Moved Mountains

Banner - Mt Trio, Stirling Range National Park, Western Australia - (c) 2007

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


I've been running my little "tent making" business (doing basic software fix-ups and troubleshooting computers with problems) for around 3 weeks now. Generally it's been going well.

On average I've been getting about 2 or 3 jobs a week, which is about the level I had hoped for.

Today, though, I met my first hiccup. I was checking out a laptop computer that had been malfunctioning. I disabled the usual dozen or so nuisance start-up processes - all the software that runs unnecessarily when you first boot up your computer, slowing everything down- and did a re-start. That's where the trouble started.

The computer proceeded to log on to Windows, showing the desktop wallpaper and then, automatically, log itself off. I tried booting into Safe Mode, booting from a Windows boot disk and everything else I could think of, all to no avail.

So I fessed up. I told the customer what had happened and that I was unable to go any further with fixing the problem. As the problem I was now experiencing was similar to that experienced by the customer in the first place (the machine sporadically shutting itself down) I thought it could be related.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, I now have one, extremely dissatisfied customer (fair enough too!) who has opted to take their computer elsewhere. I've spent the last two hours researching the problem on the net and think I have found an answer. I've also spent the last two hours ruminating over the fact that I think, I caused the problem in the first place!

In the end I called the customer back and told them what I thought had happened. At least that way they can pass this on to the new guy and he can, hopefully, go straight to the root of this most recent problem and rectify it. I also offered to cover whatever it costs to rectify this issue, if indeed it was I who caused it in the first place.

Sometimes I think I should have concentrated more on finding work marrying and burying people - much easier in the long term.


upstream said...

I have had some similar learning curve experiences so don't quit!

You have chosen computers to work with though... Retic is a 'closed system' with only a number of variables. Computers... :)

Some people get narked easily. if you stuffed up, fessed up and didn't charge then you are just human!

The Creature said...

Yeah, computers!

Not quite ready to quit yet, but the stress level was fairly high earlier this arvo.