Computers. Don’t you just love them! Time rushes by when you are in front of that screen. Oftentimes I’ve let the fire die, or the potatoes boil to a soggy mush as I try to solve a computer problem or devise a workaround. And I’m not alone. They’re supposed to make you more productive… save you time, but sometimes I wonder. I loved this recent post on thrive as the author tried to do some photo editing and the catalogue of problems that ensued and the time wasted – I could identify with so much there.
We’ve all been there – a seemingly simple software problem to sort out or routine to master but it can take an eternity to get a satisfying result. In my experience, with the best will in the world, even after reading software help files, checking the preferences, often you may not get the direct easy solution you wanted but have to resort to a workaround or even have to hunt for an alternative program. Many’s a time I’ve found that with computers, for some reason to get from A to B you have to go via C and D!
Some applications like Photoshop are complex and you need to invest a fair bit of time to master them. Then when these apps are updated, they lose functionality or do things differently and you have to relearn stuff. Other applications just aren’t intuitive enough. I’ve often found that during a software installation or when using an app, the choice of options and the result of choosing an option aren’t clearly explained. I’m often left scratching my head wondering what exactly will happen if I chose a particular option, check a box or follow a particular route – and of course often the wrong choice is made and you have to start over losing more time. If I get the wrong result when using an app, very often I just have to work though the possible options by trial and error, changing one item at a time until I get the right result – more time gone. And of course don’t change two or three things at once as a shortcut – invariably, if you solve it you won’t know exactly which tweak solved it.
But having said that, there’s a great sense of achievement when you crack it no matter how long it takes. I’ve blogged some of my tips when I’ve solved a PC problem so as to try and help people through the same problems – and that’s my point here. When I started with PCs many years ago, there was no real help other than the good old manual, if that. Nowadays, we have so much help, from a quick Google search to tech forums, Twitter and sites like Mahalo Answers and MakeUseOf Answers where you can ask tech questions.
And when you’ve cracked that problem, be sure to make a note of what you did in something like Evernote, so you know for next time. There’s nothing worse that sitting down 3 or 4 months later faced with the same problem and scratching your head wondering how you solved it last time. Use your PC to remind you!
Have you solved a PC issue that’s given you a great sense of achievement? How do you solve PC problems? What do you find frustrating and a real time sink? Have you ever given up in disgust and taken drastic action! Have you resorted to changing your operation system or finding new software? Tell us in the comments!
photo credit: ap