"Tom, can you fix it?" - 4/18/10
Day 107 of Project 365. For those that don't know, I build & fix computers. Hardware problems, virus removals, setting up home networks, helping people buy the right equipment...I pretty much do it all. Friday afternoon I got a call from an older gentleman that I've done work for in the past. Friday's call was about the new monitor he purchased for his desktop. I did some minor troubleshooting over the phone by asking the standard questions:
"Is is plugged in?", "Did you turn the PC on?", "Do you have all the cables hooked up?"...
Harold spoke up when I asked about having the cables hooked up...
"Harold, what do you mean there is nowhere on the PC for you to plug the monitor cable into?"
He finally said he couldn't figure it out, so I offered to swing by this weekend. I got there today and went to the PC. I checked the monitor...yes, everything was good there. I go to the back of the PC and I just stared in disbelief.
"Harold, did you rip the old monitor cable out?" His wife spoke up at that point..."He didn't realize there were screws on the cable. We couldn't figure out why the cable wouldn't unplug. Harold keep pulling and it finally came out. You can fix it, right?"
Ha! Um, sure...I can fix anything. The PC was at least 5 years old and they were not very happy with it's speed, so I told them they would be better off getting a new PC. Sure, I could have just put a video card into the PC, but at 5 years old, I don't picture the hard drive lasting for more than a year or so. They asked me if I would pick them out a good one, so we talked about their budget and what they wanted to use the PC for. I ended up getting them a good desktop for $419.00. This is an elderly couple we're talking about here - so no gaming, no DVD ripping, just web browsing and general office computing tasks. A dual core PC with 4 gig of RAM running Windows 7 - a good deal indeed.
I spent most of the evening getting it set up by removing all the trial crap-ware, installing a good, free anti-virus program* and porting over their documents, pictures and browser favorites from their old hard drive. They are going to be very pleased when I drop it off Tuesday night after work.
*Microsoft Security Essentials is currently my favorite FREE anti-virus program.