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The Computer Buzz September 10th, 2009

Nome and Paul Van Middlesworth - owners - The Computer Fact


“My brother is a computer expert and he says---”

We sometimes get guidance from our customers in the form of second hand advice from their favorite “computer expert,” usually a relative.

In our business there are many “Computer Experts.” Anyone who makes their living working as a professional in a computer related field is a “Computer Expert.” Occupations that qualify as “computer experts” are help desk technicians, computer sales clerks, corporate IT managers and staff, network installers, PC software designers, PC hardware designers and the list goes on. While all of these “computer experts” have their areas of expertise, their deep knowledge in a narrow segment of the business would not qualify them to serve as a repair technician here at the Computer Factory.

Some “experts” are “computer geniuses.” This is a special category of “Computer Experts.” This title is usually bestowed by a doting but clueless aunt upon hearing that her nephew Milton built his own gaming computer. Relying on the family “computer genius” to take care of your computer is like letting a bookie do your taxes.

Computer Repair Technician certificates like A+ when accompanied by $1.00, will allow you purchase anything on Mac Donald’s dollar menu. Unfortunately it won’t qualify you to diagnose and repair PCs. It may provide a basis from which to learn to become a real “computer repair technician” but by itself it is neither necessary nor sufficient.

Many great technicians may have started life as “computer genius’” but the way to become a real “computer repair tech” is to spend many years working on every kind of PC with every kind of operating system and every kind of problem. No schooling can provide that knowledge and you can’t learn it working as an IT professional or a corporate repair tech. Your experience will be too narrow.

Year by year repair techs build upon their knowledge bit by bit, day by day so that the constantly changing technology that baffles most of us, to them appears as a seamless continuity through which the move backward or forward without apparent effort.

We used to sell components to "do it yourself Computer Experts.” Often the “Expert” would return the part because “it didn’t work.” We would refund the money and test the part. Invariably there was nothing wrong with it. The “Expert” either didn’t know how to install it or he found that the part was not the problem. These days we don’t sell internal PC components unless we install them ourselves. If a customer insists on doing his own diagnosis and repair we simply steer them across the street to Fry’s. They’re the “experts” in processing returned parts.

If it sounds like we have a bit of an attitude when it comes to “Computer Experts” it’s because we do. While we listen intently to you as you describe the problems you are having with your PC, you may find us drifting off while you outline the diagnostic and recovery procedures provided by your “computer expert” brother-in-law who built his first PC when he was only three.





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