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Google is your friend

One of the question people commonly ask me when I am helping them with computer problems is “how do you know so much about computers?” or “how did you learn to be so good with computers?”. My answer is usually some long winded response that I started fixing computers years ago, or that they interest me a lot so i try to learn about them.

Really the secret stems to one common resource: Google.

Even during interviews I am asked “If you don’t know something what do you do?” and the best response is always the most truthful. I tell interviewers “I will  try to search on Google for my problem. If I still can’t seem to find a solution I will ask others afterwards”. I have only ever had compliments from interviewers reinforcing the practice by saying “that’s what I do!” or “it’s good to be self sufficient like that”.

As well when people ask me “what router should I buy” my response is usually “Get a D-Link or Linksys”. I don’t believe these are much better than lets say, Trendnet, Netgear, or others . The key advantage is that Linksys and D-Link routers are two of the most popular routers out there. If you ever had a problem with one, and could get internet by some other means, a simple google search of “Linksys can not connect to the internet” or “D link setup wireless security” will yield several pages worth of results of useful answers. It may take a few results until you find your problem, but you will find it.

You will develop better “Google skills” over time. You will find by adding certain key words, tossing in quotations in the right places, will get the answers you need on the first page. You will also find by having good “Google skill” you will be able to find and search for answers for anything! including on “how to change the oil in my car?” or “How to cook a ham”.

So, go ahead, try your luck with Google. Of course if Google scares you, you can try other search engines, like Bing or Yahoo. The first thing you may want to try to search is “Google search basics”…

This is a great comic from XKCD.com



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