Archive for March, 2009
Title: Simple Fixes For Your Sick PC
Author: Max Pinner
Author Bio: Max Pinner is a freelance writer and a PC technician.
File Size: 1.75MB Unzipped.
Format: Adobe Acrobat (.pdf)
Number of Pages: Part 1: 143 pages; Part 2: 51 pages
Subject: Fix common PC problems yourself.
A couple years ago my computer decided one day not to boot up due to a corrupted registry. Of course, I didn’t know it was due to a corrupted registry at first; I had no idea such a thing even existed. All I knew was the computer wouldn’t boot. I ended up researching online (using my parents’ computer) and diagnosing and fixing the problem myself. Unfortunately, I had to roll back to a much earlier version of the registry, which undid months of changes to my computer settings. If I’d had Max Pinner’s Simple Fixes For Your Sick PC before that incident, not only would I have spent less time figuring out–and fixing–the problem, I would have had a recent backup of the registry to roll back to, thus saving me the nuisance of having all my settings go back to how I didn’t want them.
That’s because the first thing Simple Fixes For Your Sick PC has you do is set up your Maintenance Toolkit, a collection of free (or cheap) software programs designed to help prevent problems or, when a problem occurs, help diagnose and correct the underlying cause. And the first item in Pinner’s Toolkit is a registry backup program. You can bet I downloaded and ran it immediately! That suggestion alone let me know Max Pinner knew what he was talking about. (If only I’d known about the importance of backing up your registry a couple years ago…)
Next in the suggested Toolkit is a program designed to clean up your registry, which I also downloaded and ran. It removed lots of old junk cluttering up my registry. Other items in the Toolkit include anti-virus and anti-spyware programs (which I already had), as well as a disk cleanup program used to delete “electronic fluff and rubbish files.” After running this last program my laptop boots up a little faster.
Simple Fixes For Your Sick PC provides the solutions to other common Windows XP and Vista problems, such as blue screens, error messages, program freezes, computer crashes, and internet connection issues. Simple Fixes also touches on hardware problems with monitors, mice, drives, and keyboards. Max Pinner doesn’t claim his solutions will work every time for every computer, but that his solutions will usually fix 7 or 8 out of every 10 PC problems. I believe him, just due to my own experiences fixing my “sick PCs” with simple solutions.
For example, several years ago when I was still running a 486 computer, it decided one day not to boot up. In a panic, I immediately called a local computer tech company to set up an appointment to bring it in. The receptionist calmly asked me if I had a recovery disk. Um, why yes, I did. She told me to insert it into the floppy drive and try to boot the computer again. I did so and voilà, it worked! I was back in business in a matter of minutes. That receptionist saved me a costly service call and a day or two without my computer.
Simple Fixes For Your Sick PC is just like that receptionist–a calm voice offering a simple solution that saves you lost time and countless dollars. Pinner walks you through each step in diagnosing and fixing a problem. If it works, you just saved yourself a tech support call. If none of the solutions work, you’ll have a better understanding of the underlying problem when you talk to your technician. (And the more you can explain to your tech the less likely he/she is to treat you like a noob. That’s worth it right there.) Pinner tells you when you need to stop and call a technician, or, as the case may be, when it’s more cost-effective to just junk a component (like a troublesome printer) and buy a new one.
If you purchase Simple Fixes For Your Sick PC, I suggest you print it out (at least the sections dealing with computer access problems) because obviously if you can’t boot your computer, you can’t read the ebook to figure out why! Perhaps Pinner could market a print version…
Simple Fixes For Your Sick PC is $47, which I think is a bit pricey even though the information contained within is excellent. I’d market it for around $27, with a print version for $47. However, the current price is still well worth it if you’re having continuous troubles with your computer. (And if my laptop decides like all my other computers to just not boot up one day, I’d be willing to pay that and more to fix it…)
I also think perhaps the manual could have been condensed somewhat by consolidating sections that have the same or similar instructions. However, it isn’t meant to be read straight through like I read it, but by skipping to whatever section is relevant to your particular computer problem, so you likely won’t notice the repetitiveness of instructions as I did.
The instructions themselves are non-techie, easy to follow, and include some levity to help keep you calm when you feel like panicking. Cartoons sprinkled throughout the manual provide more humor, though I admit I didn’t quite get all the punch lines. Perhaps I just don’t understand Australian humor. (Max Pinner is Australian.) The Australian component also accounts for the alternate spelling of words in the text (which most people likely wouldn’t notice, but it’s my curse that I do) such as color/colour, practice/practise, etc.
Bottom line: Simple Fixes For Your Sick PC is a great manual for anyone with a PC computer to have on hand, especially those who aren’t technically-minded. If you have a PC running Windows, it will eventually blue screen and crash. That’s a given. Get Simple Fixes For Your Sick PC before that happens!
For more information and to purchase, visit Simple Fixes For Your Sick PC