No, I don’t suck at computers. You do, statistically. Those words above are what you should remind yourself when I’m around. I’m the computer expert.
What you should do before calling me to “catch-up”…
Why I’m planning on not having children…
Yeah! I’m lazy and I try shooting multiple targets with one bullet all the time. This time it is three. Achievement unlocked – “Three birds in the hand.” So, let’s get to the elaboration of the three titles, but first a warning. None of it will make sense(it might; but I’ve been told it usually doesn’t, so I’m going with not) at first but all of it will be explained in fragments.
So, as you might know me, I’m quite a computer expert and all there is to it – in a minor capacity, I must add. I’ve spent sleepless nights chatting with final year computer science students asking me things I’m not really an authority on. I’ve spent four years studying things that would make me complete opposite of what a go-to computer guy should be, but here I am assisting people who shouldn’t rely on me for the simple fact that “what the hell were you doing all this time?”.
I was introduced to computers long ago. So long ago, that I’ve practically lived the zombie life that parents, of the children of the current generation, don’t seem to care about – which has been quite a meme these days. I don’t want to be one of those parents. Hmm, that got answered quickly, didn’t it? Honestly, I don’t want to be one to instruct when I never did follow the ones given to me.
I mean, give it some deep unadulterated thought. As a child I went to great lengths to do everything my parents told me not to do. I have not had any real exercise as I grew up. If I did I could have ended up as quite an original vampire. I was told about the adverse effects of repetitive stress – this happened so often that my parents had to stop trying to convince me otherwise to avoid repetitive stress themselves. I, like every other person on the planet, believed that their concern didn’t apply to me. I was different. I’m unaffected by these problems. I miss those days, of course because they were simpler, but more so as I want to feel the way it felt to do everything wrong and not care a damn about the consequences, because as far as I was concerned, at the moment there were none.
As it turns out, there are quite a lot of problems that come with chronic being-with-a-computer-at-all-times. I’ve had countless hours of backaches, ear-infections from constant use of ear-plugs, headaches from constant staring at a monitor and from using my computer on my bed – the posture, which if by some creepy miracle you may be familiar, might translate to glaucoma and pain in the jaw. My head almost always is at a 90 degree angle from my spine – something that I can’t maintain for over a minute when standing up. The only reason I get heavier and not wider is that my digestive tract has to work in a vertical direction rather than a gravity assisted horizontal one – I’m actually getting denser in the process. I would most often sink in a pool when I completely breath out, which means I need to flail around or avoid a full pulmonary evacuation to let the elusive forces of buoyancy do its work. These are times I wish vampires were real – I’m pretty nocturnal already.
So, yeah! There is a lot of pain to endure in ignoring the requests of beings biologically programmed to ensure one’s welfare. Honestly, I wish I had a do-over. It is quite unfair of the universe to give us just one life to accomplish all one can. But, if I were being completely honest, had I got a second chance I’d actually do the exact same set of things all over again. I don’t for one moment regret the process that has brought me to one of my most proudest possession – knowledge. Putting aside all the philosophies that knowledge brings to mind I can vouch for it in that it’s a great pain-reliever. No matter what I did – gaming, net-browsing or just plain screwing around with my PC – I could feel myself getting better from a broad spectrum of illnesses only to see it return the moment I stopped.
Maybe what I’m saying here is that I love computers. They make me what I am. I’ve spent almost the entirety of my life until now understanding these machines and am at a place where I could successfully fix issues at levels below maybe an IT Pro. I am pretty proud of myself. Actually, very confident I could tackle any problem one throws at me. It is quite sad, to be honest, when all that is thrown at you is utter garbage. Don’t get me wrong; my expertise has not got to my head. It is just that people are immensely stupid.
Here is a sample conversation over a variety of media, starting with the phone –
Stranger: “Hey! What’s up, dude?”
[Absolutely no idea who he is.]
Me: “I’m great. How about you?”
Stranger: “I’m good, I’m good…”
[Scumbag brain. I’ve never even heard this voice before.]
Me: “So, how have you been all this time?”
Stranger: “Well not much. You know, stuff – this and that. Tell me about you.”
[What do I do?]
Me: “Hmm, I don’t know what to say. Life is pretty boring. Same old, same old.”
Stranger: “Huh! So are you on a new diet?”
[OK! Somebody from MIT. I haven’t given my number to strangers.]
Me: “New diet? When have I ever been on a diet?”
Stranger: “Come on, you’ve been living on tea for the past semester. At least, that is what Nate told me.”
[Somebody from my class I suppose.]
Me: “OK! That was just a minor cleanse routine. Who can live on tea for months?”
Stranger: “I don’t know, you are the expert in dieting and…”
Me: “Wait! Forgive me for this. I have a trouble placing you.”
Me: “I can’t remember who you are…”
*3 second silence*
Stranger: “Dude, I’m DEAN.”
Me: “Oh! Hey Dean, sorry I couldn’t really remember who you are.”
Dean: “Nah! It’s OK! You must’ve told me your issue a million times already.”
