10 Things IT Professionals Don’t Want You to Know

Here's what your computer technician is thinking.

By Meaghan Cameron
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    1. We use the word "corruption" when we don't have a real answer

    Occasionally, when trying to fix a problem, something goes wrong and some part of the system breaks or stops working, or more damage happens. I was helping a customer a couple weeks ago move email over from one system to another and accidentally lost all of his calendar items. Of course I didn't tell him it was my fault. What happened? Corruption.

    2. On Google

    Google will not solve everything. Google is an amazingly helpful tool where you can find most answers to your tech questions by searching yourself... BUT I know which solutions are true and which are not. I can do a Google search for something and weed out all the illegitimate answers and know which ones make sense, which ones work, and which ones will cause more problems. The average user can't do that. Although Google is sometimes best for everyone. It's often easier to accomplish certain things using home based technology then the big corporate office technology. For example. Gmail vs. Microsoft Exchange. Gmail is simple and easy to use Exchange is super complicated

    3. Yes, Macs are more secure, but...

    ...not because they are some superior machine that works perfectly, but because the majority of the world uses PCs. The criminals want to attack the majority of the world. They want to steal people's credit card information and only 0.01% of the time its going to work so they choose to attack 100 million machines vs. 20 million.

    4. You can't hide anything from us

    Think trashing cookies and clearing your web history are keeping you invisible? Think again. Everything still goes through my firewall, which sees all traffic when you connect to the Internet. It goes from your computer to a device that directs the traffic out. That's why we can use things like content filters that block sites like Facebook, YouTube, and pornography.

    5. It drives me crazy when

    You don't listen. If I tell you not to go to a site or to avoid doing something and you do it anyway, and then your computer gets a virus, I will not want to help you as much because I know why you're having a problem. It's because you did not follow our instructions Or when you just ignore the work I've done to explain something. People will ask me how to do simple tasks that I have spent time documenting for them. Read the document. I'm taking screen shots and writing instructions to make things easier for you.

    6. I can't make a 4-year-old computer fast

    Computers naturally slow down with age. The hardest, sometimes impossible, thing to do is make an old computer faster. You have a hard drive that spins 7,200 times a minute inside that wears out and slows down. I'll try to fix it, but sometimes new is just better.

    7. Urgency is based on priority

    Just because you say your problem's urgent doesn't really mean it's urgent to me. Your email not working is not as important as another customer's server being down.

    8. Email me

    I prefer email over phone calls. I would love to talk to you on the phone, but it's not efficient. Email me a list of your problems and questions and it's a lot easier for me to respond to them all.

    9. Sometimes we're asked to get dirt on employees a company wants to fire

    I was once asked to sniff out all of an employee's traffic and show what sites she went to and how much time she spent surfing.

    10. You're right

    Sometimes we make 5 minute jobs last an hour.

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    Your Comments

    • GodProtectAmerica

      My Hard Drive has a MTBF of 300 Years. So I don’t worry.

    • rsams777

      Only need to read the first and last tip to know NOT to use this consultant.

      Data or system corruption is a real thing but a professional who lies about corruption to cover his own mistakes is dishonest.

      Likewise, stretching billing to one hour for a five minute job is dishonest. If you have a minimum charge per incident, say so. Don’t lie about it to generate revenue.

    • http://www.facebook.com/tony.carlozzi.9 Tony Carlozzi

      I am a tech guy own my own company and love this it is funny to read all the other comments about this is BS when its so true and no matter how fast hard drives spin yes the wear and slow down and you you who said you been in IT for 30 years you say this is BS come on you know this is funny and true to some extent. You all need to get over this and stop trying pick it apart because the ones complaining the most are the ones that do all this it would not bother you if you were not doing all this to

    • gemini

      I’m not sure if this article is titled correctly? It seems as the writer wants the computer user to know these tips, like emailing is the most efficient way to contact her.

    • 3golfhound

      Much of this article is pure bullshit. A 4-year old C2D machine with a 7.2k HDD, a decent amount of RAM and a freshly installed OS will be nearly indistinguishable from a new unit to the average user in terms of speed. 7.2k HDDs do not slow down over time due to mechanical issues, but due to improper OS maintenance and system bloat. The same phenomenon would also occur in SSDs with no moving parts. Most of the other points made are trivial and nonsensical. Ms. Cameron should stick to writing about cottages and gardens.

    • snicklefritz

      What a stupid article. I’ve been in IT for 30 years. Most of this was just plain stupid and obviously written by someone without IT experience and wisdom.

    • snicklefritz

      What a stupid article. I’ve been in IT for 30 years. Most of this was just plain stupid and obviously written by someone without IT experience and wisdom.

      • http://www.facebook.com/tony.carlozzi.9 Tony Carlozzi

        you been in IT for 30 years you say this is BS come on you know this is
        funny and true to some extent. You need to get over this and stop
        trying pick it apart because the ones complaining the most are the ones
        that do all this it would not bother you if you were not doing all this
        to

    • PCDEC


      You have a hard drive that spins 7,200 times a minute inside that wears out and slows down.”

      Complete BS

      • Asr

        Care to explain why that’s a complete BS?

        • Anonymous

           Hard drives continue to spin at the same speed unless something is wrong. If a 72000 rpm drive isn’t spinning at 7200 rpm, then it has gone belly up.

        • LTC Geek

          It’s much more likely that the slow PC is caused by software bloat (newer software is built to take advantage of newer, faster computers), registry errors, browser trackers, malware that has inadvertently been installed and junk ware (toolbars, etc) that have been purposely installed as well as unnecessary things loading on start up.  Addressing these issues fixes the great majority of problems. 

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1213780767 Jim Dodgen

          if it were to “slow down” it would just fail, lots of timing issues as it read data off of the disks. It runs at the same speed untill it dies. It could have “read errors” that affect performance but it is still spinning at the same speed.  

      • http://www.facebook.com/tony.carlozzi.9 Tony Carlozzi

        you say this is BS come on you know this is
        funny and true to some extent. You need to get over this and stop
        trying pick it apart because the ones complaining the most are the ones
        that do all this it would not bother you if you were not doing all this
        to

    • Ted Striker

      Corruption is actually the most terrifying word you can use, because sometimes even a backup won’t fix it. Often corruption can result in data loss, which is the worst possible thing that could happen. Hope that your hardware and disks are stable to prevent it. And shut stuff down before restarting a server.

    • Jackslife

      Switch to Linux and your computer will be fast again.

      • Ted Striker

        Average user will be completely lost the first the first time they try to install anything. It’s super easy, my grandma loves it ! (Or I pretend that she does). You just have to install x, x, and x dependencies and then modify the repository file, etc etc, and THEN it’s super easy.

        Windows 8 boots up super fast and is pretty nimble.