Quite frequently, though not as often as in the past, I’m asked to troubleshoot some electronic doohickey which is not performing as well as its owner would like. Since I’m a pushover I almost always take the call and try to do something to help. More often than not, though, the call comes in just before dinner, or during a bike ride, or when I’m doing something else that’s important to me. Not anymore, suckers. Read down this here list and if, by the time you get to the bottom your buck hasn’t been passed to someone else, send an email message. I’ll get back to you sooner or later. Probably later. Deal.
Things I won’t help you with. Period.
- Video cameras of any sort
- Your cellular phone
- Anything made by Apple. If says “Macintosh” or “i-Something” on it, take it to the genius bar at your nearest Apple store. How can you tell if you’re at the genius bar? It’s the counter in the back staffed mostly by idiots. BTW, the “i” stands for “i paid too much”.
- I don’t know which computer you should buy. The availability changes daily, or so it seems. If all you’re gonna do is surf the web and run MS Office, pretty much any computer on the market right now is good enough. Go to Wal-mart and get the cheap one. If your needs are more specialized there are innumerable mail lists, forums, boards, blogs and other people who can help you.
- Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, etc. You dug your own social networking hole. Climb out of it by yourself.
- That piece of software you bought last week. I’ve probably never even seen it. As much as I’d like to help, real life isn’t like the movies, and the computer guy isn’t instantly an expert with everything that comes down the pipe. Feel free to ask, though. If I have used it, I’ll do what I can.
Things I might be able to help with.
- Digital cameras that say “Pentax” on them. If it does, in fact, have a Pentax logo on it, you have, in fact, read the manual (downloadable from Pentax) and you still can’t figure it out, send an email message. I’ll do what I can. If your digital camera is from Nikon, Canon, Sony, Leica, Samsung, Kodak (really? you bought a Kodak?), or any other company that’s not Pentax, I can’t and won’t help you.
- Film cameras of any format. Bring it. I’m up for a challenge.
- Movie cameras that take film. I’ll try, but those are really out of my league. At worst I’ll direct you to the appropriate mail list.
- Bicycles. If your bike is made out of carbon fiber and has parts on it labeled STI, take it to your local bike shop. I’m not interested. Is your suspension system busted? Can’t help you. Did you buy it at Wal-Mart or some other department store? If you did and you’re driving a car that’s less than 5 years old I can’t help. You can afford to buy a real bike. Otherwise, lemme know. I’m actually pretty knowledgeable about these things and I have quite a few of the special tools required to work on them. Hit me up. Via email.
Computers. UPDATE!!! I no longer help anyone with computer problems. Period. Sorry. Take it to Geek Squad.
Is your problem not covered here? Do you still think you want my help? Send an email message. Also, please note that my phone number is not listed anywhere on this page, and I never once asked for a phone call. If I need to speak with you over the phone or in person about your problem, I’ll let you know.
One last thing. I have never, ever asked anyone for compensation when working on their computer or bicycle. But gratuities are nice. A six-pack of something that’s not from AB is most welcome. As are bike goodies. Please keep in mind that I respond well to incentives and my time isn’t necessarily doled out first-come-first-served.