Forgot your password?

How often do friends/family call you for tech support?

Displaying poll results.
Never
  1278 votes / 6%
Once per year
  1355 votes / 7%
Once every few months
  5964 votes / 32%
Once per month
  3643 votes / 19%
Once per two weeks
  2414 votes / 13%
Once per week or more
  2437 votes / 13%
Every day
  588 votes / 3%
I'm helping one right now.
  627 votes / 3%
18306 total votes.
[ Voting Booth | Other Polls | Back Home ]
  • Don't complain about lack of options. You've got to pick a few when you do multiple choice. Those are the breaks.
  • Feel free to suggest poll ideas if you're feeling creative. I'd strongly suggest reading the past polls first.
  • This whole thing is wildly inaccurate. Rounding errors, ballot stuffers, dynamic IPs, firewalls. If you're using these numbers to do anything important, you're insane.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

How often do friends/family call you for tech support?

Comments Filter:
  • Never (Score:5, Interesting)

    by teslar (706653) on Tuesday April 30, 2013 @09:12AM (#43589717)

    It used to be all the time. I was running windows and so was everyone else. I eventually switched completely to Linux (and started using the "I don't use windows anymore, no clue"... excuse) but that didn't stop the tech support calls.

    Moving the family to OSX however did. That was 3 years ago and there has not been a single tech support issue since then.

    • Re:Never (Score:5, Funny)

      by reboot246 (623534) on Tuesday April 30, 2013 @09:48AM (#43590065) Homepage
      Just as automatic transmissions were invented for people who didn't know how to drive, so Apple computers were invented for people who didn't know how to use a computer.

      Hey, no more burned clutches!
      • Re:Never (Score:4, Interesting)

        by ArcadeMan (2766669) on Tuesday April 30, 2013 @10:18AM (#43590345)

        People use automatic transmissions because why the hell would you want to complicate things? Would you prefer a non-power-steering car with a hand crank to start the motor, too?

        • Re:Never (Score:4, Insightful)

          by CastrTroy (595695) on Tuesday April 30, 2013 @10:51AM (#43590715) Homepage
          My understanding is that manual transmission gets better gas mileage. Also, the car tends to be cheaper, at least when you buy it. Can't speak from a long-term maintenance point of view. Those right there are 2 reasons why one would want to choose manual transmission. Also, it's funny that you say "complicate things" when really it's the automatic that complicates things more. Sure the manual transmission makes driving a little more complicated, but the drive train and car is much more complicated in an automatic car. Also, modern manual transmission can be down without a clutch, removing a lot of the complicated part of driving one.
          • Manuals do not get better gas mileage; they actually get slightly worse. A computer can shift much more efficiently than you can.
            • Re:Never (Score:4, Informative)

              by Macman408 (1308925) on Tuesday April 30, 2013 @01:29PM (#43592473)

              It's my understanding that typically, a manual car gets better gas mileage than an automatic, as has been linked in other replies. However, I think this may be because the automatic is at a disadvantage; they often have one less gear than their manual cousins. For example, I just looked up a Toyota Corolla; the base model is a 5-speed manual at 30 mpg, while the upgraded model is a 4-speed automatic at 29 mpg.

              This isn't always true; I also looked at the Honda Accord; they offer a 6-speed manual and a 6-speed automatic, but the automatic only comes on a hungrier engine, so they can't be compared. They do offer a CVT as an upgrade to the manual though, and that does get better mileage.

              I think it all comes down to price; usually, the automatic gearbox is gimped to get the price closer to the manual, since many people see the automatic gearbox as a necessity, not an upgrade. To save on costs, they use one less gear, and hence the source of the "manuals save gas" generalization.

              • Re:Never (Score:5, Informative)

                by Michael Casavant (2876793) on Tuesday April 30, 2013 @05:15PM (#43594997)
                Mercedes and Chrysler are using 8-spd automatics now...just not on the fuel economy models.

