The Pros vs DIY

So last month, my computer crashed. I took it to the University tech shop and got it restored. I missed my laptop dearly. Well, Friday, I was typing up a blog when my computer suddenly decided that the internet didn’t exist.
Okay. I reset the modem. I turned off the wifi and turned it back on. I got nothing. The next day, my computer took almost 5 minutes just to boot up. I’ll be the first to admit that my computer isn’t up-to-date. Not that I wouldn’t love a new one, it’s just this one was free, so I guess you get what you pay for. I ran a virus scan. Nothing. Everything took such a long time, I figured there had to be something.
The way I saw it, I had several choices. I could take it back to the University tech shop, and maybe not see it again for a month. I could take it to a “reputable” computer repair guy (the only one I trusted went out of business last year). And my last choice is the one I went with: I could try fixing it myself.
Normally, I would have taken it to a reputable guy and gotten it done. However, how can you know you can’t do something unless you try. Now, the memory on this computer was never wiped, and the person who owned it before me was…lets say “incompatible” with technology, although now she wants an ipad for Christmas…good luck with that one. In any case, this comp has always been a little on the slow side. I spoke with some techie guys that I know (thank you! You’ll be my bff whenever I have computer problems!) and they suggested that I wipe the memory and start from scratch. What a great idea…oh wait…doesn’t that sorta require an operating system…and drivers…and and…well…you get the picture. The problem became, not whether or not I had the necessary disks, but whether or not I could find the right ones. It took me three days to find the right disks (each time it reformatted the hard drive, that kinda takes forever) but I got it! I had the talent and I had the tools. And it cost me exactly nothing…okay, so I did make dinner for my techie friends, but I’d say that’s a good trade off.
So now I have what amounts to a brand new computer. It’s faster than it ever was when I received it. I have office 2010 (again free…for installing it for a friend on a home computer). DIY definitely paid off in this case. I’ve been doing much more DIY lately, and I think I’ve come to the conclusion that doing it yourself is the better option in many cases. For one, you can learn something new. For anther, it gives a kind of pride that you know you did it yourself. I can still hardly believe that my computer is working so well. I might not have everything on it that I need just yet, but I’m working on it.

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2 responses to “The Pros vs DIY

  1. It’s funny… after blathering on about self-publishing and e-books and whatnot for the past couple weeks on my own blog, when I saw this title I wholly expected it to be a sort of pros-vs.-cons of self-publishing vs. traditional publishing. 😉

    Glad your comp is running smoothly again. Mine has been a bit sluggish for the past year as well. It’s… what…. 4 years old, I guess? That’s like late-50s to early-60s in computer years. It’s got some time left in it before it retires… but not a lot.

    • I can’t blame you on what you thought it might be about. And I’ve been thinking about self-publishing as well. I suppose the undercurrent here is how much we have become dependent on technology. When the IT guys had it, I almost died, at least that’s the way it felt.
      So this time I called around, and the computer repair people were wanting like $20 just to look at it. That’s a half-tank of gas. No way was I going to pay someone that just to look at it. And I have downloaded my own O.S. before. Right near the end of the warranty on my first laptop the hard drive failed. When I called, they sent me a new hard drive, and walked me through the installation process over the phone. It’s the same kind of laptop, and same kind of OS, so I just wiped the hard drive and installed things the way I remembered form a couple years ago. I kinda wish I had written everything down, since we have like three OS disks around, but I found the right one eventually. 🙂

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