There are several different types of what I call computer people.
First, there are those folks that want nothing whatsoever to do with computers or any technology at all. Rotary phone types. Not really part of the discussion at hand, but I have to put them in here.
Next on the food chain are people like my daughter and grandmother. They don’t particularly give a shit HOW it work, they just need it to. They are willing to learn simple tasks (like creating fire) such as opening the web browser, etc. The are the end users that create havoc. Download garbage, spyware, generally fuck up their computers within a couple of months. The only reason I have my daughter in this list is because she is eight. I am pretty sure that she will progress as time goes by. This group of people, although I end up making money off of them, is a big pain in the ass. I have driven the 60 miles to College Park more than once to fix the sound on my Grandmother’s computer because the fucking speaker wire was unplugged.
Third on my list are the sterotypical Mac users. Secretly all serious computer geeks want to be Mac users. Just have the shit work right, but not be afraid to ask questions and try and fix it. They can also be pretty dangerous, viruses, spyware, but overall, they are the perfect end users. If it don’t work right, pop in the fucking restore CD and be done with it. Most of the people that I do small jobs for fall into this range. My wife is one of them. Over the last couple of years, I have stopped building PCs for people, and just recommend buying compaq or macintosh. Easy to use, comes with a restore CD. Just make sure you get one with a burner and backup your important docs and pictures.
I am going to leave the Professionals out of this. Most of the full time pros are very good at what they do, but when they leave work, either they are the previous group that just wants the shit to work right, or they hate computers completely.
I belong in the last group. Semi-professionals who think they know everything and have to tweak shit all of the time, usually to their detriment. Recently I had a hard drive crash and had to rebuild everything. I finally got everything right, running under Windows XP, everything was moving along smoothly. Microsoft has released their Windows Vista beta 2, so I downloaded both the 32 bit version as well as the 64. I tried to upgrade to the 32 bit version and something went wrong with the install. Damn. I booted to the 64-bit DVD that I had burned and proceeded to install. Can’t do an upgrade this way (it is disabled) and I don’t think that I would be able to upgrade from 32 to 64 anyway. I installed the 64 bit version and found that it didn’t support the 64 bit Abit drivers from XP for my damn NIC. I formatted it again, and loaded the 32-bit Windows Vista. Everything seemed ok for a couple of days, then it started freezing up on me. Then I lost sound. Dammit. Reloaded the drivers and that didn’t work. I figured that I had screwed something up messing around with the Vista settings, so I tried a repair. No good. So I formatted the drive and have now loaded the 64-bit evaluation of Windows XP. Sound STILL didn’t work, and after a bit of troubleshooting (which I should have done a week ago) I found that it was mainly locking up when accessing the sound hardware. Goddam onboard sound. I disabled it in the BIOS and found an old SB Live card in my basement, popped that in, and everything is hunky dory.
Now I am just waiting for compatible 64-bit drivers for my NIC and I will upgrade back to Windows Vista beta 2, haha. I am a damn glutton for punishment sometimes.
Whether it be screwing around with my operating system, or skinning my desktop, or seeing if I can run some bad-ass AS400 fans in my desktop, I am always tweaking. Sometimes it can be a real pain in the ass and at those times, I wish I were just an end user. I just want the shit to work right.