No matter how good we are or how bad we are with computers, at some point they'll start to play up. Saying that there's always help at hand when we need it. There are loads of helpful resources present to guide us through those frustrating computer scenarios but it might require a bit of knowledge to know where to access them.
1. Help Files. It's obvious, but most people don't remember that every PC and every application on a PC should come with it's own help files. For instance if you have a problem with your operating system, you can take a look at the help files that came with it. This really should be a starting point for finding answers to your problem. In almost every help file that is provided there should be a section called "Troubleshooting". You can use this troubleshooting section to go through possible solutions to your specific problem.
2. Manufacturer's Website. Sometimes the best place to seek support for your software or hardware, is from the vendor's website. Most if not all hardware and software companies provide some kind of support in the form of a forum or ticket system.
3. Unofficial sites. These are normally forum type websites that provide support for a specific hardware or software or even a range of both that aren't actually affiliated or endorsed by the manufacturer in anyway. These places can help you for free and are sometimes better than the official company website as they build up strong communities of people with lots of experience and knowledge with your product that you need help with.
4. Newsgroups. Another good place to seek computer related help. Usenet news groups contain thousands of chat groups that discuss popular computer hardware and software and some even have representatives from the companies who participate. Allthough mostly the discussion and help is sought by user to user, which is still good because the people you'll be chatting with will definately know their stuff.
5. Customer helplines. These are also a good source for help. Pretty much every hardware or software company has some form of helpline that you can call up for dedicated support. If you can't find a specific manufacturers support number, you can try checking their official website or the online yellow pages. If the company is really good with support they might provide a number which is toll free but this isn't always the case. Always check if they charge at premium rates for the call as you don't want to be running up the phone bill!
6. Computer tech groups that meet up in local computer stores or library that discuss many issues related to computer products and the like. Even if it's not for computer support, these types of groups can be fun to attend and can be a beneficial means of networking into other interests like jobs and other opportunities.
7. Lastly i think that using a search engine such as google to find other computer users with the exact same problem as yours is an excellent way to figure out problems on your own. There have been countless times where i have had a PC problem and all i did was google my exact problem and then stumbled upon a forum or blog that told me exactly how to fix the problem. In most cases you'll find someone on the net some where with the same problem as you or a similar problem. So there you have it, help is out there. You just have to know where to seek it. The majority of the people you'll deal with via these resources should be helpful and extremely friendly who are willing to take the time and guide you through your pc nightmares, pretty much for free.
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