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Why do computer science people get annoyed when someone asks, "Can you fix my computer?"

Ok, plenty of good answers here... I'll just add my own experience. How I Got to Be a Computer Guy So let me tell you my experience. I started building electronics kits in 3rd grade, started designing my own circuits in High School. I also taught myself to program when I was twelve, thanks to my Dad bringing home a computer terminal on the weekends and letting me use a computer at Bell Laboratories. I graduated with a 4-year degree in Electrical Engineering and Math/Computer Science (also majored in Psychology, but that’s not relevant) in 1983. I spent 11.5 years designing Amiga computer systems at Commodore, and "just for fun" writing a few useful AmigaOS programs. I have worked at a bunch of other companies since then, once designing a computer language, database, and compiler as well as doing some low-level programming, at most other companies designing what you'd call "embedded" computer systems and sometimes low-level code, FPGA code, etc. to go with them. Some of those ran Amiga-like operating systems, some ran Linux, some a little of both (systems with multiple CPU subsystems). These days, I design ARM-based computers that run Linux and live inside some specialized mobile, multi-radio mesh routers. I have yet to touch a line of Linux code for this job, though I occasionally use Linux when I need to write a program. My CAD tools all run on Windows, and I run a few other programs on Windows when I'm editing photos or video or creating computer music. I wrote a couple of device drivers on Windows back in the 1990s, since then, I have not written a single Windows program. By choice. The “Computer Guy” Dilemma And yet I hear it all the time: "you're a computer guy, please fix my PC". I have done this, for close friends and family, and like most folks point out here, the "fix" is usually because that user did something stupid with the PC. Except my son... he manages to kill laptops in sometimes amazing ways, and I'll admit, I've fixed up a couple of them (there's one in my lab at work), I've got another waiting to be resurrected. Sure, I can fix these. But when my son's computer died last month, I ordered up a new one for him. Fixing computers on my time, fine, but it's not something I'm going to be able to do on-demand. I have other priorities, and like many of the others have suggested, being expected to fix a PC on a schedule like I was some "Greek Squad" guy is not a thing I'm going to do. For anyone. Even my kids. Then there’s the generic “computer guy” problem. Most people who work in computing know software, not hardware, so they may have no idea how to “fix” your computer. In my experience, though, quite often, it’s software problems. But not every software or hardware person is at all well versed in debugging Windows. Some simply don’t use Windows. Others, being computer professionals, don’t do any of the stupid things that lead to these kinds of problems, so they have very little experience in debugging such systems. And debugging is done differently in engineering, production, and technical support. When I design a new thing, I’m mostly debugging my own mistakes, occasionally debugging hardware that wasn’t built correctly, etc. So I’m pretty good at that kind of debugging. In a production situation, when a new product or subsystem doesn’t work, it’s a different set of problems: bad component, board stuffing error, etc. And the people doing the first-pass analysis of this know production, so they have a big list of things that can go wrong, a list I don’t know, but they have little to no understanding of the product. And when that product’s in your house and starts to fail, you have both the basic product, an OS on top that, drivers, apps, etc. When you bring your system into the Geek Squad kid, he’s got tools and hopefully experience to deal with the kind of things that typically go wrong in PC in someone’s home. Which I only know for the little bit of tech support I’ve done for myself and close friends and family… and some computer guys may not know at all. It’s also not my kind of work, not really what I want to spend my time doing if I can possibly avoid it. If you're an artist, you most people aren't going to ask you to paint their house. If you're a sculptor, they're probably not going to ask you to lay a brick walkway. If you're a mechanical engineer, maybe you get asked by friends to fix their washing machines or lawnmowers, I dunno... but hopefully, you get the point. When a car fails, most people take it to an auto mechanic. When a house needs painting, most people call a house painter. So why this issue with a malfunctioning PC?

What should you do if your boss keeps telling you to use the wrong coating on a roof that's already failed three times?

More detail would be helpful, in Western Australia by law we must provide a 6 year warranty on painting, we therefore wouldn’t keep applying the same system without investigating the cause of the peeling, my guess is it’s a previously painted metal roof that already had a peeling issue due to not being etched by the original painter most likely a bad paint job by a non professional, if this is the case then a painter in Western Australia wouldn’t accept the job because once we touch it we own it and all it’s future problems, How to fix it? Remove all paint by whichever means won’t destroy your customers garden apply an etch primer and finish with two coats of acrylic. Sounds like your boss is spot priming and touching up, this won’t fix it

How do you fix a bad touch-up paint job?

