Category: Tech

Questions/Answers/Comments to do with Technology

Laptop Surgeries: Going back to the beginning

When I first decided to stop doing my laptop surgeries last summer, I had realised that I had spent too much effort on these surgeries and that they had lost their direction.

But something has happened…

I found an advertisment on it4communities regarding conducting Laptop Surgeries on behalf of a library.  After a little digging, I found this was St Johns Wood where I had originally started doing the surgeries almost 4 years ago.

I am starting them again on the 1st February, between 10am and 12pm. Perhaps sometimes it is good to start again at the beginning ?

First Laptop Surgery at Keats Comunity Library

Yesterday I had the privilege of offering a laptop surgery at Keats Community Library in Hampstead; for those of you who might not know what that is I offer a two hour drop in surgery for people to bring along their IT problems for my help in fixing them.  These normally take the form of impartial advice on everything from whether they need to replace their current laptop, and if so which one to buy.

Normally when I get the last question I don’t normally tell them to buy this model or that model, or that apple is better than windows or vice versa; instead I give them a framework to understand the sales jargon.  People often find this to be the best way because they feel they can make an informed choice.

There are so many good things that come out of these surgeries, particularly the satisfaction that is felt by everyone (myself included) that they have someone that is willing to listen.

Yesterdays surgery saw three people coming along, and with all the problems being fixed satisfactorily I hope that I get more surgeries like this in the future!

Laptop Surgeries – Update

These surgeries have become a massive venture for me; I am now doing two surgeries on a regular basis!  While the St Johns Wood Surgery has now moved to Marylebone Library, I am now doing a regular surgery at Queens Crescent Library…

How can these be expanded?

Answers on a postcard (but if you want you can leave a comment)

Laptop Surgeries

One of the projects that I found on IT4Communities was the possibility of running ‘Laptop Surgeries’ for Westminster Libraries.  St Johns Wood Library runs a set of Computer Courses for Over 50s where they can learn how to use a computer/use email/get the best from the web etc; and what they found was that most of the students were going out and buying their own kit after they had done a few courses because they were so fascinated by it!

Unfortunately, as what happens with most ‘fads’, was that these senior citizens were getting home and finding issues (setting up printers, wireless access, etc) and the Library had no way of providing support for them.

So here we are, four months into the project and I can say that it has been a success! so much so, that I am trying to get them extended to my own local library in Camden! I know plenty of users who would welcome this type of a service, and Camden’s Libraries are a perfect place to deliver these surgeries!

Who can we put pressure on to deliver this!!!!

IT in the Community

I regularly use a site called IT4Communities to look for IT jobs in my local area; The site is used by Charities and volunteer organisations who don’t have the money to employ full time IT Staff but who need IT Support.

This is usually in the form of specific projects; such as installing new PC’s or working on a website, but can also be a massive source of experience for IT Graduates.

If you are looking for experience, or just want to give something back be sure to sign up!