Monday, November 08, 2004

I am not a free support desk.

Now, here's something I'm sure all you fellow computer geeks can associate with.

Notice to people I don't know very well:

I Am Not Your Free Computer Support desk.

No, really, I'm not interested that your computer has this little problem where when you click on button X it pops up a thousand ads for viagra. I don't care if it says "no boot disk found" when you boot it up - that's what happens when you buy 10 year old computers from a garage sale.

It is not thrilling to me to try and diagnose your computer with a vague description like "It just gives me this error saying something like disk not found or something". This goes double for people I barely know; if the only time you talk to me is to ask me inane questions about your computer problems, we are not friends, and I do not like you. This especially applies to members of my church who approach me purely to ask about their computers.

I know how doctors must feel when people ask them about my-shoulder-thats-been-playing-up-its-just-a-bit-sore-when-I-do-this. It's really annoying. From now, if you ask me about this kind of thing, you're going to get an answer along the lines of "you should take that to a repair place".

Thus endeth the lesson.

Note to my friends, i.e. those with whom I do things socially and who talk to me about things other than computers: This does not apply as much to you. I am happy to help you out, very occasionally, with earth-shattering computer problems that stop you from handing in your Ph.D thesis which is due in a week and you've been writing for the past 4 years and now your computer has eaten it. This is because we are friends, and friends help each other out. I'll expect the same if you're, say, a nurse, and I seriously injure myself in your presence.


Blogger Saemon said...

Sorry if I have evey abused the friendship - especially when I did the blog thing - Sorry mate. But now that I have your attension, my computer is starting to run really slow - any advice??

12:51 pm  
Blogger Ben said...

Dude, you are totally covered under the last paragraph :)-

6:07 pm  
Blogger Saemon said...

Okay then.

SO why is computer running slow??

2:21 pm  
Blogger Ben said...

Maybe it's just getting tired ;-)

Nah, on a serious note, 3 things you can do:

- Virus scanner; there's a decent free one at .
- Adware/spyware scanners: The combination of Ad-Aware ( and Spybot ( are unstoppable;
- Firefox ( - excellent browser. Far more secure than IE, plus lots of nice stuff like tabbed browsing, automatic import of all IE details (favourites, saved passwords, etc). Very cool.

Make sure you run the update functions in all of those things.

2:31 pm  
Blogger Saemon said...

I'm running
- Norton's Antivirus 2004 - regard updates and system scans
- Spybot - search and destroy - which was recommended by our IT guy -
- IE - but have downloaded FireFox as you recommended.

2:45 pm  
Blogger Ben said... you're doing most of what I recommended, good stuff :) other than that, to be honest, I don't really know ;-) you could try defragging your drive overnight? (start -> all programs -> accessories -> system tools -> drive defragmenter.) uninstalling the stuff you don't use can also help. at the drastic end of the scale, a backup-format-reinstall always makes things lots quicker. That's a pain in the bum though ;-)

2:52 pm  

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