3 Lessons Learned From Working with Technology

Working from home is great. I get the freedom and flexibility to balance and structure my own schedule. But working from home also means that sometimes I need to fix problems on my own. I’ve become a better DIYer (Do-It-Yourselfer?) for it. One of these is being able to maintain and, hopefully, increase the longevity my computer. Well, computers. I have two.

I have both a desktop and laptop that I use regularly. My desktop is a custom-built machine that I put together a couple of years ago. My laptop? A Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro turned brick that I regret dropping $1000 on. To add to my technological woes, my computer recently contracted a cryptolocker virus. Cryptolocker viruses encrypt files on your computer and will then demand that you pay for the decryption of those files. For any average Joe like myself, this is a frustrating ordeal. The convenience and automation that technology afforded me was taken away. And for a brief moment, I thought I was living in the stone age.

There is good news, however. I eventually got my laptop and desktop fixed. After trying to troubleshoot on my own, I brought my laptop to a repair shop. Being a confident, self-professing computer enthusiast, I naively thought I could somehow fix my laptop. After my attempts to replace the network card, reinstall a new OS (operating system) and offering up my firstborn to a higher power, I finally decided to bring it to a repair shop. I discovered a part of the motherboard that controlled WiFi and one of my USB ports were fried. In hindsight, that was not something I would have been able to fix on my own. As for my dekstop, I decided that I would simply reinstall my OS on my desktop thereby getting rid of the cryptolocker in the process.

So what did my technological woes teach me?

  1. Working from home often requires you to put on many hats. In my case, a computer repairman.
  2. When technological disasters strike, act fast. I relied on my desktop when my laptop died. When my desktop failed as well, my work routine became a major inconvenience. I waited almost half a year before really deciding to fix my laptop. Part of the reason was because I could fall back on my desktop. Despite that, however, I was still left feeling like I just threw $1000 down the drain.
  3. Don’t be stingy when you can’t afford to be. I was reluctant to bring my laptop in to a repair shop because I thought they’d overcharge me. When I eventually did, it cost me $135 (not too bad). If I had done this earlier, I would have saved the time to get my work done and the headache of not knowing what to do with my then-useless laptop.

My laptops and computers are like any other essential piece of machinery that I use on the daily. Much like a car, they require maintenance from time to time. Spending a few hours going through and cleaning up the hardware and software in my computer keeps the machine “well-oiled” and running smoothly. There are many things one can do to increase the longevity of his/her computer such as cleaning out dust, killing unnecessary processes, installing anti-malware software, etc. A great resource that I always refer to is How To Geek’s PC Maintenance For Beginners.

Hopefully this has helped you, or at least had you starting to, think of your computers as worthwhile investments worth maintaining and preserving. This way you can get the most bang for your buck and your pockets will thank you for it!