                The disadvantage automatics had in years past was lots and lots of friction. Old automatics where basically dozens of clutches that where rarely fully engaged until you get to top gear. Then you have the torque converter which transferred power through a fluid. Manual transmissions where more efficient because you had a hard clutch that was either engaged or not, just a hard link between the engine and transmission.

                Modern DSG transmissions are basically 2 manual transmissions with an electronically actuated pair of clutches, all of the advantages of a manual without the slushyness of an automatic. CVT's *CAN* be more efficient (see Toyota Prius' planetary gear set http://eahart.com/prius/psd/ [eahart.com]), or it could be crap (see Nissan's metal v-belt with varying pulleys)...depends on the design.

                I personally have a Prius for daily driving and a RX7 for weekend fun.
              • by s.petry (762400)
                So far something not mentioned regarding better mileage is that people driving manuals down shift to decelerate, or use neutral. Automatics are always engaged so the engine is always applying force while in gear. Someone below posted the other aspect, of forcing higher gears at lower speeds when touring. Automatics have gotten better, but still lack the control you get with manual assuming you know how to use it.
            • by mdm42 (244204)
              My car has no computer, you insensitive clod!
          • In long-term maintenance, manual transmissions are far more reliable. They can use new fluid maybe once every 70k-100k miles and eventually the synchros will wear out (making shifting less convenient but still possible), apart from that they're rock-solid-reliable. You'll get better mileage, better performance, better engine wear (since auto gearboxes can't recognize a hill, they keep the revs low and often cause pinging), and lower initial and running costs on the gearbox itself.

            All modern manuals have a c

          • Those right there are 2 reasons why one would want to choose manual transmission.

            Safety is a third reason to drive manual over automatic. When was the last time you heard of someone "accidentally hitting the accelerator instead of the brake" using a manual? I can't think of a single time that has happened but I'm sure someone will pull up the lone time this happened.

            Then of course there's the fact that it is much more fun to drive a manual than an automatic.

            Alas, people have grown lazy and i
            • by danbert8 (1024253)

              I hit the accelerator all the time when I brake... It's call heel-toe downshifting ;) But seriously, it is nice to have an engine disconnect pedal convenient to prevent problems.

              Almost all of the problems with automatics and manuals that people are discussing here are bull. It comes down to personal preference at this point if you enjoy shifting or you could care less what gears do in a car. I personally like the benefit no one discusses about manuals: It limits who asks if they can drive my car :P It also

              • by Loether (769074)

                Agree, I love my wife but, I got a manual so she would never drive my car. That and they are far more fun!

                • by danbert8 (1024253)

                  Why not teach the wife to drive stick? My girlfriend knows, but she isn't particularly good at it. I'm going to rectify that this summer because I've already told her that I don't plan on ever buying an automatic again (and by extension, us if we get married).

                  • by Loether (769074)

                    I've actually tried to teach her. I think it would be good for her to know how to drive a standard. She's not bad at it, she just doesn't feel comfortable yet.

                • by idontgno (624372)

                  I tried that. She decided she didn't like being excluded and demanded I teach her how to drive the manual. I did. She proceeded to burn out two clutches because she didn't believe me about riding the clutch pedal. She DID believe the mechanic who installed the third clutch, though. Her husband, COMPLETELY WRONG. Random stranger in a greasy overall? GOD'S OWN TRUTH.

                  Marriage. Feh.

                  What were we talking about?

            • by arth1 (260657)

              Safety is a third reason to drive manual over automatic. When was the last time you heard of someone "accidentally hitting the accelerator instead of the brake" using a manual? I can't think of a single time that has happened but I'm sure someone will pull up the lone time this happened.

              Another issue are the drivers who have killed themselves or others when the brakes went warm, because they didn't know how to engine brake when going down long declines. The mountains in BC are infamous for that.
              Sure, paddle shifters can alleviate the problem, if only drivers used them. They don't; the typical American automatic driver thinks paddles are only useful to gear down to go faster, not gear down to go slower.

