Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Cheap Computer Help


Today's world runs on computers. Another inescapable truism is that your computer is going to have problems, usually when you can least afford the downtime. Hardware, software, connectivity, operator confusion--all can ruin your day when malfunction strikes. Computer help is not cheap but here are some ideas to reduce the expense.


Online

When you need computer help, perhaps the cheapest place to turn is online. This is especially true if the problem is one of confusion or figuring out how to do something. It's not always a good idea to follow online advice regarding opening the computer and replacing hardware yourself, but many issues can be resolved by visiting websites such as Microsoft.com for Windows-related issues, the company website of your computer manufacturer, or any of the thousands of computer forums out there. The forums are patrolled by a lot of Good Samaritans, and if you approach them politely, they are likely to help.

Finding online help for computer problems can be tedious and time consuming, but you can't beat the price.

Local Technician


The range of prices for local technicians can be staggering. Don't blindly walk into a repair shop, turn over your computer and ask them to fix it. The resulting bill might cause heart palpitations. Do a little research first. See if you can find the going rate for your problem by doing an online search. If you know what work needs to be done, ask for a quote from several shops before selecting one to do the work. Look for new, small businesses staffed by one or two technicians. They're likely to charge a lesser hourly rate in order to get your business.
Schools and Books


If you really don't want to spend a lot of money on a computer fix, think outside the box. Call local colleges or high schools and see if they might put you in touch with students who think a gift certificate to a video store is pretty good pay.


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