Sometimes you have to sand down the areas and re-paint them if not the whole body. Usually if you use the same paint you don’t get the runs and colour mismatch that sometimes occurs.

When buying a used car, what are some key things to inspect to make sure its mechanically sound?

I’ve bought plenty of cars in my life, all but one used. You can buy a small little magnet device that will tell you how many layers of paint are on a vehicle… You’re basically looking for uniformity all over the vehicle, which will tell you if the vehicle had been in an accident (if there is body filler in a section). Short of this device, pulling trunk panels and feeling inside wheel wells will quickly indicate if a quarterpanel has body filler on it. Immaculately clean engines are a big warning sign - It could mean the seller is trying to hide an oil leak. A layer of dry dust that doesn’t show any drips is a fantastic sign. While the engine bay is open, feel the engine. Is it cool to the touch? A warm engine will make different sounds than a cold engine… Not necessarily a bad thing, it’s to be expected. But sometimes you can hide things by warming up an engine before the buyer gets there. While the hood is open, check for wires that aren’t in the loom, or otherwise not secured. This indicates a hack wiring job, possibly to install lights, a stereo amplifier, or some other accessory - A good install will be hard to spot, which is an excellent thing. Check the engine and transmission oil. Smell it - Does it smell burnt? New oil is another sign something may be trying to be hidden. A slightly darker shade indicates a healthy engine; if it is grey or white, walk away. Radiator water. A good green tint is what you’d hope to see; if it looks rusty, it could indicate internal corrosion, and if it’s grey or white, look for another car. (Update: Ryan Paine stated that some cars use red, and Arthur Romano stated that it was blue on his car. I’ll amend my answer is it looks like a milkshake, with grey or white, walk away - Be cautious if it isn’t clear or if it’s filthy). Check the tires. Do they look evenly worn? If they don’t, you have alignment issues, either from a hard hit, running the car too hard (common if it’s a young driver), and rubs/scratches/dents on the edges of the rims, which could show someone that hit a curb too hard. Also, are all the tires the same brand/type? If one is different, it could indicate an accident to that side, or an alignment issue requiring replacing the tire (especially if the tire is noticeably newer than the others). Put the key in the ignition, and watch the lights. You want to see ALL of the warning lights come on, then go off in a few seconds. They tell you that they are functioning, and not otherwise disconnected, hiding an issue. I especially pay attention to the “check engine” light… If it doesn’t go off, it will never pass smog. Mind you, anyone with an OBD II reader can turn off the light, and it will take about 20 miles for the system to get good reading on the system. If you have your own (or borrow one from the local parts store) check to see if there are any tests pending on the computer (which indicates a reset). An OBD II reader that connects to your phone via blue-tooth sells for about $15, and the “Professional Software” (I like Torque) sells for around $6… although free versions are available. Anti-lock brake lights is also a good thing to look… A malfunctioning system can cost a fair penny to fix. Start the engine, and listen. Squeaks, rattles, knocks… Some will be expected on a cool engine that will quickly go away. Hydraulic lifters take a second to pressurize, so you may hear taps to begin with. Is the initial smoke white, or blue? Some whiteness from a cold start is okay, but it should look otherwise clear within 15 seconds, it should clear up. Stop and start it a couple of times once it’s warm. Does it fire right away? When you stop the engine, does it stop immediately, or does it have trouble dying? Smell the interior. Is the seller trying to hide an odor problem? Be sure to turn on the heater, and wait until you get hot air. Not necessarily to see if it’s working, but again, you can quickly find an odor problem. Also, if it smells sweet, you’ve got a coolant leak in the heater core. Is the interior floor mats dry, especially in the front footwells? No? You have a leak from somewhere. When driving, do you have power? Brakes don’t squeak when you step on them? Does the steering wheel shimmy when braking hard? Squeaking brakes indicate either glazed rotors or those needing new brake pads; a shimmy indicates warped rotors. Does the vehicle pull to one side or the other as you’re driving down the road? Alignment issues, which will wear your tires faster. Try the vehicle at different speeds. Feel for vibrations, especially coming through the steering wheel. If it is a front wheel drive vehicle, at a slow speed, try very sharp turns in an empty parking lot. Do you hear popping or grinding noises coming from the front? If so, you need CV joints. These are the main things I look for. If it passes, I’ll have a formal inspection done at a shop - A $150 inspection is cheap insurance, especially if you’ll be paying more than $5,000 for a car. Credit to Luca Mantovani for reminding me a few things I forgot, and for linking a video on “How to Buy a Used Motorcycle” in the comments.

