Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Notes on Computer Hardware Servicing

Having recently ventured again into academia and entrepreneurship opened the door to opportunities I doubt will be found by those clinging to their day jobs: the chance to help out the community and add value to the lives of your neighbors. Having an extensive experience in computer hardware, software and networking with some free time, some of my neighbors seek my help on fixing their computer problems. However,  most of them have been ripped off and their computers may either work inconsistently or not at all before they came to seek my help; and thus the inspiration for this article.

Below are the rules of engagement I hope all who conduct computer hardware (and software?) servicing and especially those unsuspecting clients would read and learn by heart:

  • Check the Warranty
  • Don't Covet Thy Neighbors Computer
  • Free and Open Source Software Matters
  • It's About Relationships

Check the Warranty
I have observed many go for the quick buck at the expense of the client and this has given Computer Hardware Servicing its bad name. Nowhere is the client most disappointed than on void warranty on their computer system. Speaking from experience, I hope we'd always treat product warranty with sanctity not only for the sake of the equipment but more importantly for the sake of the reputation of the profession.

Don't Covet Thy Neighbors Computer
There are technicians who upon seeing their client's computer system, start to scheme taking advantage of the client and get the coveted computer system part(s) again at the expense of the client. I believe in karma and the golden rule; coveting and practically stealing from the client can and will have repercussions.

Free and Open Source Software Matters
Not to insult the financial capacity of the client, but just because the client can't afford to buy proprietary software, we should not allow the practice of using pirated software. The free and open source software has produced many current systems competing in quality, performance, stability and security of proprietary (did I mention usually expensive?) software. This is especially beneficial for small and medium sized businesses.

It's About Relationships
I think this sums up the whole article: being in Computer Hardware Servicing business may be seen from the perspective of making the most of one client and earn as much as possible. However, profit-focus with less regard and concern for the client is a short-term transaction. If one can establish great relationship and earn the trust and respect of the client, the technician will have access to a vast network of potential clients built on reputation and quality service.

Concerning the client, I hope given the great job performed on their computer system, they'd be more generous to reward the technician.

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