Me: “Have I? Thanks for understanding.”
Dean: “Hey! No problem. By the way, dude, how’s your blog going?”
[He’s never been interested in my blog.]
Me: “It’s going quite fine actually. Not many readers. I’m trying to get into guest blogging for some exposure.”
Dean: “Hmm, so what is that like? You have to interview people and stuff.”
Me: “No, I would have to occasionally go blog at sites other than my own blog so that people become familiar with me.”
Dean: “Oh! Nice, dude! You’re really going all in, eh?”
Me: “Yeah! I guess. So, how is…”
Dean: “Wow! Dude, you’re a genius man. I hope you get it soon.”
Me: “Oh! Kay! Dean, I’m sorry but could you please just tell me why you called. I’m sort of freaking out a bit.”
Dean: “What? Why?”
Me: “Probably nothing. See, you have never really called me before, and I don’t know how you got my number.”
Dean: “Oh! Yeah! I got it from Jon.”
Me: “Jon? How does Jon have my number?”
Dean: “I asked him for it and he got it from Dick.”
Me: “OK then. So, why did you call?”
Dean: “Yeah! Dude, actually I have a problem with my laptop.”
Me: “Hmm, OK. From now on just call me and tell me that directly. So, what is the problem.”
Dean: “My laptop is very slow. I have checked the hard disk and it is not at all full – all three drives are pretty empty.”
Me: “OK! And do you have the same laptop as the rest of us?”
Dean: “Yes, and I don’t know what is slowing it down. There are not many programs installed.”
Me: “Hmm, well I’m going out for lunch in a few minutes. Where are you?”
Dean: “I’m already outside. Could you come to Pizza Nut?”
[He hanged up. 15 minutes later.]
Me: “OK! Show it to me.”
[He starts the laptop after connecting it to power supply. The partitions were most certainly not “pretty empty”.]
Dean: “See, so slow. The cursor is not moving properly.”
Me: “Hmm. So have you installed anything?”
Dean: “Actually no! Just a few games. And some small programs. My antivirus expired, so I installed another anti-virus trial.”
Me: “Was it a free antivirus?”
Dean: “No, it found many viruses but it asked me to pay to remove them, so I removed the antivirus because the viruses weren’t doing anything anyways.”
Me: “Well you did not do a good job of uninstalling. It is running right here.”
[I pointed at the process in the task manager.]
Dean: “But I removed it.”
Me: “No, you didn’t. That was a virus that has copied itself all over in every folder of your PC.”
Dean: “How is that possible, I removed it.”
Me: “Oh! Come on, a virus won’t just get uninstalled when you ask it to.”
Dean: “Well, can you fix it?”
Me: “Not really no. See all those folders? They are the viruses that will come back again even if I stop the virus for the moment. The virus will work in the background and you won’t even know it, because it’ll open up your folders normally.”
Dean: “Can you do something about it?”
Me: “Well, I could remove all the virus components individually with a script, but that will take very long for the C partition because too many files and folders. The D and E partition has quite large files so it will be faster there. The easiest way is to re-format.”
[I explained the entire procedure.]
Dean: “OK! Then do that.”
Me: “But remember, your files and settings will be gone. Or do you want me to make a copy of your files?”
Dean: “No, all my files are on the D and E drive.”
Me: “OK! I’ll format the C drive then.”
[Formatted the C partition. Updated his newly installed OS to the latest. He took a break and returned after most of the updates were installed.]
Dean: “Dude, where are my files?”
Me: “They’re gone. You said no important files on C drive.”
Dean: “But that was on the desktop.”
Me: “I told you that your files will be gone.”
Dean: “No, you said C drive.”
Me: “Yeah! Desktop is stored on the C drive.”
Dean: “No! No! No! I have important files there.”
[He races about searching for the files and enters the D partition, opens a folder.]
Me: “Du…..de! What did you do? I didn’t run that script yet.”
Me: “Yes, your D and E drive still had the virus.”
Dean: “You didn’t tell me that.”
Me: “No, I did. And I did tell you that desktop resides on C drive.”
Dean: “Oh! OK! Can you fix it now?”
Me: “I don’t want to.”
Dean: “Dude! Please, please, please.”
Me: “OK! But I’ll take it back home and fix it completely before you start using it.”
Dean: “But I have a presentation tomorrow.”
Me: “OK! Come to my house. I’ll put your presentation on my flash drive and you can present using somebody else’s laptop.”
[Did all the needful.]
Me: “Where are your files?”
Dean: “It is in a folder called Project Stuff in the C drive.”
Me: “No! The C drive is wiped clean.”
Dean: “What do I do? What do I do?”
Me: “I guess all you have to do is make your presentation on a different laptop from scratch.”
Dean: “What the hell, dude?”
Me: “Hey! I told you what was going to happen. I will fix your laptop so you don’t have to face this fiasco again. Call someone and find out if you can make your presentation. I’ll drop you wherever you have to go.”