              The problem, as I see it, is with technology not being used for assisting those who kno

          • by Nemyst (1383049)
            Perhaps more traditional transmissions, yes. Things like CVT (continuous variable transmission), however, were designed specifically to always give the best possible ratio and so invariably consume less fuel than manuals. It's like having an infinite amount of gears and being able to dynamically choose the best gear at any point in time.
          • by D1G1T (1136467)
            Depends on the vehicle and what you are doing. Manual on an underpowered economy car with poor handling is just a chore. Manual on something with good handling and torque is a joy. Manual on a Jeep 4WD on the road is a chore. Manual on a Jeep 4WD in sand dunes is OMG so much fun. Macs have a manual/auto switch so you don't have to choose.
            • by meustrus (1588597)

              Macs have a manual/auto switch so you don't have to choose.

              Too many Slashdotters hate on the Mac without really considering that it's Unix, so you can do a lot of things with it straight from the Linux ecosystem. There are at least two (command line) package managers I know of that even try to maintain cross-compatible binaries for the Darwin platform. That earns it a special place for geeks like myself tired of trying to maintain things X11 configuration files (the newish auto-configuration systems make it

              • by harrkev (623093)

                Many people, like me, hate Apple just because of the way the company behaves. The "walled garden" of the iTunes store plus no allowance for 3rd party stores smells too much like censorship to me. Plus their rediculous money-grab wanting 30% of any in-app purchases from places like the Kindle and Nook stores and dropbox. If I am going to drop a few hundred on a device, I want to be the one who decides what goes on there. I would hate having to play "mother may I" with a company to intall the appls that t

                • by meustrus (1588597)

                  I can agree that Apple is reprehensible. That's not to say it does what it does for evil reasons. If you compare the iOS app ecosystem with the Android app ecosystem, you can see that Apple's stranglehold on apps increases security *for the average user* (meaning people who would happily install viruses on Android no matter how many times the OS warns them not to). Fragmentation is not a problem with iOS either, although that's as much about hardware control as about software control. Their overall strategy

          • by operagost (62405)
            Your two perfectly good reasons for using a manual trans still do not support the original assertion that "people who don't know how to drive" use an automatic.
        • by PPH (736903)

          I've got one. Haven't been able to hand crank it since I mounted the winch in front of the crank access hole.

        • by Z34107 (925136)

          Shifting is fun. There's no need to be defensive about not knowing how.

        • by spike hay (534165)

          An automatic transmission **does** complicate things. A much more complicated system. More things to go wrong and costlier to fix.

          Apple or Windows 7 is "easier" to use. But the implementation is very complicated and prone to failure. The implementation is far from simple and very opaque. That's why I drive a stick and use dwm as my window manager.

        • by rwise2112 (648849)

          People use automatic transmissions because why the hell would you want to complicate things? Would you prefer a non-power-steering car with a hand crank to start the motor, too?

          The way I see it is that each of your examples actually complicates the car. Automatics are more complex than manuals, power steering requires either adding a hydrolic or electric assist, the starting motor is an additional component added. Now you could say it's making it easier, but it's not making it less complicated.

        • by Hatta (162192)

          Better performance, better efficiency, better traction, push starting, and it's cheaper to replace a bad clutch than it is an automatic transmission. You get all this in exchange for an ever so slightly steeper learning curve, which you only have to traverse once.

        • by danomac (1032160)

          I use a manual transmission because nobody knows how to drive with one. After I got both my vehicles with a manual transmission nobody asks to borrow them anymore.

        • by jgtg32a (1173373)
          Because my transmission is stupid and doesn't know when to shift if I get a little aggressive.
      • Back in the mid-80's, I used to say "I think they're right, it IS the the computer for the rest of you".
      • Just as automatic transmissions were invented for people who didn't know how to drive, so Apple computers were invented for people who didn't know how to use a computer.

        It's perfectly reasonable. Most people don't really want a computer. They want a browser, word processor, spreadsheet, photo-chopper, etc. Just like they don't want a transmission and an internal combustion engine in a body with associated equipment. They want a personal transportation device.

