Computer Help

Computer Help
Where and How to​ Get It
Well there's no denying it​ - No matter how new or​ how well maintained our computers are,​ we​ all encounter computer problems sooner or​ later .​
The good news is​ that we​ don't have to​ face them alone .​
There are a​ ton of​ resources available to​ walk us through computer issues but it​ may take a​ little knowledge in​ knowing how to​ access them .​
This article will show you how.
1 .​
Remember help files .​
It's funny,​ but people seem to​ forget that every computer and every program installed on​ a​ computer comes with its own help file .​
Even the​ operating system of​ a​ computer has a​ help file and it​ really should be the​ first place to​ look for answers .​
Help files are designed not only to​ guide the​ usage of​ a​ computer,​ they're also designed to​ solve problems .​
Inside a​ help file,​ look for a​ section called,​ Troubleshooting (or something similar) when you need to​ resolve an​ issue .​
This section is​ reserved for solving problems specific to​ the​ software or​ hardware that you're using.
2 .​
Product websites .​
If you're having a​ problem with a​ piece of​ software or​ with a​ hardware part,​ try the​ website of​ that software's or​ hardware's manufacturer .​
Most (if not all) manufacturer's reserve a​ portion of​ cyberspace and dedicate it​ to​ support the​ products that they build .​
Microsoft's help desk is​ good example.
3 .​
Fan sites .​
Fan sites probably isn't a​ good name for this resource,​ but you can find websites that are dedicated toward supporting the​ users of​ a​ particular software program or​ piece of​ hardware .​
We've called them fan sites because the​ maintainers of​ these sites have no affiliation with the​ manufacturers that they support! Call them what you will,​ but their free help is​ immeasurable and without it,​ we​ wouldn't have some of​ the​ wonderful workarounds and unique problem solving techniques that we​ have today.
4 .​
Usenet newsgroups .​
Another underused resource on​ the​ Internet,​ Usenet newsgroups have hundreds of​ discussion groups dedicated to​ some of​ the​ most popular computer systems,​ operating systems,​ hardware manufacturers,​ and individual software programs .​
Sometimes,​ the​ representatives of​ these companies participate,​ but most of​ the​ time,​ the​ support in​ this group is​ user to​ user,​ which is​ just as​ valid because you're
working with a​ team of​ experienced people.
5 .​
Support Lines .​
Another source for help that we​ shouldn't forget are the​ support systems of​ various manufacturers .​
You can reach these systems by calling the​ phone number associated with the​ product that you're having trouble with .​
Calls may be free (1-800 or​ 1-877 number),​ or​ they may cost a​ small fee (1-900).
6 .​
PC support groups or​ user groups are another option for help .​
These are groups that meet in​ libraries,​ computer stores,​ or​ other local areas and they discuss all sorts of​ issues related with a​ particular product .​
Even if​ you aren't experiencing a​ computer or​ software problem,​ user groups are fun to​ participate in​ and they can help you network into other interests such as​ job or​ teaching opportunities.
7 .​
Surprisingly,​ you may even get a​ helping hand from the​ salespersons at​ your local computer store .​
We don't recommend that you make this your first pit stop when you experience a​ problem,​ but we​ don't recommend that you rule this option out altogether either .​
Computer salespersons are hired for a​ reason - and that's their knowledge .​
Often,​ these kind folks can help you resolve an​ issue over the​ phone and prevent you form having to​ buy a​ costly solution.
As you can see,​ help is​ easy to​ find - You've just got to​ know where to​ look for it .​
Most of​ the​ contacts within these resources are extremely friendly and willing to​ take the​ time to​ walk you through a​ problem at​ little to​ no cost .​
From online discussion groups to​ the​ files on​ your own computer,​ help is​ often just a​ click away.

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