How-To Geek

How People see You when You Fix Their Computer versus Reality [Humorous Image]

Yeah Mom, I’m just good with computers [9GAG]

Akemi Iwaya is a devoted Mozilla Firefox user who enjoys working with multiple browsers and occasionally dabbling with Linux. She also loves reading fantasy and sci-fi stories as well as playing "old school" role-playing games. You can visit her on Twitter and .

  • Published 07/22/11

Comments (29)

  1. killerkile

    Too true. I go to Google and my friends look at me like a god.

  2. Hatryst

    Google is your friend :)

  3. bonedog

    I had a guy not want to pay me since I “just used Google” to fix his problem.

    I was like well…..”could you have fixed the problem” and he was like “no” I said “I guess you need to pay me then…”…LOL

  4. Jim

    lol. how spot on this is..

  5. Hatryst

    Sssshhh… That’s what I do on the forums :)

  6. ReynaldoRiv

    hahaha Very true, however let’s not sell ourselves short here.

    Knowing exactly how to phrase the search query is critical. Understanding the jargon is also very important since without that you wouldn’t even know
    1. what kind of question to ask, and
    2. how to decipher the solution if you even found it.

  7. Jon

    Shhhhhhhhh!!! Don’t let ’em in in the secret!!! :)

  8. Michaelbiaz

    thats right! Rey, we have to give ourselves some credit.

  9. C.R.Brody


    Jon ReynaldoRiv Hatryst Jim bonedog killerkile guys i appreciate the tip, i mean secret thankyou and keep passing more tips to me i can really use them all your brother Brody

  10. Frank

    correct – knowing what to Google is the skill – I’ve given students a complex question to research in my project management subjects, they’ve said they can’t find anything related, so I look at what they’ve searched, and several times I’ve seen they’ve just typed ‘project management’ into google, looked only at first of 1.5b results, seen it didn’t answer their complex question, then turned to me and said ‘there’s NOTHING … !’

    you know the old story – oil refinery shudders to a halt, costing millions of dollars an hour, no-one on staff has any idea, until they call the old retired guru – he wanders around poking here and there for a long time – until – finally – he picks up a hammer and gives one tap in one spot on one pipe – system shudders into action – problem solved. Guy says ‘that’ll cost you $100,000’ – they go ‘but you only tapped the pipe … !’ – he says ‘yeah – $1 for tapping the pipe – $99,999 for knowing where to tap …’

  11. AsianAngel

    @Frank – Now that was an awesome story. ^_^ Pity that we all cannot get a few helps calls like that huh? ^_^

  12. Steve-O-Rama

    @Frank: I remember hearing stories like that from my dad when I was a kid. I believe a similar quote I attribute to him is, “they don’t pay me for what I do, they pay me for what I know.”

    Scientia potentia est. Even in the ‘Information Age’. :)

  13. Rick S

    Hahaha Good comments guys and gals.
    Anybody I fix things for don’t have any money and the ones that do don’t want to part with it.

  14. Chris Mathews

    What is this “Google” you speak of?

  15. MILTY


  16. snetr

    Yes, Frank. A slight tap in the right place is mostly just what’s needed.

    But how do ya fix it if ya can’t get on-line to Google?
    I’ve been the friendly neighboorhood computer guru since DOS6 and Win3.1.
    Most of the problem is finding out WHAT the problem is, exactly. Make sure everything’s plugged in the right place and power is there. I got paid $20 just to show up and turn on a power strip.
    Replace a currupt file or three, reload drivers, this, that and the other. Poke around awhile – then – AHA! Here’s the source of misery.
    If all esle fails. Reload the OS. Sorry about your luck, this takes times.

  17. Jon

    When I first started working with computers (mainframes), I headed up the Technical Support group. Frequently when something would go wrong, I would go to one of the consoles, figure out what was going on, type in a few commands (with everyone standing around looking at the geek do his thing), then as I would hit , I would slap the side of the console (took everyone’s eys off the keyboard and to the console) … and, voila!, the problem was solved. You be surprised how often I would walk around and watch people secretly smack the side of their console to get things working again. I think some of them still haven’t figured out the trick! Needless-to-say, it didn’t work for them, so the magic of the geek was always in high demand!

