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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Learn some computer stuff (or else find a geeky friend)

I'm probably what most people would consider a geek. I love video games, computers, and all technology in general, and I am extremely excited for the upcoming release of Ubuntu next month. But what comes with the territory and is most useful to others is that I know my way around a computer.

Tonight I spent a good part of two hours troubleshooting some problems with my friend's Vista laptop. Although I was unable to solve her problem (it looks like Service Pack 1 screwed up her user profile), I was reminded how much somewhere like Best Buy's Geek Squad would have charged to do the same troubleshooting that I was.

Did you know that Geek Squard charges $99 to back up a measly 9.4 GB of data? That is ridiculous. I've reinstalled my operating system three times this year and backed my data up by myself each time. Moving almost 20 GB to my iPod took less than a minute of my time. If I had to pay for that I would be fuming.

When my hard drive died earlier this year I had to take it to Best Buy to get it replaced because Acer's support told me to take it there. To say the least I was not looking forward to the trip. I had a feeling I would get an inordinate number of questions from someone who probably knew less about computers than I do. (I'll be honest and say I'm proud of my computer smarts).

I arrived at Best Buy only to be told I would need my receipt for my laptop. Unfortunately, I had no receipt and I had paid in cash so there was no credit card to look up in the computer. No problem, I knew my computer was registered with Acer and that I could look up the purchase date online. I tell my "agent" this and he proceeds to search for the Acer website.

A minute or so goes by and he returns telling me he cannot find it. Frustrated, I proceed to go behind the Geek Squad desk and find it myself.

I cannot be so unhappy because I got a free hard drive that was much larger than my original one. However, the other things people were dishing out money for were laughable. The guy behind me needed to reinstall sound drivers. It's a 5 minute fix tops, but I'm sure Geek Squad charged him $50 or more. Unbelievable.

Moral of the story: Find a geeky friend or learn some stuff yourself. You'd be amazed how much time and money you could save by just learning a little more about computers.

As for my friends computer, I will be backing up her data in minutes and doing a system restore to fix what Service Pack 1 screwed up.

1 comment:

katy voorhorst, n00b said...

Cody.... it's so cool that you're so mad about this... the real question is, if they're obviously profiting (greatly) from this, why are you a journalism major?

Just a thought.

Also, will you be my geeky friend? Thanks. :)