Really, this is extremely true. It can sometimes be very frustrating having to listen to a person tell you their life story about how X caused Y to happen. In IT this normally corresponds to people thinking that they have a virus.

1. Most pc infections today are not viruses.

We have viruses, trojan, adware, spyware, etc that all lurks out there on that big bad web. We collectively call of these baddies malware. It’s just simple. It’s like calling a huge, highly diverse group of humans people. Every time that you call something a virus it’s like saying that all "X" people look the same while actually looking at a group of "Y" people. It makes you sound ignorant and places a low bar of expectations on the knowledge that you’re perceived to have.

2. You only know that your pc isn’t behaving how you would like it, don’t come to me with a diagnosis and doubt while I’m performing a true diagnosis.

Committing this sin is like going to your doctor with a simple cold and claiming that you have tuberculosis or gonorrhea. Uninformed people are usually the most adamant, most certain of their self-diagnosis of computer issues. It’s maddening and some of them will try to argue you down. In those situations I keep a pleasant demeanor, I humor the user and I fill them in step-by-step on how I’m treating the issue to their specifications and then I let them see the failure. I then try to teach them what the symptoms that they are experiencing actually mean. I take them down the road to a proper solution and fix it. I show them how to apply the same or a similar fix in the future and how to determine the actual problem if they can be arsed to listen. They usually don’t, they usually just want you to shut up and run with your money.

3. Stop trying to take the cheap way out and expecting a premium experience – only I can do that.

Yes, that applies to the vocal minority of Mac converts. No, I’m not saying that Mac users are a minority but that some converts from Windows to Mac are very vocal about the change in their atmosphere and the lack of malware. News flash, Macs are vulnerable to malware and can be compromised just as easily if not moreso than any Windows computer. The true difference between the platforms is that one dominated the market so greatly that they became the easier, more attractive target.

Getting to the true sentiment of this meaning, stop buying $300 Windows computers and comparing them to $1,200 Macbooks. I know out there somewhere that someone bought that cheap $100 netbook from CVS running Windows CE and tossed it aside for a $900+ Macbook Air. If you want a premium experience then pay for it. There are wonderful, awesome and very lovely premium Windows machines out there for the same price of your beloved Mac machines.

I very rarely meet a Mac user that does not understand how to use their Mac, at least the ones that actually bought it for themselves. I guess that entry level pricetag demands that you invest some time and effort since you’re dropping so much cash on it. I don’t blame you. Maybe you would have had a better experience with your Windows machine if you had of made similar investments.

Am I Windows fanboy? No. I do love a lot of Microsoft’s designs but I run OpenSuse on all of my machines. Yep baby, I’m living in a linux world. BOW DOWN TO THE PENGUIN INFERIOR OPERATING SYSTEM USER USERS!

4. Stop using programs, websites, etc that you do not understand.

Please don’t pirate or buy the entire Adobe Suite just to have difficulty in trying to cut out a square section of a picture. Please don’t buy a hosting account from someone like Bluehost if all that you want to do is post a picture or two online. The case of users going after professional class software and being lost or complaining about its’ complexity is ridiculous. It’s like wearing a wedding dress to pick up your McDouble at McDonald’s, you clearly did not understand your clothing needs before leaving the house.

I once had a user that believed the update dialogue in Firefox was a virus. I’ve had users that were unfamiliar with certain websites that may be common to you and me that they also believed to be the work of the devil and evil hackers. No, don’t place the blame on grandma’s with a Mac. Some of these people were between the ages of 20-30, not from the country and could pretty much understand their phone and nothing else. These people will be the ones that procreate and make our future. These same people cannot deduce why their Mac programs can’t run on Windows and think that every flash drive creates viruses.

5. Stop being afraid of everything that you don’t know as well as the back of your hand.

I am the most aggravated and simultaneously feel the most pity with this type of user. They have been badly misinformed with scare tactics. They hear so much negativity that they are expecting to have something happen to them at every click. It’s like expecting sudden death for walking into Detroit’s borders. Yes, awful things happen in Detroit and happens on computers. This does not mean that it will happen or that it’s even likely. Please, take some classes or get a trusted friend to help you. If you don’t have those, disconnect your pc from the internet while you learn basic usage experience. The bad guys can’t get you if you’re not connected to the web.

