactive user would have to find repair manuals written in everyday language by someone that has the time and inclination to translate the Geekese to plain language. That is not an easy task but it has been done a few times.
For those that are just getting a computer then a beginner's series of books would be a good starting point.
For those that are some what computer literate and feel the need to save some time and money there are Do It Yourself books, e-books, e-courses, and checklists available. (An e-book is a file that can be read on any type of computer or document reader such as a Kindle, iPad, or Nook)
As a retired Systems Admin with over 20 years IT experience I have written a series of Do It Yourself books, e-books, e-courses, and checklists for anyone wanting to do the Proactive DIY computer repair, already translated from the normal computer jargon in to everyday language.What Is Your Computer Repair Strategy?
Monte Russell is a 20 plus year computer technician has four web sites and a blog that he enjoys working on. See http://www.diy-computer-repair.com/all-e-books.html for the five DIY e-books. The web site also has numerous e-courses, Q and A Hardware forum, a blog, and the monthly newsletter that is always intriguing, full of insights about computing.
To see a list of the necessary software this page lists all the tools you would need in your IT Tool Box: http://www.diy-computer-repair.com/IT-tool-box.html