Covering (but not limited to) all of my thoughts on the PC gaming scene.
Published on September 10, 2008 By Phazon88 In Personal Computing

If there is one skill I have that I take for granted, it is the level of computer literacy I have. I was exposed to computers at an early age, and quickly learnt as much as I could at that age. Having to type various commands in DOS at to get a game booted up was probably one of the encouraging factors back then.

Nowadays I find my computer skills indispensable. While most people's knowledge just extend to the extent of being able to use a word processor or send a email, mine goes further. I know how the system works, and this makes it infinitely easier when it comes to troubleshooting issues that arise. Not only that but it just makes the purchasing and setting up of personal computers that much simplier.

A most recent example would be with my new rig. It was custom built from the ground up, with every part having be specifically chosen for a good reason. The case was selected because of not only its style, but because it had excellent cooling fan positioning (including a front-mounted dust filter) and was large enough to hold everything. The motherboard selected had the right chipset I was after that would provide maximum compatibility and performance with the other components it had to work with. The video card selected had to have a dual-slot cooling solution so I didn't have to face overheating issues (as it gets hot in Australia at times) and so on.

Even with all the right parts chosen, the user will still find various anomalies that can arise with the near infinite rig configurations they can be used in. In my case, there was 2 major issues that had to be addressed. The first was a motherboard design flaw, that caused the PC to freeze up at the BIOS screen on a cold boot. After some googling I found that this was due to a faulty design on one of the fan ports on the motherboard, so simply not using the port and using another instead fixed that problem easily enough.

Problem number 2 was much more significant and it was only until recently I discovered a fix. My ATI Radeon HD3850 was the cause of a number of seemly random freezes that strangely only occured when I was at the Windows XP desktop (particularly web browsing). This problem only revealed itself to me after months of research, I finally found the problem mentioned on an obsure tech forum and someone was kind enough to post a fix. Apparently with certain configurations the card's PowerPlay feature (power conservation) could cause system lock-ups, because it was constantly changing the card's clock speeds and voltage on very insignificant desktop actions. The solution was to simply overclock the card so it would permanently remain at stock speeds regardless of the activity load. While this left the card a little hotter than normal, I knew it was well below its operational limits and the solution so far has worked perfectly (until ATI get off their butts and fix it anyway).

I've fixed many other PC problems in the past, and I don't know what I would do if I didn't have my level of knowledge of PCs that I have. I would estimate I've saved myself and the family numerous trips to a PC shop, because I've always ended up fixing the problems at home myself.

 

If there's one skill I'll be drumming into my kids when I have them, it'll be making them computer literate. That and learning how to swim.


Comments (Page 2)
on Sep 14, 2008

wulfn1
The only down side I've found to being semi-computer literate, is the whole family assumes I am free technical support, and if the problem is above my head , they come down hard on me for not fixing their issues... like I knew all along what the problem was and just refused to fix it. 

It sometimes gets tedious.

and I miss dos. it was confusing at times, but at least you knew if you got the line right, it'd do what you wanted it to.
I hear you there all my friends and famliy get me to fix there systems and do upgrades, can be a pain in the arse sometimes, if they are not freinds or fam then it's simple $50h;)

Cuts down on the requests and if they are persistent well 50h isnt bad;)

 

My level of computer use would be system builder.

on Sep 14, 2008

wulfn1
The only down side I've found to being semi-computer literate, is the whole family assumes I am free technical support, and if the problem is above my head , they come down hard on me for not fixing their issues... like I knew all along what the problem was and just refused to fix it. 

It sometimes gets tedious.

Luckily I have not been asked to fix something broken yet I don’t think I have the skills to but I have the certificate saying I passed the Technical Support part of my (basic) college course. Most of the time I get my dad asking how to work some music program (he is a keyboard player) and to make it do some music thing I have never heard of but because I know computers he thinks I can automatically use his complicated music program to.

 

Oh while my dad knows next to nothing about computers he knows how to illegally get music from the internet onto his MP3 player using some program to record stuff from his keyboards and from what I can tell no DRM will be able to stop it (Don’t know if he actually uses it as he’s got everything he wants on CD or old style records) so don’t always underestimate people who know nothing about computers

on Sep 14, 2008

If there's one skill I'll be drumming into my kids when I have them, it'll be making them computer literate. That and learning how to swim.

By the time your future kids are old enough to need to work on their own computers all they'll have to do to figure out what's wrong with them is to ask.

"Computer what's wrong", "I'm sorry Jimmy I seem to having problem with my secondary memory interface I've sent in a nanite repair team so I'll be a hundred percent shortly. Why don't you go outside and play for a while and don't forget your jacket"

on Sep 15, 2008

We already have decent AI with basic repairing techniques.  By the time his kids are old enough the pc will fix itself.,

on Sep 15, 2008

I consider myself pretty computer literate. I'm usually the fix it all in my family and also the guy to go to with computer and Internet questions. But my current knowledge is limited and can only do so much. I love being able to troubleshoot my own problems, it's like a hobby for me.

I do always wonder though with so many people using computers now a days so often, I find it amazing how many of them can be so computer iliterate as to know understand when there might be viruses or spyware on their PC and how to resolve the issue. They don't know how to clean the computer every so often (such as using ccleaner, the ani-virus and spyware software), they don't know how to defrag and some don't even know they should not shut the the computer by pressing the same button to turn it on. I have even seen people who are completely clueless as to all the shortcuts on the start button and the programs the computer already has.

Like someone said before, it's amazing they can survive a day on a computer at all. Considering most software is very user friendly, most people have no clue where the program gets installed, how or why. I mean, I don't expect ever PC user to know everything about computers, but at least the basics. Ever asked anyone with a mouse that has more then the left and right click button on it if they know what those other buttons do? You'd be surprised how many don't have a clue about the extra buttons on the mouse.

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