Do you regret something you did as a police officer?

Do you regret something you did as a police officer? Yes, but not in a way that most might imagine. I was raised to be scrupulously honest. This has not always served me well in work situations although my conscience has remained clear. I was working deep nights when a storm was approaching, and while checking the National Guard armory a gate that I needed to drive through and secure got pushed by a huge gust of wind. A little piece of metal wire made a scratch in the white part of the vehicle paint barely above the running board on the rear passenger side (full sized SUV). Instead of saying nothing and hoping that no one could pinpoint when it occurred or trying to cover it with touch up paint, I followed the department policy to the letter and listed it on my end of shift vehicular report. I mistakenly assumed that I might have nothing happen or might get charged the nominal cost for a bottle of touch up paint from the dealership which at that time cost less than 5 USD. Nope. I had a sad excuse for a supervisor who was known for being petty, racist and a bully. He wrote me up for discipline as if I had caused major damage doing something reckless like speeding on ice or off-road for fun. Unfortunately, those higher up the chain of command did not stand up against the obviously petty bullying, and I got a full day off without pay. It was enough money to pay for my gasoline for the month or to pay a utility bill, so it hurt. We were not bn unionized, but that incident definitely showed me the value of having a union to stand up for individual workers who are otherwise fairly powerless in at will employment. Some more senior officers from a nearby agency told me that I should have called one of them to bring me some white typing correction fluid to fill in the scratch if it was in the white paint or a black permanent marker if it was in the black paint instead of giving a known @$$hole a chance to mess me over for no good reason. They said I should have gone to the dealer and bought the touch up paint once they opened right after my shift ended because that's all those jerks who messed me over ultimately used on the vehicle anyway. It was a hard lesson in “the real world.” If this “discipline” taught me anything, it was that “fairness” is often a convenient illusion or talking point and that bullies and cowards often prevail over those who try to do the right thing. Shortly after my tiny scratch cost me more money than if I had paid to have the entire door painted at a repair shop, two white male officers caused ,major, damage to vehicles. Neither were treated as they should have been if policy was equally applied to everyone. One was near retirement and had horrible eyesight and bad habits. He hit a citizen’s vehicle in the rear. He had run a stop sign that he had been seen to run regularly while making a right hand turn only a few blocks from HQ. He was driving the same SUV that I had given a two inch, light scratch near the running board. He was ordered to have multiple unpaid days off, and he told them to piss off instead. The department had to pay out for that accident with the citizen and repair the department vehicle, and it cost the officer ,nothing, because he ,refused to accept the consequences,. They didn't dock his pay or write him up for insubordination, ,which should have happened per policy. A second young officer who was already a screw up (but connected to others with influence) disregarded direct orders during a big ice storm. Everyone was directed to ,not, patrol and to go from HQ to various protected positions spread out where we could wait safely in heated buildings with our cars close and relatively protected in case of emergency calls only. Even routine call responses were suspended due to the extreme weather hazard, but this young idiot decided that he was ,bored, and wanted to drive around the empty streets in ,subzero, weather on solid ice. He barely made it two blocks from where he was supposed to be before he hit a high curb so hard that it took the patrol car out of service with major damage. Others were placed at risk even to go to the accident location in such harsh conditions. The supervisor who had to respond to work the collision on that occasion was the same jerk who wrote me up for a scratch in the paint, so his hypocrisy was obvious when all of the idiocy was smoothed away despite thousands of dollars of damage being done. Once again, someone who exercised bad judgment placing others at risk (and in this case additionally violated a direct order) didn't get disciplined or lose any money. I was angry and disappointed. I decided after the second incident with nonsense excuses for the disparate treatment that I was ready to leave the agency and go to law school. There had already been other issues with ridiculous behavior from a few male officers, and it gets exhausting after a while being the odd person out carrying extra burdens related to race and/or gender in addition to trying to simply do one's job. I left for law school in 1991. If I was going to put up with $#!+ in every job, I would rather be paid decently for it and not sustain any additional permanent damage to my body. There are no decisions that I made with regard to my interactions with the public that I regret. I am a woman of color who started in law enforcement in the 1980s when I was a rarity. I was the first person of color (male or female) at one city to ever be on patrol, and it was a hellish experience a lot of the time for me. I was raised in a family that was keenly aware of the consequences of people being treated poorly because of ridiculous things like their color or gender, so I would never do that to someone else. I believe that people should be allowed to keep their dignity when possible even if they make mistakes and get arrested. I spoke to people even while arresting them to keep them from serious physical harm, and when force was necessary I used my professional training and good judgment based on actual conditions to make decisions (not fear or biases and stereotypes about certain groups). I never caused serious injury even to people who tried to harm me, but I took care of what was needed to keep the public safe (often despite their choices). I believe that a measure of how well I treated people even while known to be an officer with lots of activity including enforcement actions was that I frequently had people thank me for how I treated them. I can still recall the astonishment in the face of a dispatcher who once saw me doing a release from our city's holding cells of someone I had arrested hours earlier for multiple charges. The gentleman paused just before exiting to our lobby which was by dispatch. He thanked me for the way that I treated him, giving him the information he needed to get his moving violations and other legal issues handled as well as treating him “like a human.” He was an openly gay man in a place and time where being treated decently was sadly not his usual experience. He was clearly moved at being treated with basic respect, called “sir” and not roughly handled. He asked if he could give me a hug, and as my gun was still in a lock box, he had been searched by me earlier and he was no physical danger, I gave him the hug and some personal encouragement. I told him that he seemed like a nice person who had made some bad choices but that was no excuse for anyone to treat him poorly. I told him that the best way that he could thank me would be to get his life together and to not use the ugly behavior of some as an excuse to mess up his life with drugs and foolish legal problems. Not only did he fix his legal issues, but he came back to let me know that he had given up all drugs (mainly marijuana) and that he had gotten his life on a better track in general. In addition, he had contacted the city manager and chief of police to let them know about the positive things from our interaction which could have gone a very different direction. I only discovered what he had done when they called me to the city manager’s office where I was met by him, the chief and my now reformed former arrestee. It was one of those days that reminded me of why I became a police officer, to help people. The dispatcher was a white male a couple of years younger than me who hoped to be a police officer. He asked me a lot of questions about my interaction with the guy I had released including what I had done in the field, which charges were filed or not and why, etc. He asked many questions at other times following that incident as well. He was honest about me being a different type of officer from what he had observed to that point, and it appeared to intrigue him that I was quite effective and professional but so different in my approach from the norm at that time. I sometimes wonder what kind of police officer he became and if I had any influence over his path.