  18. Charlie B

    There is the story of the guy who goes to see a lawyer.
    After he explains his problem the lawyer turns to his bookcase, selects a volume and opens up the book.
    He turns to a page and reads a paragraph or two to the client. “that’s the answer. That will be $200”
    “What”, exclaims the client, “all you did was read the answer from the book”!
    “Yes” replies the lawyer, “but I know what page it was on”.


  19. Dwight

    Yes, Google is our friend. But…

    I have been a PC tech for many years now and usually find the answer through my experiences or just plain having studied this for so long. However, there are many times when I just might not know the answer, and that is when I turn to Google. Sometimes it is just faster that way, but you have to know exactly what to type in the search box, how to phrase it, and how to pick out the right result by its wording. This skill can only be developed through doing this many times, knowing what to ask for and what to pick out. So, no, by all means it is not easy and people who think it is should try fixing their computers or technical problem themselves. Or, just take your computer to BEST BUY and wait a couple of weeks . . .! But one thing is for sure, you first have to know the USER and obtain some historic information first before troubleshooting anything relatively complex.

  20. fredneedle

    I agree. It’s not knowing everything that counts. It’s knowing where to find the answers and how to implement the solution once found. It’s like saying I’m not paying you because all you did was run check disk, a virus scan or replaced the damaged software. I like to say this. It’s five pounds for fixing the problem and £45 for the time I have spent gaining the knowledge and know how! In the case of saving all the data from loss or destruction ask them how much the data is worth to them. All those precious photos and MP3’s that have taken many years to accumulate. How much are they worth to you? One customer recently said this to me. I’m very saddened by the loss of the hard drive. It’s like a bereavment. Fortunately for him I was able to use spin rite to recover much of the data. What’s that worth? Never underestimate your time, knowledge and patience! And keep up the good work even when you feel pretty fairly unappreciated!

  21. Legatus

    I had a conversation with a friend years ago when I was building pc’s, he was going to build his own with another friend who had done this before. It is easy he said, well I said yes unless something goes wrong. What could go wrong, I just shrugged. My phone rang on build day :) I can even remember what it was, something real simple like sys disk I think.

  22. Rockin Ronnie

    I use BING as a web page. Its just as good as Google . Plus it has a Great new picture every day.
    When I can’t find all the tech answers to my tech problems in this Email.
    I use Major Geeks . com A Virus Free web site. I down load all my Tech tools Free from this web site.
    Between the two How to Geek, and Major Geeks and one other web site.
    I keep my Computer top notch ,and the best it can be.
    F Google and there spy ware .
    There is nothing wrong with bing and explore 9 .
    System Machinc Pro 10.5 Will keep your Computer running top notch for 40.oo and then 20.oo every year after. I fell it is the best. But you can fine most of the tools free on major geeks.
    But not the SSD Defragment tool , made for SSD’s
    I fell that Im a large player when it comes right down to it .
    Thanks to this Email it has sent me down the right path.
    I Thank everbody involved with this Email.
    Thank you all again

  23. marvin

    Einstein said that true genius was knowing where to look.

  24. masum

    I like Chris Mathews Comment. Google doesn’t just know everything. We teach Google Too. That’s how it finds and know & helps others.

    But Bing is “just as good” -Rockin Ronnie
    with nice new picture everyday. that teach something.

    I rely more onn Google though. Does anyone know google lets you create free web pages?

  25. erez

    hahaha soo truuue!

  26. zukirider

    Google is just our “internet based manual”.

  27. Willie

    I’m sitting at my desk right now about to do a complete recovery on one of the company laptops that a user screwed up so badly that’s just easier to start over from scratch. Google is our best friend. It is amazing how my friends will call me up with a tech related question and I have simply went to google on my smartphone (while still on the call) type their question in and found the answer on the first or second listing. But I admit it does the self esteem and ego good having them tell me I’m a genius lol.

  28. Saeen

    Very much true. I almost solve any problem on my PC with the help of Google.

  29. Mike

    Digital photography is getting like that.
    “Hey that’s a neat picture would you make me a copy”
    Later. . .
    “What ? You want money for that. ?. . It’s digital not film. . .it didn’t cost you anything”

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