Why it’s better to pretend I don’t know anything about computers.

For all those planning to ask me to fix their computers this holiday season, please read this wonderful parable.

And if you really do want your computer to run fast:

  • Stop using Internet Explorer.
  • Stop downloading crap.
  • Keep the kids away from your computer.
  • Buy as much RAM as you can cram into the thing.
  • Keep a selection of nut-free cookies on hand for when I turn up to work on your computer anyway.

Archived Comments

  1. Mom on 20091221.Monday:
    Prague, power out, fix my computer, how I nearly electrocuted myself..... I have the answer to your electrician projects: do them when the power is out. But beware when it comes back on suddenly.
  2. Geof Harries on 20091222.Tuesday:
    I've been pretending to not know anything about computers for years now. If it's Windows that needs fixing, I just shake my head and say, "Sorry, I only know about Macs." Conversely, if it's a Mac, I use "Sorry, I've been on Windows so much lately, I've forgotten how to use a Mac." It works really well. There's some rare cases, my parents and in-laws, where my knowledge of Macs can make a surprise return - it's a miracle! - but other than that, playing dumb is always the wise move.
  3. Dave on 20091222.Tuesday:
    Sadly, the truth that the only OS I know anymore is Linux doesn't seem to spring me free from these maintenance requests. I can't even find the Start button in Vista, and have never laid eyes on Win7, and yet that's what I'm asked to fix. My extensive knowledge of SYSTEM.INI and Netbeui protocols seems to be for naught.
  4. Murray on 20091222.Tuesday:
    "Sorry, I'm good with software but that's clearly a hardware issue." Or sometimes "Sorry, I'm good with hardware but that's clearly a software conflict." :)
  5. Dave on 20091223.Wednesday:
    You presume that most people know the difference between software and hardware. Computers is computers to most folks and they don't tend to care about such categorizations (nor should they, in my opinion -- these things should just work).