I got paint on the ceiling. Do I tape it when the paint dries and use white on the ceiling to fix the bad edge?

How bad is it? Was it caused by a roller touching the ceiling? Was the ceiling painted recently? If it's not too bad, let it go. If it was because you bumped the ceiling with the roller and the ceiling was painted recently, you can touch up the ceiling with the same color that you painted it with. Try to freehand it instead of using tape. Using tape to create a transition is tricky. Paint will seep under the tape and create a jagged line. If you are going to continue to paint, you need to learn to freehand between the wall and the ceiling. If you can't, an edger does a reasonably good job and is a better comprise than taping.

How do you fix a poor mud job on an already painted interior wall (drywall)?

There are (3) basic options: repair, skim coat or remove and replace drywall. let’s assume conditions allow you to repair the damaged area. Here are the steps: Sponge the wall with a solution of detergent and warm water. Use a strong detergent like trisodium phosphate to clean gloss or semi-gloss paint. Chip off any loose drywall mud on seams from which the paper is separating with a paint scraper. Puncture bubbles that have formed in the tape with a corner of the scraper. Pull off the separated paper or cut it off with a utility knife. Spread a coat of drywall primer on all the areas that need repair. Brush it on or spread it with a roller and wait for it to dry before proceeding. Coat seams from which you removed tape with drywall joint compound, or mud, using a 4-inch drywall blade or wider. Lay paper drywall tape on the mud after having moistened it with water and scrape it flat. Spread a second coat of mud on top of the tape and scrape it flat. Pull out any drywall nails that have popped out and replace them with 1 1/2-inch drywall screws. Spread a coat of mud on uneven seams from which you haven't removed any tape with the drywall knife. Scrape the mud flat with the knife. Let the first coat of mud dry overnight, then recoat all the areas you are repairing. Use a 6-inch knife to create a wider seam that feathers out into the wall. Let that coat dry, then apply a third coat with an 8-inch knife. Sand all the areas you repaired with 120-grit sandpaper. Apply texture to the wall if needed to match the existing texture. Wait for the texture to dry, then prime the repairs with drywall primer. When it dries, touch them up by rolling on the wall color. How To Fix A Bad Drywall Job That Has Been Painted How to Fix Drywall on an Already Painted Wall

What is a quick fix to remove scratches from a plastic bumper?

