By Computer Insight.

During these scary and uncertain time’s the use of technology in the home has never been more important – either in terms of ‘working from home’, or keeping in touch with friends, family & neighbours.
Technology does not have to be scary. Generally there is nothing that a user can do that cannot be fixed (even physical damage). As a self-employed Mobile IT technician for over 20 years there is not many things that I have come across that cannot be solved, but more importantly, my role of late has been more geared towards helping business understand what they need to ‘work from home’ or remotely; how they can help their employees work from home or remotely, but also how we can keep in contact with friends and loved ones.

Apart from the cost of the hardware (PC/Mac/Notebook/Tablet or Smartphone) pretty much everything else does not have to cost anything. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic software products like Zoom, Skype, Duo, WhatsApp, FaceTime and Facebook Messenger to name a few were ‘free’. Some of them such as FaceTime are specific to Mac/iOS but others are what is called Cross-Platform which means they will work on a wide variety of devices and hardware. Over the last few weeks I have talked over the phone many new and existing clients how to use the technology they already have – better. I love hearing back from people that they thought it would be expensive or they needed extra hardware or software, when actually in most cases they just need to use what they already have – just smarter. Whether it be a National Charity, large enterprise, small local business, Sole Traders, schools, families and relatives over long distances – I’ve helped them all. Unfortunately there are those that will always capitalise with either increased prices for products or even scammers trying to ‘con’ people out of money generally for things that either do not exist or were free. One of the unfortunate effects is that hardware prices have greatly increased due to a high demand and a lack of supply – as most hardware is manufactured in the far east.

My business practices have certainly changed to meet with ‘social distancing’ requirements. Where I used to specialise in going into the home or business to rectify the issue on-site, now I collect the problem ‘hardware’ and where possible carry out the diagnostic and repair in my van after having sanitised the item. I also carry out a lot more remote support work, where I access the computer over the internet and either solve the issue or in many cases help them set up what’s required for ‘working from home’ or setup what they need to have a video chat with a friend or loved one. Sure my business has slowed down, however I will always do whatever I can, and most independent, reputable, and customer-focused business will. An increasing service I perform is to obtain a tablet, generally for an elderly relative, setup their email (or create one), setup and test Zoom or Skype and send the package to them. Talk them through connecting it to their internet, and then co-ordinate with a loved one connecting the two of them together and seeing/hearing such heartwarming reactions and yelps of glee that they can not just hear but see each other – it can melt the coldest of hearts. The buzz of satisfaction that is gained from watching a grandchild see and speak to their grandparent for the first time is irreplaceable.

If you need any assistance, please call: 01388 435013 / 07958 640 415