Unfortunately, for a while now, I’ve been the ‘IT Guy’. By that I mean I have had an interest in computers for a long time. It began way back when I was just about eight years old I think – when I owned my first computer, the Spectrum 128k. Here in England it was never as popular with as the C64 but it had some great games for it. That’s what drew me in. That and seeing the results of a flashing screen after copying a full page of code from a magazine!
This techno-lust continued in the form of a GameBoy, a SNES and finally my first proper PC – a 486. I loved my 486, not least because I grew to understand DOS, but I also had my first play on DOOM. Magnificent stuff. From here I got Internet access and finally a new PC. Broadband soon followed as well as HTML, digital cameras, modding and hardware experimentation.
This brings me to modern day. I’m on to my second laptop, third printer and I have a few IT qualifications. I also run a couple of websites and contribute to others. All in all, I’d say I’m pretty tech savvy. This has resulted in my reputation. The eponymous ‘IT Guy’.
The fact is this has meant I get bothered with all manner of queries, questions and sometimes faced with bizarre assumptions. Some obvious questions are ‘can you fix my computer?‘ – the answer sometimes being yes, sometimes being no, but when someone can’t even tell you exactly what is wrong – ‘the screen isn’t working’ this can be difficult. People tend to think that you’re somehow hardwired to understand the machine intimately just because you can connect a printer to a computer.
Other queries I’ve had can be more complicated. These include the eponymous ‘which Internet Service Provider should I use?’ – this being a big issue in the UK at the moment with all manner of offerings, some expensive, some free, some even throwing in a free laptop. I’m actually going through the process of assisting my folks choose which ISP to contract with.
I’ve also worked in an IT support role that has provided some challenges, some difficult moments but also some interesting posers of the following:
1) What is the Internet?
2) When I click, some words come up (they were right clicking)?
3) Now that I have my website, where is it?
4) How do I get the disc into the hard drive?
5) My computer has gone off. What can I do about it?
As you can see, some of the questions are a little ‘out there’. I didn’t mind too much, just because not everyone has had the chances to get used to technology as I have. On the other hand, sometimes people make strange leaps of logic. The idea that I know about everything of everything with IT is pretty strange itself.
Being interested in technology has brought some fantastic benefits to my life. I have my websites, the pleasure of writing for Gadzooki and being able to do many things for myself that I otherwise wouldn’t have the opportunity to do. I enjoy helping people, but I sometimes think that they would be better off helping themselves as they could learn more. However, if you’re fearful of breaking your computer it’s probably better that you leave it to the experts!