I get asked all the time if I will fix people’s computers. I wish I had the time (I have a compulsion to repair things that are misbehaving); but I really don’t. And unfortunately, computers these days are not getting simpler — they are getting more complex … even though their snazzy user interfaces are getting slicker and ‘swoopier’.
But that does not absolve you of the responsibility to maintain your ‘ride’. If it were a car, you would either learn how to do the repairs yourself or take it to a reputable dealer. A ‘reputable dealer’, though, for repairing PCs is more difficult to find than you might think. Many people get frustrated enough to just give up and buy a new machine every once in a while rather than repair what they already own.
I’m not against the idea of buying new hardware every few years… but I’d hate to be forced into it out of ignorance or fear.
If you are one of those people who takes your car to a mechanic for everything, I’ll bet you are still capable (whether you choose do to it or not) of changing a tire, adding windshield-wiper fluid, and vacuuming out the interior. That level of know-how is analogous to basic PC maintenance, as well — you should be able to back up your data, add ink to your printer, and clear out unnecessary files that accumulate on the hard drive — causing it to slow down and perhaps even misbehave.
If your PC is causing you fits, and you’re teetering on the edge of an impromptu trip to the BuyMore — take a deep breath and count to 10 (which in binary is ’00’, ’01’, ’10’ — so it shouldn’t take very long). To start with, you’re going to need some tools. The following are all free (some also offer a ‘pro’ version for $$$):
If you pick one from each category, install it, and use it, you might easily add years to the usefulness of your PC.