Ruth Slavid talks architecture

How to deal with IT problems

Posted in Uncategorized by ruthslavid on May 27, 2014

This is my definitive guide to how to deal with IT problems, the bane of the freelance. This may not be all you need to know – but it is all that I know.
So here goes:
1. Check that everything is plugged in. I had terrible trouble with the landline recently, and it turns out my partner had knocked the connection and it was no longer plugged in.
2. Turn it off and turn it on again. We are all told this but it is easy to forget how often it works – for your computer, for your phone etc. I recently received an upgraded iphone. I thought one thing that would mean was an end to having to turn it off and on again if it stopped receiving email. What a fool. Of course it doesn’t.
3. If you have a problem, see if a friend knows the answer or if you can find the solution online (unless of course you have no online connectivity – and do for goodness sake keep the telephone number of your internet service provider somewhere you can get hold of it. If you lose your connectivity you won’t be able to email them and you won’t be able to look up the number online). Try the solution for about 10 minutes. If you can’t work it out by then, give up.
4. See if there is a supplier that you think could or should help – Virgin, Belkin, BT, Orange or whoever your providers are. Expect them to say that they are very busy. Expect them to send you to one of the others. Prepare for step 5.
5. Kick the cat/ dog/ your partner/ wall. Scream a bit.
6. If the problem is not absolutely vital, and if you are not on a deadline, wait overnight. Things often get better on their own. If it is urgent, proceed immediately to step 7. if it does not solve itself overnight, then proceed to step 7.
7. GAMI. This stands for ‘get a man in’. I know that in non-sexist times it should be ‘get a man or woman in’ but GAM/WI is not as catchy. And certainly the preponderance of people who fix computers (ie everyone I have met) are male. No comment. But you need an expert. You mean you don’t have one? Find somebody quickly through personal recommendation/ internet recommendations. Ideally somebody who lives near you but can also put something on your computer that allows them remote access.
With luck they will either:
* Solve your problem immediately, in which case you will feel a fool but be grateful and it will be relatively cheap (ask them what they did and you may be able to do it yourself next time), or
* Take a long time, in which case it will cost you more money but you will have the satisfaction of knowing that it was not idiocy that meant you couldn’t do it yourself.
The worst case of course is if they can’t solve it. If they tell you you need to buy new software/ new kit they are probably right and you will have to bite the bullet. Get them to install it. Expensive maybe but they will get it right.
If they tell you there is nothing to be done:
8. Repeat step 5 at greater intensity.
9. Get ANOTHER man in.
10. Repeat 8 and 9 until:
* It is solved
* You are bankrupt
* You burst
* You decide to switch career.

And that is everything I know about IT. Oh, and do back things up somewhere – but you knew that didn’t you?

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