6. It is not the end of the world if you become infected by malware.

Do not distress because you’re actually infected. Most malware just wants your credit card or banking info. Don’t provide it, don’t leave that info sitting on your pc in a notepad or word document. Some malware really does want to screw with you, just call a tech and get some help. Heck, reboot into safe mode with networking and use malwarebytes or clamwin to help you out. If you keep getting infected and you don’t have a dependency on Windows (basically,

if you could switch to a Mac overnight you’re good) try out linux. I’d recommend Linux Mint for new users. It’s community maintained, is most similar to what you’re used to using and it is rock solid. It’s based upon a more popular distribution (Ubuntu) and will pretty much only make you a carrier of malware at worst. Since most malware is aimed at Windows machines, it will only work on Windows machines. Malware would need to be rewritten to attack a Mac or a machine running Linux.

Not that there aren’t any infectors out there, you’re just less likely to be targeted because you’re in a demographic that isn’t as attractive financially. If you could fleece $5 off 95% of the people or $15 off of 2%, which would you target? Which would you spend your precious time on attacking? That’s the basis of the Mac lies that they can’t get viruses. No one cared enough to spend their time on attacking them so since no one was actually targeting them they couldn’t be infected. Can’t be supplied with something that isn’t created. Malware isn’t the only way to compromise a machine or user data, it’s just one of the most common ways. The web browser is a means of being attacked and that’s becoming more and more operating system agnostic so please, please – learn some pc security basics..

7. If you did not prepare for disaster and do not have the knowledge nor the will to learn, be willing to pay properly for assistance.

Don’t be mad that you need to spend money to have your computer cleaned or parts fixed because you couldn’t be bothered with maintaining them yourself. I’m sure that the mechanics out there can relate to this, don’t blame the repairmen for your mistakes or cheapness. We only have lucrative jobs because most people don’t bother to learn how to take care of themselves. There are limits of course but when you’re handed a manual that tells you the bare minimum that you need to do and look out for to handle your expensive, very important machine then you should read it.

Seriously, take notes.

I can’t tell you how many machines I’ve cleaned that were not running any type of anti-virus software. It may seem unimaginable but people that are online all of the time still may not know how to use a search engine. Well guess what? Google has free classes and a certification so hop online and learn how to educate yourself people.

General Search

Searched Aimed At Students

Advanced Search Mechanics

A Beginner’s Guide to PC’s

Edubuntu, an education focused version of Ubuntu for children.

How to back up your computer

How to build your own pc

How to setup wifi

8. Money isn’t everything, stop making the same mistakes.

It’s nice to make money and it’s understandable that I’m going to deal with recurring issues. Dealing with recurring issues from the same person can become frustrating, especially when you start to notice all of the annoying things that the people who would normally use your service do. I used to service the pc and network of a nice old man that was having difficulty with his dial-up service about 10 years ago. I stopped charging him after the second call and only guiltily charged him $10 the first two trips. His issue? His dial-out numbers needed a "1" placed before the actual number.

That’s it.

Somehow he would keep erasing or losing this info. I monitored his pc for a bit and could not determine how he kept losing that single digit. After the 10th time I just attributed it to human error. I eventually stopped showing for him, he was going into the settings trying to make the connection faster and screwing it up in the process. The page in the AOL dial-up setup was fairly obvious in what it wanted. There was a space for you to type the "1" and even a box that said something like "always dial 1 first".

Even if I was still charging him it was simply a waste of my time. Even if he wasn’t a bit of a nervous chatterbox it would still be a waste of my time. I originally felt bad for stopping but in the end even kindness has its’ limits. So please users, if you have a recurring issue document the steps to resolution and the symptoms please. Life is too short to spend it being a Sim.

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