HOW TO AVOID CALLING FOR HELP .
In the past five sections we have explained the following concepts:
- Creating and using Virtual Machines so you can test and learn BEFORE committing to your main computer
- Partitioning hard drives so various areas such as the operating system, data and temporary file areas are separated
- The concept of imaging your operating system to help you recover from serious problems
- How to secure your data using proven backup techniques… and
- Proactively optimizing your system using simple tools.
The above issues were addressed in order 1 through 5 because you need to understand them in sequence to be a good proactive user. So let us look at what to do to avoid calling for help.
Follow these simple concepts to keep you out of trouble.
- BUY MAJOR BRAND NAMES – Stay away from buying off brand hardware unless you like fixing things yourself 0r are technically apt on computers
- GET SERVICE CONTRACTS – If you have just bought any new hardware without a manufacturers service contract go back an get one. This is the least expensive way of staying proactive. Most complete service contracts that cover your hardware for a fixed period cost less then 5 to10% of the equipment cost and can be renewed on a on going basis . Accidental damage policies go from 8 to 13% and cover drops , spills step-on and Pit Bull attacks. You can not get a service company to come in the door for a look at that price. In most cases the factory agent will come to your home or place of business to make the repair (fixing portables is not a do it yourself project, this is a bad idea since most new technology snaps together and can be easily damaged)
- FORGET SOFTWARE SUPPORT CONTRACTS – Software support should only be purchased as needed unless you are using highly complex or specialized programs. DO NOT USE SUPPORT FORUMS ON THE INTERNET. If you find a manufactures site that is updated by the manufacturer these are normally safe and accurate. My software support rule is never spend more then one hour on a problem before calling the manufacturer for help.
- TAKE A CLASS – Like my “Proactive User Class” to learn proper methods of keeping your computers running without opening the hood. Educated users save money because they know when to pickup the phone.
- FIND A CONSULTANT – Typically a good consultant only sells their time for advice not hardware and supplies. They may do the work they advised you on themselves or make several recommendations.