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Tech Support 101

edited April 2006 in GeekNights
This has been my favourite episode ever. It's so wonderful to know that I'm not alone. I'm speaking as a man who is listed on his friend's mobile phones as Tech Support. Friends, family, co-workers all come to me.

Last week one of my girlfriend's co-workers, whom I have never met, came to our house to collect her for a wedding they were going to. She was accompanied by her husband, again whom I have never met. They were in our living room for all of 10 minutes. In that time he managed to question me about his faulty email. His question....."My email isn't working. Do you know why that might be?" His only reason to assume that I might know was he had seen me with my computer. He nearly died.

To be clear, I do not work in a tech support based job. I am in no way qualified in computer use in any way (infact I'm in no way qualified to do my current job at all). People just ask me. Granted I usually can solve their problem. I was blessed with a tech savvy father so we always had a computer around so I'm now an ubergeek. It all doesn't mean that I care about other people's tech problems. PC World is just down the road. If they were dumb enough to buy a Dell, they deserve the viruses.

To make it worse, I'm going to that Podshow UK meet and greet that you've probably heard Adam Curry talking about this coming Sunday, and I already get the feeling that I'm going to have to tell him how to use Garage Band properly, based on his account of it today. Sigh


  • Wow, all this time I thought you had a real tech support job. I think it's funnier now I know that you don't. It does seem weird to me when people say things like "Hooray, I'm not alone!" I never really feel alone. I always seemed to know that all computer guys had this same problem. I'm really curious, what made you think you were alone in this respect?

    As for Adam Curry, I stopped listening to him quite awhile ago. So of course, I didn't know about this meet + greet thing until just now. I hope you have a lot of fun at it. I wish there were some podcast type events around here. The New York area really seems to get the shit-end of the stick for cool events. Stupid west coast.

    Why don't I listen to Adam anymore? Well, I just don't listen to podcasts, or read blogs, by people who know less than I do. If you look at my OPML you'll see a bunch of people all smarter than myself. I listen to learn. The only things Curry seems cabaple of teaching me are how to be famous, 80's pop songs and advertising. None these are things which I give two craps about. I mean, the main topics on his show were shaving and biodiesel. The scant amount of useful information he shared concerning those topics came from his listeners rather than himself. And the preponderance of blatantly false and misleading ifnormation he propgates really grinds my gears. So it doesn't surprise me that he can't use Garage Band properly. Show him a thing or two for the good of podcasters everywhere!
  • First the tech support. For some reason I have never really come across anyone who knows as much as I do. I don't mean that to sound like I'm bragging, I've just met an unusual amount of technically inept people. Over all I don't think there is much of a geek culture in the UK. A few of my friends have a go, and Allison is way above average in general technical knowlege, but other than that, I'm everyone's tech support.

    Then to Adam Curry.

    Well we went and we drank and we chatted. Allson and I took the train to London. It was a small room above a small pub in the middle of London. Very crowded and we didn't know anyone. The first thing you noticed is that the UK podcasting scene is not the domain of the young. We were some of the youngest people in the room. It shows that the UK geek community belongs to the middle aged men (that's middle aged as in 45+)

    As you can imagine, it looked like there were a few fanboys there, but that's to be expected. Nothing too bad at all. Allison and I just hung back until Adam had a moment to talk to us. He knew who we were, either through our show or my emails (I think he does listen to the show though). We chatted for a couple of minutes about him and his wife visiting Yorkshire, how cool it is when you get a response from your listeners and the podcasting community when something bad happens to you (see my recent appendix adventure), and about his last show. So it was simply a meet and greet. Pretty much what I expected.

    We're very pleased we went and I have to say that Adam was a thoroughly nice guy who was obviously very excited by what was happening. He made an effort to get to speak to everyone and did very well to say at least thirty people must have offered to buy him a drink. Overall it was a really positive experience and both my fellow UK podcasters and Adam Curry proved themselves to be very decent people.
  • I'm not really qualified to comment on the size of the geek culture in the UK because I've never been there. But I do know that quite a few famous figures in the computer science field come from there. Also, there are many game development studios and software companies based in the UK. I must admit, knowing more than everyone else really sucks. One of the reasons I enjoyed college, and some jobs I've had, is because I was able to be around people who knew more than me. It's all about learning.

    Glad you had a good time at the podcasting get-together. It's very interesting that most of the people there were older men. Makes me think of my dad. As he's gotten older he's more into radio, like Prarie Home Companion and such. I think he's almost 48 or 49 years old. Perhaps we should start targeting that demographic to get more podcast listeners? Or maybe we should make a new effort to get other demographics to listen to podcasts.

    I'm also happy to hear that Curry is a genuinely nice person. Too many celebrity people have completely different public and private personalities. For the record I never said he was a bad person. All I said was that I lost interest in his podcast because I feel I have nothing more to learn from him. You know, just in case someone implies something from my previous comments.

    Lastly, this is off-topic, but I noticed your latest episode is about Old Boy. I've been meaning to watch this film for awhile now. Not sure what I expect of it, but I really look forward to listening to the episode soon.
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