      • I guess the definition of "knowing how to use a computer" is a moving target.
        Windows 8 PC is not the only definition of computer.
        Macs are computers, as are iPads, iPhones, and XBOX 360.

        BTW...OS X is Unix based. Would you say that Unix is for people who don't know how to use a computer? I suspect some Unix guys would say that about Windows.

      • Back when we were mastering the incomparable 4 on the floor experience, our motto was "if you can't find 'em, grind 'em".
    • Re:Never (Score:5, Insightful)

      by arth1 (260657) on Tuesday April 30, 2013 @09:49AM (#43590081) Homepage Journal

      Moving the family to OSX however did. That was 3 years ago and there has not been a single tech support issue since then.

      The question is whether this is because they have no problems, or because they're reluctant to call the person who inflicted OSX on them.

      • by oxnyx (653869)

        Moving the family to OSX however did. That was 3 years ago and there has not been a single tech support issue since then.

        The question is whether this is because they have no problems, or because they're reluctant to call the person who inflicted OSX on them.

        I totally agree. My father decided to get a iMac. I thought great then I have to keep explaining, finding software and the NAS never worked correctly ! Personally I'm grateful after 7 long years to get him back on Windows 7.

        • I totally agree. My father decided to get a iMac. I thought great then I have to keep explaining, finding software and the NAS never worked correctly ! Personally I'm grateful after 7 long years to get him back on Windows 7.

          Sounds like the issue may have been with the support person rather than OS X. I've seen a number of Windows people who just never manage to get past the fact that OS X simply doesn't behave like Windows.

          When I switched from Windows to Mac - back in 2003 - I initially ran into a number of minor but irritating problems. Eventually a Mac-using friend advised me "Stop thinking about how something would work in Windows, or where you'd find some function in Windows. Think about how it should work, and look there

          • I totally agree. My father decided to get a iMac. I thought great then I have to keep explaining, finding software and the NAS never worked correctly ! Personally I'm grateful after 7 long years to get him back on Windows 7.

            Sounds like the issue may have been with the support person rather than OS X. I've seen a number of Windows people who just never manage to get past the fact that OS X simply doesn't behave like Windows.

            When I switched from Windows to Mac - back in 2003 - I initially ran into a number of minor but irritating problems. Eventually a Mac-using friend advised me "Stop thinking about how something would work in Windows, or where you'd find some function in Windows. Think about how it should work, and look there - 90% of the time that will be the correct location."

            He was right.

            Ditto, a lot of the complaints I get about OS X boil down to it not working like Windows, Gnome, KDE, (name your poison).... The same goes for Gnome 3 haters, Gnome 3 is different, if you want Gnome 2 back get one of the numerous forks and move on. Just stop bothering the rest of us with long rants about how Gnome 3 isn't like Gnome 2.

      • by Tom (822)

        It's the former.

        I've set up several people with OS X. Some came from windows, some from Linux. I picked "once a year" above, though it might be twice. And half the time it's hardware-related.

        OS X really simply works. Whatever else you may like or dislike about it, compared to both windows and Linux, it's a lot more hassle-free.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by theVarangian (1948970)

        Moving the family to OSX however did. That was 3 years ago and there has not been a single tech support issue since then.

        The question is whether this is because they have no problems, or because they're reluctant to call the person who inflicted OSX on them.

        It's OS X not OSX, if you are going to troll this place with juvenile flaimbait, at least try to get your ancronyms right.

    • The same way that my son complained about his really nice RC car until I gave him a bouncy ball.
    • Database stuff (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 30, 2013 @11:23AM (#43591075)

      Here's a little tip for those who don't want to deal with moochers: never tell people you work in "computers", "IT", or "support". Instead, tell them you do "database stuff". The difference is night and day. When the average person hears "IT", they immediately think "what can I get out of him?" and "is there anything I need?" On the contrary, when the average person hears "database stuff", they cringe and try to change the subject, since taking the conversation further means work for them. In the rare case they do press you further, simply get technical, further distancing yourself from that hopeful chance that you might know "something about computers".