This greatly depends on how significantly the bumper is scratched. Superficial scratches can be dealt with in the same way as scratches on metal panels.....polish. If that doesn't work.........polish harder. If thats not working its a deep scratch(you can jump to this step if the plastic is obviously deformed). In this event its best to sand back the area with 400-800grit sand paper depending on the severity (100-200 if its really bad), as you smooth it down you'll want to increase the grit until its smooth as glass. Once the surrounding area is smooth, fill the affected area with a 2-part plastic filler (in my experience the more expensive fillers do a better job, the cheap ones tend not to harden very well). Sand back the filler and prime it. Then paint. You will likely be able to find a spray paint touch-up-paint at your local auto store.. Don't expect to get it right your first time, these things can be tricky. The best part is that if your first attempt isn't successful, its only a matter of sanding it back and trying again.

Mechanics, how much has someone messed up their car trying to fix it themselves?

Having spent forty years in the auto industry as a collision repair and custom painter I guess I make things look easy when someone would hang out and spend a little time around me when I was busy getting something ready to paint. I can take spray cans and create custom paint jobs that are capable of winning car shows. I used to use the most expensive paint and materials that were available. Then I started experimenting with less expensive components , and to my amazement I seldom had as much trouble as I had in the past with high end supplies and the end result left nothing to be desired. And I have yet to see any of my experiments not stand the test of time. A very dear friend of mine had seen me fix a near $10,000 accident she had gotten into in her BMW when a diesel tractor trailer decided to change lanes and the lugs from the front wheel cut the drivers side rear quarter panel and rear driver door as well as the tail of the drivers door. I repaired it in her 2 car garage in about a week buying everything involved in the repair at Harbor freight, Walmart , and Auto zone. Except for a quart of acrylic base coat and a gallon of very inexpensive clear coat. The car never looked better after the repair. A couple of years after the repairs she had acquired a few parking lot dings and wanted me to take a look at them. I was busy with something or the other and I told her what I had used to do a spot repair on one of her doors in another incident she had had. So she starts telling me how its coming that it looks good but just doesn’t shine like it does when I fix it. I let her borrow my dual action buffer that a child can use and never screw the paint up although it takes a long time to make any headway. She brings the buffer back and drops it off and is beginning to whine about how her car is so dull. So she brings it to me and asks what she thinks I would charge to fix it where it would shine again. I had not seen the parking lot mishaps before she started trying to touch them up but I figured they had to be bad because she had sprayed 3/4 of the car. I started wiping it off with lacquer thinner and after about a day and a half I found the spot that had gotten her in the mind set that she was fixing. It was about the size around of a raisin and wasn’t even through the primer! It was on the drivers door and she had painted both sides of the car and the hood and front bumper in an attempt to hide it! But it looks better now than It ever did because I went all out and bought a gallon of clear with the activator for $135.00 and used half of it slicking it back out! True story!

What petty problems are better to live with than try to solve?

Thanks for A2A. Also, I am having a fangirl moment because Gopalkrishna sir has tagged me to answer this. I better make this the best answer on Quora ever. 😅 Alright, let's see. Here's my list. These may seem like issues but they're really not. And I've been guilty for doing all of these things, but try to no longer do so : Fixing/mothering people,. You'd be surprised how big of a job so many of us have taken this up as - we're going around correcting full-grown adults….just because! Unless you're a guru that's taken on the Herculean task of enlightening your disciples, you really must learn to accept people for who they are, and not who you want them to be. Diversity is precious, please let people be! Repairing scratches and minor dents on your car, if you drive in India,. I had my first scratch the first day I took out my new car for a drive (just because the auto driver didn't want to break at the red light). I got it touched up, and since then have had 10+ other scratches in the past 3 years. It's pointless to worry. Get a paint job once every few years, at best. Reproaching househelp. ,Whether it's vim on your plates, or a corner of dust still left, please stop wasting your and her time complaining about it every single day. This is why they quit work, nobody likes getting nagged. Bargaining with street vendors even though you know they're ripping you off., Look, if they had more money, they wouldn't be here doing this. At restaurants you're paying INR 1000 (or whatever is your currency) for one meal, off of which you could actually buy ration for several days! Mess, in general,. I am a clean freak (don't know if clinically it's OCD), but my husband is the exact opposite. But he's a lot happier and stress free than I am. And you know what? Sometimes it's okay to not be organized. It's okay to take it easy and not be a perfectionist about your surroundings or your life. Universe is constantly self correcting and there's really no such thing as good or bad, it's all relative. These are my current life lessons! I'll think of more and add to the list in the future. Love, light and awareness, V ❤️ (,My Spiritual Shenanigans,)