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Reader Comments (56)

Posted: Oct 25th 2010 12:05PM (Unverified) said

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I've been building computers since they have been buildable and troubleshooting Windows since Windows has existed.

How's that stand, for competence?

I've never met a computer problem I couldn't fix, with enough time, patience, and diagnostic software & hardware.

These days, unfortunately, it's typically faster to re-install XP (15 minutes) than it is to attempt to troubleshoot anything.

And no, Vista and Win7 are not better. They're bigger, slower, and in every measurable way, harder to use than Windows XP. Seriously, I've been using Windows since it arrived on 5.25 floppies, and it takes me longer to find something/do something in Windows 7 than any previous version. It's HORRIBLE. The "Ribbon" is ten steps backwards, not forwards, in UI design.

I will admit, however, that XP SP3 with Intel's ICH10 SATA drivers slipstreamed into the install image is the best version of Windows that Microsoft didn't release. ;-)

And all I use Windows for now is Directx gaming. Everything else, I use Linux. It's faster, easier to to use, and I can fix -anything- in it without a re-installation. Once the DirectX 9/10/11 API is ported, reverse engineered, or natively called in Linux, Windows will be a distant memory in my house.

Posted: Oct 25th 2010 12:18PM (Unverified) said

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I don't know about you guys but I am awesome at computers! I have been working on computers since I was 16 (29 now). I once fixed a laptop with a cereal box top, glue and a paper clip.
Even with all that every week I get a new issue or problem from some user that I have no clue how it happened or how it needs to be fixed.

Posted: Oct 25th 2010 12:23PM Bhagpuss said

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I don't know much about computers, but I do know that the skills I acquired at University are transferrable. Namely, I may not know how to do something but I do know how to find out.

So far nothing's come up that I haven't been able to find the solution for, eventually. Implementing that solution can be hair-raising, but in the end it mostly comes down to following recipes plus a soupcon of trial and error.

The biggest surprise has been how you can make smoke come out of something and yet it still works afterwards :)

Posted: Oct 25th 2010 12:25PM jpo said

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There are several snobs and "self proclaimed" experts here.
Anyone who claims they know a lot and puts others down as a way to show it....doesn't really know anything.

Posted: Oct 25th 2010 1:21PM (Unverified) said

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Really, jpo? They aren't just arrogant? =)

There are plenty of arrogant+smart people in the world. Sure, they're arrogant, but they're also smart. The two aren't mutually exclusive.
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Posted: Oct 26th 2010 10:30AM Gantoris said

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I didn't see many "snob" answers here. I had actually thought most of them were rather reserved stating that they knew enough to do "blah blah" but weren't by any means the best at it. Seems that someone is projecting a bit there...

I'm like many of the people that have replied.. there is a lot that I'm capable of (builds, troubleshooting, etc) but also a lot that I will revert to google-fu to attempt to figure it out. One thing to keep in mind is if your having a problem with a computer, someone else out there has already run into the same problem and the answer is out there somewhere.

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Posted: Oct 25th 2010 1:12PM Durinthal said

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I build my computers out of NAND gates, thank you very much.

Actually, I'm a programmer, not an engineer, but I still know more than most people.

Posted: Oct 25th 2010 1:35PM (Unverified) said

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I am a programmer but hate all the hardware level stuff. If my parents or friends call and ask whats wrong with their PCs I tell'em that i dont know and that they should use google to figure it out.

But somehow i always end up doing google by my self and fixing all those damn things. So I guess I know my way around - tho I still hate it, i realy do! If my PC is broken (very rare, cause I dont buy shit, but ask a friendly hardware geek to build and tune me a config) I give it to the service center. :p

Posted: Oct 25th 2010 1:39PM Demeter said

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How best can I put it? I know enough to install new graphics cards and keyboards, but my last memory purchase failed to work, so I'll have to ask someone to install my next memory... and as far as making my own computer? I know the gist of what's needed, but actually putting it together is beyond me. So, probably back to Dell in another year.

Posted: Oct 25th 2010 2:35PM Saker said

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I don't consider myself all that knowledgeable yet I've built my own (and upgraded them) water-cooled systems for years (I like the quiet of them, it's not about being uber-overclocked for me). It's really not that hard, like everything today the info is all out there, just need to search for it and ask questions in the right places. And of course remember the simple basic rule, keep the water in-the-tubes (it's bad if it gets out!)

Posted: Oct 25th 2010 6:00PM nomoredroids said

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Agreed, Devilwingz. Agreed.

Posted: Oct 25th 2010 10:37PM firestem4 said

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I make my living supporting almost 1,000 users and over 600 computers, servers and other terminals at my site alone. I consider myself highly technical but I am not very book smart so if you ask me for a book answer, or an accurate definition about advanced computer components I would not be able to convey it except in allegory. (Most of my computer experience comes from Figure-It-Out yourself moments :) )

However in my honest opinion, being technically capable is only part about being a good technician or computer support person. Being resourceful is one of the biggest aides you can have trying to support computers (Especially when you work in a large enterprise environment that supports a combined 18,000 employees, over 10,000 computers and servers, and god knows how many custom applications at every site.).

Posted: Oct 26th 2010 1:18AM cycro99 said

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I'm pretty skilled, or at least I like to think so. I build computers on a semi-regular basis, and advise hundreds of others on which parts they should use.

Posted: Oct 26th 2010 3:18AM Jeromai said

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I'm about borderline passable.

I know enough to put together a decent gaming desktop that doesn't go boom or smoke or do absolutely nothing when you attempt to turn it on.

I know enough to use Google and do some research on various components and make an informed decision before buying them and finding out later that the component isn't compatible/eats power/some other downside.

Ironically, I'm still one of the most computer-informed people around me at work and at play. So there's a lot of folks out there to whom the computer is a black box with magic inside. Or would that be a black magic box.

Posted: Oct 26th 2010 5:19AM NeoDodge said

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Every machine I've owned for the last 10 years was self-built or close enough, so I believe I've got the purely mechanical aspect covered rather well.
Also, being a PC gamer since 1988, I've solved my share of IRQ conflicts, memory economy battles (autoexec.bat & config.sys FTL) and other FAT format shenanigans.
So without saying I know my computer inside out, I can say I know it well indeed.

Posted: Oct 26th 2010 8:59AM Kronarq said

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I am gonna have to go with the field strip a computer option. I have been programming since I was 8, rocking Basic on a Commodore 64. Built my first system when I was 12. I am at least familiar with 10 different programming languages. I have overclocked everything from a Pentium 2 to Core i7. I work in IT. I keep up on every trending tech and frequent 5-10 different hardware, software, gadget news sites a day. I am a computer geek.

On pretending to know something:
If you pretend to know something you don't you are gonna sound like a moron and possible break something. This something could either be with your PC itself or the blood vessels in your friends head when you ask him to come over and help you with your computer for the 90th time because you thought you knew what you were doing. So don't pretend. Ask for help when needed and pay attention to the answers.

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