      This attitude of taking advantage of IT people stems from the fact that nobody (outside of IT) understands that IT is actual work. They view your position not as one of actual labor, but merely knowledge -- the only difference between you and them is that you know which buttons to push, and they don't. Therefore, fixing their computer is hardly even a "favor", merely a short pit stop in your continuous life of fixing computer problems.

      You won't ever see a mechanic asked if he can perform an oil change free of charge. You won't ever see an electrician asked to "do a little clean up" in his spare time, outside of working hours. That's because the average person understands what these professionals actually do, and they can appreciate it. They don't, however, understand what IT work is, and therefore they will never appreciate it as "real work" deserving of "real respect".

      • by hodet (620484)
        It's quite simple. Family and close friends get a pass, because we all care for one another and help each other out anyway. If you can't help them out you are just being a dick. For everyone else tell them you charge $30/hour (3 hour minimum). If the person asking is a real douche then just up the hourly rate to a figure that will stop the conversation dead in its tracks. From my experience anything more then $0 is enough but make it really high just for shits and giggles. That usually drives them off and
    • by alphatel (1450715) *

      Moving the family to OSX however did. That was 3 years ago and there has not been a single tech support issue since then

      Funny that. Attempting to migrate about 50% of people to OSX is a disaster, especially if they are older. My family support calls ended when I gave the people what they wanted, and what they knew (with adequate backup and protection where needed). Isn't that what we do for clients at the end of the day?

      • For clients, yes. Clients pay me. Family does not, so it's about what makes *my* life easier, not what they want.

        • by idontgno (624372)

          So you format their hard drive completely blank, destroy their power supply, and change over to an unlisted phone number?

          I think your committment to "what makes *my* life easier" is lacking.

    • by antdude (79039)

      Same hree, but it didn't completely stop. I still newbie questions like searching files, very old printers not working, etc. Meh.

    • Exact same here. My parents used to be the largest offenders. Then I bought them MacBooks for Christmas a few years ago. Since then, not a single phone call for tech support.

    • by kermidge (2221646)

      Modestly similar experience. Was getting calls almost every week from family and friends. Switched most of them to Linux (based on their needs and wants), now get the occasional call about upgrade installs, finding or using a program to do something, and related miscellany.

      One woman still runs Windows - as a vm in VirtualBox atop a Linux host. All her personal stuff gets copied into a /home folder on host. I locked the XP guest down fairly well, and left clear instructions on how to wipe and use a clean

    • that worked out well for me as well before Windows 7 came out, got them a mac mini and they loved it. they would call and i would just tell them what ever it is they are trying to do it doesn't work on a mac. Now it sits in the corner collecting dust while everyone in the house has their own laptops running Windows 7.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 30, 2013 @10:20AM (#43590369)

    For almost a decade I ran my own tech sales/service/support company in a small rural town in NW Montana. I loved the work and really enjoyed being able to create my own schedule, but I was pretty limited as a one-man-band in terms of income potential. The most I could really get away with was around $70/hr and with max scheduling and taking out my costs it limited me on average to around $45,000 - $55,000/yr depending on how hard I worked my customers. The area I live in is pretty expensive ($200,000 will buy you a decent starter home) and most of the industry around here is centered on tourism and service (I live about 45min south of Glacier National Park). I made the decision to close my business and I was EXTREMELY fortunate to get hired as the Network Administrator for a Healthcare organization. I now have benefits, retirement, health insurance, strong job security, and my take home pay is almost double what it was before. Like I said, I am very fortunate.

    What does this have to do with the current poll? Well, it has been insanely hard to get it into my customers and friends heads that I am no longer doing freelance tech support. Sure, I have a handful of very loyal (and well paying) customers that supported me for almost a decade that I feel a sense of responsibility for and I just can't bring myself to completely drop support for them. It almost feels like I am betraying them. I always served my customers and friends with the utmost respect and honesty and that's why my business grew like it did, but I would feel that now it would be a slap in the face to them if I simply refused to help them. I haven't been able to find someone I really respect to pass my clients off to... so I feel stuck sometimes.