[He calls Jon. Turns out, he had given his presentation to Jon so that Jon could make one for himself based off of it. Dean left quite happy. I called up Dick.]
Me: “Dick! You stupid f**king DICK!!! #&@* Don’t ever give my number to anybody.”
[I spent the rest of the day and the whole night cleaning up every nook and cranny of Dean’s laptop. And quite literally so on the hardware side. I returned him his laptop the next day.]
Me: “How was the presentation?”
Dean: “Was OK! Hey! Thanks for helping me out. Although I didn’t need any help anyways.”
Me: “Hehe! OK!”
[Later that day.]
Dean: “Dude, there is some problem in my PC.”
Me: “What now?”
Dean: “Actually I uninstalled that Microsoft Security Essentials you put on my PC and installed AVG. I don’t know what is causing the problem.”
Me: “So, AVG is good too.”
Dean: “Yeah! I installed the latest one AVG 2014.”
Me: “2014? It is just the beginning of the year. Where did you get that from?”
Me: “Yeah! Well, what you do is…”
[I hanged up. He called me quite a few times but I ignored it all.]
I don’t normally save numbers – either let Facebook do it for me or I remember them. This time I saved his number to “Do not pick up!!!” I still get the occasional calls from cell-phones of his friends, but I hang up as soon as I hear his voice.
Dean, Jon and Dick are not their real names – but you already knew that didn’t you?
Problem is, like these people, you think that you are never, under any circumstance, like any of them. But you are. You most certainly are. Statistically, you are. You might end up living the rest of your life not knowing the horrors of being on the receiving end of this nonsense. You might spend all your day on a computer, more than me, maybe – although that is quite a myth – but not do any more than chatting, social networking, looking out for memes(and I already used some censored profanity in this post so I’m leaving out the most obvious thing for you to ponder).
So, this is me, telling you what you ought to do before you decide to make a random “catch-up”…
1. Check for the age of the computer.
Try recalling the age of the computer – the absolute age. If you bought it brand new, all you’ve got to do is remember when you bought it. If it is a second hand purchase, add to it its age when bought.
If the computer in question is over 5 years old, don’t bother me. There are no exceptions. If you buy a computer that is already 5 years old and it was “fine” before you bought it, take it up with its sellers. Don’t lose hope though. There are a lot of things you can try. Ask for professional help – you know, one where you pay money to get your computers fixed. OR Call me up anyways, but promise me 500 bucks for every hour I spend fixing your PC.
2. Open up Internet Explorer.
If you pass the age test, you have to launch Internet Explorer. If it launches fully in under 5 seconds, I’ll know it is not your problem. There are a lot of things that can be told about a clean Internet Explorer launch.
It means the person using the computer is competent and knows how to recognise online scams. It means they pay attention to the little details when installing software downloaded over the internet. It doesn’t matter if Chrome or FireFox is your default browser. A clean IE launch gives you a green card from my side.
3. Check the firewall.
If you turn off the firewall yourself because “it disturbs the gaming”, you’re not worthy of my time. The firewall practically spoon-feeds when it comes to prompting whether or not to let your game pass through, but no; any prompt is automatically deemed dangerous and closed. They then go on to stop the firewall for as long as they play a session of the game, in the hope that they’ll have a problem-free gaming session. Well, guess what? Your games had a lot of space to move about without the firewall but you don’t really know what else you let in, do you?
If you can swear on the holy book of whatever god you worship – and trust me, you are a theist if your firewall is switched off – and tell me that you didn’t turn it off yourself, you’re free to give me a call.
4. Check the antivirus.
If you’ve called me about your antivirus problems before and gone against my advise, you cannot call me again. However, if it is your first call, I’ll do whatever I can to fix it. My preferred choice of all antivirus software is Microsoft Security Essentials for Windows. For Macs and Linux, well you shouldn’t be using them if you’re one of those who manage to get viruses in those systems. Microsoft Security Essentials might not be all that polished in looks and may not do very well compared to commercial solutions but with some degree of personal caution, you can rely on a program made by the same company as its system software. However, don’t take Windows to be a virus-prone system compared to Mac and Linux. I’ve managed to run Windows without any worries for over 10 months before Microsoft’s own antivirus solution.
5. Reflect on the past.
Have you at any point in your life exclaimed “I’m a hacker” after guessing a password or after posting a status update on your friends’ profile in the already signed in browser window? You immediately disqualify if you did.
Now, I’d like to propose a moment of silence for all those who are fated to suffer the same curse as I do – do it at your own time, we’re not that large in numbers.
So, thanks for reading; go ahead and view theOatmeal‘s take on all of this.
Actually, bear with me for a few moments here. The URL linked from the above picture is the following:
See, he was so frustrated with people, that the most basic thing he could talk about computers was this. I mean, that is the shortest URL you can possibly get from a comic about computers on theOatmeal’s site. I don’t know if you can see it too, but I sure hope so.
Here is another article you should probably read. It’s from Cracked.
If you like my work scroll all the way up and check Buy me stuff for more details on stuff you could buy me – it’s for the greater good…