TagTime

Defriended

I have been off Facebook for a few months now. I have thought about it for a long time. I am friends with a lot of people on the site. There are a few people who I 1) care enough about to follow their lives and 2) can only connect with them through Facebook.

Some people have blogs. Others I can keep up with on Twitter or Instagram. For the rest, I do miss keeping up with them and their hijinks with their kids.

And I haven’t found a good solution for them.

I want to reopen my Facebook account so connect with those few people. If I do, I am going to go through my list and unfriend most of the people there. (Unfriend is such a harsh word. And they use it purposely.) We are not Facebook Friends™.

My biggest problem with Facebook is the endless striving for more! More people, more connections, MORE FRIENDS!

When I deactivated my account, its first solution was to suggest that I connect with more people. As if that was the problem… Not enough friends.

If I reactivate my account, I am going to pair the list down to those few people. I know Facebook will continue to show me friends of friends and people they think I might like. And people who commented on a post they made one time.

I don’t care about their family members.
I don’t care about their friends.
I don’t care about their co-workers.
I don’t care about…

I care about the people I care about enough to friend. The End.

And that’s the problem with Facebook. There’s no money in it for them for me to keep my social network small. And that’s where we disagree.

Facebook is not important enough for me to fight that fight. It’s not worth my time to keep fighting Facebook’s interests.

Most importantly, I haven’t missed it. I haven’t opened the browser or downloaded the Android app since I deleted it back in October. It’s not a part of life I find missing.

Do I want to reopen that door?

How do you spend your workday?

As much as I like what I do, there are still days I’d really prefer not to be anywhere near a user’s computer, my computer or be responsible for their operation.

I dream sometime of what it would be like to have another job, a “normal” job. I really don’t know what that would even mean. I don’t know what people do that isn’t IT-related in some way. Ever since I got out of school I’ve worked in IT Support with the exception of my one Electronic Printing Manager job I had at AlphaGraphics.

I really don’t know what people do for a living. I don’t know what most people do for 8 hours a day in their offices and laboratories. So, I am curious. What do you do all day?

DIY or BUY

More time or more money is the solution to any problem.

I can either throw more money at a problem to save myself time. Or I can throw more time at a problem to save myself money.

When I was thinking about getting a TiVo, I debated setting up a DIY DVR system. I could reuse a small computer I have, and get a CableCARD to stick in it and wire it into our cableā€¦ I could get software setup and make it friendly and convenient enough for myself and my wife to use.

Or I could buy a TiVo. Far more money, but far less time.

We now own a TiVo.

Calling For Help

I am blown away continually how little respect people have for my time. Most of my days are very busy filled with complex and simple issues alike.
I do not have hours of time where I am sitting around waiting for people to decide their day has a small hole for me to help them.
That’s the primary thing that bothers me.

You, the user, has called the help desk or contacted me directly for help.

I want to help you.
I am here to help you.
I try to help you.
You tell me No.
Or later.
Or my personal favorite, “I’ll let you know.”

This is code for “I will never contact you again and will wait until this issue becomes unavoidable to contact you again.”

Your poor planning becomes my emergency.

It does not bother me personally you are having computer trouble. ((When I go home, I will not lose sleep over it.)) I could not care less of you cannot print, save, access or use a resource.
It is my job to help you but I am not invested in your job. When your poor planning and poor organization turn simple things into critical issues, they are not my problem.

I am not a magician.
I do not have a unicorn.
Computers are not run on pixie dust.
They do not speak to me in an ancient tongue.

Fixing problems takes time.

I know this may come as a shock but I am not a computer. I do not speak 1001100010011001 to it and have it reply.
I do not know what you’ve done to it. ((Purposefully or not.))
I do not know if what you’re telling me is true and correct. ((Again, purposefully or not.))
When I ask you a question about what you were doing when you had a problem I am not assigning blame.
I am looking for answers.

If you spilled water on your laptop, tell me.
If your child knocked it off a table, tell me.
If you “cleaned up” the registry, tell me.
If you “deleted some stuff in Windows”, tell me.

I will not blame you. I will not admonish you. I will not lecture you.

I am in search of information.
The more I know about a problem, the quicker I can diagnose and perform a repair.

In the search for information and troubleshooting. If you did something to the machine, I will find out. It will save is both a lot of time and effort if you can provide as much information as possible up front.

I am not here to belittle or judge your level of tech savvy. I am here to fix computers.

Macs are too expensive

The price of things is all relative to how often you need to buy them. Would I spend $100 on toilet paper? Never. I need to buy rolls and rolls of the stuff every month to keep enough around to use. Would I spend $5000 on a used car? Yes, the money I spend for the car is meant to last for many years. My 2001 Ford Taurus is still humming along nicely $5000 later. It’s paid off and I have no need to replace it.

The same goes for computers. Week after week people tell me they will never buy a Mac because they’re “just too expensive” and the PC they have or just bought was much cheaper. That’s fine. I will not argue with you. I will simply ask two questions, how many PCs have you owned in the past 4 years? How much have you spent on repairs and troubleshooting?

If the answer is one and “covered by warranty” then you may stop reading right here and go on with your day. I am sorry to have wasted your time.

However, if you’ve had two or three or more than I have to ask why? Why would you keep buying something you need to replace or repair on a yearly basis?

Before my MacBook died, it was the only machine I used for nearly four years. I upgraded the operating system as new ones were released. I maxed out the memory and installed a larger hard drive than the factory option at the time. But beyond that, I did not make any other changes and that machine served me well. I took it everywhere and used it everyday.

I have never had a Windows-based computer, laptop or desktop last anywhere near that long. I’ve had hardware failures and operating system corruption long before that. I’ve had to reinstall Windows more times than I care to count and troubleshoot a host of problems that sent me delving deep into forums and knowledge bases, often finding little knowledge.

Sure, I fall squarely into the realm of computer geek and not “normal computer user” which may make me an edge case for computer usage. However, in the nearly four years I had my MacBook it never suffered a hardware problem. ((Beyond the plastic case chipping that was evident with most of the first generation MacBooks))

I can count on one hand the number of times the machine kernel panicked on me during that time. In short, I rarely had any sort of problem with it and what little problem I did have was easily remedied with a reboot. I don’t know of anyone who can boast that about their Windows computer. ((I am not counting little old grandmothers who use theirs once a week to email their grand kids.))

Would you skimp on the cheapest television or refrigerator on the market?

How many hours do you expect to spend on your computer in the next week? The next month? The next year?

Why would you skimp and buy the cheapest machine you can afford? You may save $500 now on the laptop thrust at you by the closest Best Buyer in Blue. How many times will you need support on that machine in the next three years?

With Apple computers, you have a year of technical support and repairs from Apple. With the purchase of Apple Care, the only extended warranty I’d ever buy. you get an extra three years of support on your equipment.

This means any hardware failures are covered, free, no questions asked. Just walk down to the nearest Apple Store and speak to a Genius and they’ll take care of you. What other store can boast that? Will Best Buy take such good care of you? Will Microsoft offer to help you troubleshoot Windows or Office in person?

Apple also offers free one-on-one training in their stores. Buy any Apple product and they’ll teach you how to use it. They also offer classes on various higher functions like simple video editing, backing up your data and any other questions about their products.

You’re going to spend more money on that Apple laptop but it will come back to you many times over in the next three years. When you buy an Apple computer, you’re not just getting a computer. You’re also getting a year of support an answers. You’re getting a quality computer that you’ll spend far more time using than fixing.

If your time is valuable, you owe it to yourself to buy a Mac.