    I love what I do and I'm so glad I chose this line of work when I was a very young teen... but now that I'm in my early 30's and have a family. I would love to reclaim nights and weekends for myself again.

    • by operagost (62405)
      For starters, if you haven't increased your rate from $70/hr that might do the trick. You're not doing it for the money, just to get your time back. The ones who are really desperate for your quality services will probably still hang on, but those will be manageable and lucrative. The cheap or lazy ones will disappear.
  • My kids call me (Score:5, Interesting)

    by X10 (186866) on Tuesday April 30, 2013 @11:29AM (#43591131) Homepage

    Does it happen very often that kids in their twenties call their mom for tech support on their computer? Mine do, like once a year. I help them, and I help my 85 year old dad, who calls me every two weeks about his computer. Other relatives and friends are on their own, unless they pay my usual hourly rate.

    • by H0p313ss (811249)

      Does it happen very often that kids in their twenties call their mom for tech support on their computer? Mine do, like once a year. I help them, and I help my 85 year old dad, who calls me every two weeks about his computer. Other relatives and friends are on their own, unless they pay my usual hourly rate.

      Same here, and I fully expect to be tech-support for my grandchildren.

  • by EmperorOfCanada (1332175) on Tuesday April 30, 2013 @12:04PM (#43591535)
    Fixing family computers can be annoying but I charge a single price for helping their friends:
    A single La Madeline au Truffe by Chocopologie by Knipschildt. They can order it on their phone while I fix the computer. No truffle, no fix.

    When they find out that my price is a single truffle. They are agreeable. When they find out the price they usually become incensed. I just mention that any time that I spend on their problem is time not spent building my business. Needless to say their emergencies become a whole lot less urgent.
    • "La Madeline au Truffe by Chocopologie by Knipschildt", huh? At $5.95/character, that's pretty damn expensive. Literally.

  • by HalAtWork (926717) on Tuesday April 30, 2013 @01:02PM (#43592179)
    But I just set up my family with Ubuntu, installed their favorite apps, and now the only thing I have to do is remote in for updates after I've verified nothing's broken. It's been about 8 years since switching them over. I haven't had to update their hardware either. I'm thinking about putting a solid state drive in one of the older machines but that's about it. The only weird thing that happened is I had to re-seat some RAM because a machine wouldn't turn on but that's it.

    Now the only questions I get are about when web sites are updated and there's a layout change, or when Google updated gmail and it warned you that it was going to switch you to a new interface, and they want me to click OK because they're not sure if it'll break something :P
  • I set their stuff up properly and it just works. What's the problem?
  • My father's been switched to a Chromebook, my mother can handle herself, the in-laws don't go on the Internet, and my grandmother knows better than to click random things. I'll give the latter a checkup once or twice a year, but that's it.

  • Aging parent who just wanted to e-mail her friends and write about her family tree. With the Windows laptop it was about once a week. "Do I right or left click on that?" "Outlooks says something about an error" "I forgot to shut it off last night, did I break anything?"

    To iPad. I never hear from her now. People just don't understand how mind boggling awesome an iPad is for people who are not computer literate. iOS may have saved me from defenestration.

    • by SkimTony (245337)

      iOS may have saved me from defenestration.

      So, if defenestration is when you throw someone out a window, what's the term for when you throw out Windows?

  • I'm glad to be of help to my family and friends (although I do admit that there is a point of saturation somewhere).

    • Me too. I really hate for my friends and family to have to pay $80 an hour for GeekSquad or equivalent. What are friends for, if they don't help each other?

  • I switched them all to Linux. They never bother me again.

  • by spaceyhackerlady (462530) on Tuesday April 30, 2013 @05:43PM (#43595281)

    For my immediate family my computer-savvy Mom does first-level tech support. I'm second-level support.

