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Cover image for What's your latest (or favorite) "Can you fix my computer?" story?

What's your latest (or favorite) "Can you fix my computer?" story?

n_develop profile image Lars Richter Updated on ・2 min read

I'm a developer. Even in my spare time I don't build computers myself. I have a simple
laptop without any customizations (besides DEV.to stickers).

But still I'm the one guy every non-technical friend or family member asks for help.
To be clear: I know exactly why they do that. It's obvious, that I still know more stuff
about hardware and setting up printers than the non-technical friend. And that's ok.

But I don't want to complain about the fact, that I get asked to help. It's more about the fact how some people ask for help. Let me tell you about my last time.
We were on a sunday-afternoon trip with friends, at a very old farm that got converted into a museum.


Friend: Lars, we wanted to ask you something.

Me: Sure. What's up?

Friend: My iPhone broke. It fell on the floor. Now the display is broken. Could you try to make a backup?

Me: At least I can try. Do you have it with you? Just give it to me and I will try at home.

Friend: But you came by bike, didn't you?

Me: Yes?!

Friend: That might be a bit too heavy?

Me: The iPhone? No, I think I can handle that.

Friend: But there is also the laptop in the backpack. It would be nice of you could do the backup on our laptop directly, so that it is set up for the next time.

Me: Oh, ok. Yes, I can do that.

Friend: Would you also check the anti-virus stuff? I think the license expired. And maybe updates and stuff for all the other important things as well?

Me: Hmm... sure.

Friend: But still, isn't it too heavy? The bag with the laptop, the iPhone and the tablet?

Me: TABLET?

Friend: My daughter's teacher created some kind of account for some kind of app the kids should use. It would be super awesome if you could install that as well.

Me: Sure. No problem at all. Maybe something else?

Friend: No, I think that is it.


That's my latest story. What's yours? Tell me about your funniest, saddest and/or latest request.

Posted on by:

n_develop profile

Lars Richter

@n_develop

I'm a father, husband, developer, .NET-fan, blogger and tea-driven developer.

Discussion

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I used to work as IT on campus while going to school. My job was to go out and help with any IT issues related to classroom related technology. So the in-class computer, projector, USB, software stuff was all my job when I was on call.

I was flabbergasted by how smart some of the professors were, yet totally hopeless when it came to basic IT.

One of the best calls I had was with a professor with a huge ego.


(on the phone)
Prof: I have an issue with the in-class computer, it doesn't read the USB I put in.

Me: Ok, what room are you in.

Prof: Room 123 (yea like I remember that detail 😉)

Me: Ok, we'll be right over to check it out.

(I run/jog over to the classroom)

Prof: So I think the computer isn't working, my USB worked in my office before I came, so it must be the computer. I don't think you can fix it I tried everything already.

Me: It's possible its the computer, the computer is pretty old, let me see.


I then proceeded to check to see if the computer "sees" the USB, and sure enough it isn't there.
Obviously the #1 debugging technique is turning things off/on, but I wasn't at that point yet, so I did the next best thing.

I went to re-insert the USB only to find it basically falling out of the USB socket

ಠ_ಠ

I pushed the USB into the socket and sure enough it starts working.


Me: Ok professor, I fixed the issue

Prof: Oh ok, I can finally start lecturing, you may now leave. Class please clap for this man.


There are plenty of other instances of professors being just ignorant around technology, but this 1 professor was the only one who got the class to passive aggressively clap for anyone who helped him.

And no, I didn't tell him that was the issue. I actually had this professor for one of my classes so I couldn't afford it!

 

There are plenty of other instances of professors being just ignorant around technology, but this 1 professor was the only one who got the class to passive aggressively clap for anyone who helped him.

Oh boy... That's really bad. Is it really so difficult to say "Thank you"? Some people are just that ignorant. I sad similar experiences. It's no fun at all.

But there are other people as well, who are really thankful for our work. :-)