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Is Technology Driving You Mad?

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Is Technology Driving You Mad?

Is technology driving you mad? Love it or hate it, business today depends on technology, and it’s here to stay.

Only the simplest of sole traders can survive without it. But it won’t be that way for much longer. Even Mike, who does my pest inspections, has remote payment options these days.

PULLING OUR HAIR OUT

He was here recently, but when I went to pay the bill, there wasn’t a good enough signal and the machine wouldn’t accept my card. We chewed the fat for a few minutes, and when the network sorted itself out, the transaction was completed.

While were chatting, he was telling me of his love hate relationship with technology. He’s in his late 40s and comes from a time before IT became ubiquitous. Still, he’s made an effort to learn a little along the way. By his own admission, he knows enough to be dangerous, but only to himself, according to his wife.

He’s typical of many of my generation. They have a very limited knowledge of PCs and other such things. So, when they go wrong, as they are prone to, they find the experience very frustrating.

WE’RE IN THIS TOGETHER

You might think that as I chose a career in IT, I get a comparatively easy ride, and to some extent, I suppose I do. But I’m not a support guy, or a network specialist. I sit here from time to time, utterly confused as to what’s going on. 

Recently, my reliable and still fast four year old laptop has started crashing badly and giving me the “blue screen of death”.

It’s driving me nuts. 

The message says it’s a hardware fault.

I have no idea what though, so I’m just as annoyed and frustrated as everyone else. Is the technology in your life driving you mad?

A STITCH IN TIME

I’ll call the support line tomorrow, and doubtless someone half may age will instruct me and help me determine the best course of action.

Importantly, the machine is covered by a service agreement. Such is the reliability of hardware today, it only cost about $1 or so a week because I bought directly from a vendor (Dell in this case), and that’s for a next business day on site repair and premium Australia based support.

If you buy from a high street retailer, be prepared to hand over your first-born child in payment. I won’t name names, but one I looked at charged almost 50% of the purchase price for a three year replacement warranty. 

And given that the first year or so is covered by standard consumer laws, you’re really only buying two years. 25% of cost price a year to protect against catastrophic failure seems very expensive to me.

IGNORANCE IS EXPENSIVE

Of course, I’ve shared this wisdom with others before. Typically, I get told that they don’t know enough to buy from a vendor, or what to look for, the questions to ask, and so on. And my response is always the same.

LEARN!

Like it or not, the PC or Mac is a tool of your trade. You need to understand what makes a good one, who’s giving you a good deal, and how to get support without having to pay nearly $200/hour for a geek to come to you.

You don’t need to be an expert in their use just as you don’t need to be a racing driver or mechanic to use your car. But you do need to know the basics because the harsh reality is that burying your head in the sand is expensive.

TODAY, TOMORROW AND BEYOND

We are, as I’ve written many times, amid a massive technological revolution. The next ten years will see extraordinary advances in just about everything, and there is no doubt that technology is here to stay. The remainder of our working lives will increasingly depend on it.

So, find yourself a good mentor, or adviser, or do a course or two. Take the time to become familiar with your technology and your needs for making it work. Investing just a few minutes a week will make an enormous difference.

You may not like computers. And technology might be driving you mad. But standing in front of a juggernaut and hoping it will stop is rarely a good strategy.

So as the old saying goes, if you can’t beat ‘em, might as well join ‘em. I promise you. They’re not that bad.

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