    Most of us use Macs, so the tech support requriements are minimal. :-)

    ...laura

  • But doesn't call. Maybe she knows better. Maybe it's the two hour time difference. Maybe it is because she comes from a generation where long distance calls were expensive.

    I live in Silicon Valley so most of my friends are either technically savvy themselves or have others they prefer to call on.

  • by DaveAtFraud (460127) on Tuesday April 30, 2013 @08:01PM (#43596493) Homepage Journal

    I did fine when my wife had a Linux system. She decided she needed to replace her laptop and we got a "black Friday" special on a Windows 8 laptop. Now it's pretty much a daily ritual to try to figure out how Microsoft obfuscated something that was easy to find and perform under XP or 7. She can't decide whether to stick with Windows 8 because "that's what everyone will want her to know" or take the damn thing back to Windows 7 so we both be productive.

    Cheers,
    Dave

  • Move 'em to Macs (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Kittenman (971447) on Tuesday April 30, 2013 @09:09PM (#43596849)
    I supported my family's piano teacher and family on some Windows XP boxes. Once they even corrupted the PC within a week of my last re-config (I was there one time when the daughter was just clicking 'yes' to every dialog box that came up on the install she was doing ... "Did you read that?", I asked. "No", she said. Bing desktop... crap taskbar ... malware ....)

    And then they discovered Apple :)

    So yes - I'm a great fan on Apple Macs. Not for me, of course - wouldn't touch one with a bargepole. But for all the people who used to ring me
  • I don't get called by friends and family that often, but when I do it's usually because something is very broken. So, if the stereotype is that your mom calls you because she can't download her e-mail, my mom calls me when Exchange throws a rod and 500 people (school district) can't download their e-mail.

  • They call me a lot less after I showed them the hidden secret of computer support: http://xkcd.com/627/ [xkcd.com]
  • I've never been called because my whole family and extended family is in IT and software engineering. Only 7% of slashdot users have families that NEVER need help? I would have assumed that genius ran in more families......
    • by slinches (1540051)

      Genius != computer troubleshooting ability. I think a better explanation is that families don't necessarily share interests. Actually, I think there would likely be a tendency toward diversification of interests through specialization. Why would someone need to learn how to fix the computer if they could rely on a family member that already had that skill?

    • by cosm (1072588)

      I've never been called because my whole family and extended family is in IT and software engineering. Only 7% of slashdot users have families that NEVER need help? I would have assumed that genius ran in more families......

      I find it disturbing you assume that /. has a higher predisposition for geniuses.

    • IT and software engineering aren't particularly useful if your problem is that your arm is broken. I'll keep my family just the way it is and answer a few questions each year, thank you very much. I can handle the tech if they handle the doctorin'.

  • My dad is a really smart guy. Seriously smart. I've never seen him try anything, and not be successful. He's done everything from whitewater rafting to carpentry, autobody work, racing motorcycles, shooting, gardening, he even built the house I grew up in (and by built the house, I mean he hammered every nail).

    Except for computers. He is the fucking *master* as destroying a Windows machine. I can spend half a day, defragging, debugging, running virus scans, backing up, uninstalling crap and by the next day

    • by vbraga (228124)

      My mom is a tenured University professor and my stepfather is very, very smart structural engineer, now retired. They both call for tech support every once in a while. I'm quite sure - by the nature of the calls - they would be able to solve their problem themselves. But they like my wife and I coming over in the weekend for "helping them with their computer". The tech support call is nothing more than a "hey son, why don't you come over here?" call.

      Maybe your dad do the same thing to you?

  • So my time is taken up 100% doing tech support for my wife. She runs businesses from home so a lot of it is helping her with spreadsheets, administering mailing lists, building web apps, that sort of thing.

  • Giving an iPad to my mom and a Nexus 7 to my dad cut my tech support calls down to almost none.

10 to the 12th power microphones = 1 Megaphone

 



Forgot your password?
Working...