Apr 222010

The word ‘geek’ used to be an insult, perhaps it is becoming so again ?

A few days ago I was asked to look at a pair of computers that belong to a’ friend. The two machines are HP’s, an elderly, but still really nicely functional laptop and a fairly new desktop.

Both machines had been used by ‘children’ and as such, they had teenagitis, multiple copies of ‘extorsionware’, out-of-date anti-virus and every ‘free game’ known to man.

In other words, they are a pair of machines that are owned by people that are less than computer savvy.

The laptop was pretty easy to deal with, booting an OEM copy of XP and using the installation codes on the label affixed to the underside had it up and running quickly, hp.com relinquished the drivers for the wi-fi and 18,197 updates later I installed Microsoft’s Security Essentials and all was good.

The desktop however……

This was a whole different thing.

Before I mention how I fixed it, let me explain why I am fixing it and not ‘The Geek squad’.

The Geek Squad quoted the owner $200 to fix it and ‘take it back to the factory settings.’

In other words they wanted $200 to press F11 and select a few options on a menu.

It took me a while because I needed to google a bit and I also had to download a fix that was preventing it booting. But within 15 minutes the machine was ‘back to factory’.

In other words it was utterly riddled with ‘trialware’ and pretty much impossible to use.

15 minutes for $200, that is $800 per HOUR !

An infamous definition of geek is ‘a bright young man turned inward, poorly socialized, who felt so little kinship with his own planet that he routinely traveled to the ones invented by his favorite authors, who thought of that secret, dreamy place his computer took him to as cyberspace—somewhere exciting, a place more real than his own life, a land he could conquer, not a drab teenager’s room in his parents’ house‘ .

Oddly this fails to mention being paid $800 / hour.

Or ripping people off to that kind of extent.

Seriously, $200 to press F11 and add a simple downloaded file from a USB stick.

This gives a bad name to geeks.

The Geek Squad need a new name, but I cannot think of anything that is not extremely rude and derogatory beyond ‘rip-off merchants’.

After the intellectual challenge of pressing F11 and then watching it do its thing for a while I un-installed a huge amount of ‘crap ware’ and trial versions of all sorts of useless stuff. Then I added Security essentials and 86 updates and it is all done.

Less than two hours to ‘do it right’.

Maybe the money grabbing ‘Geek Squad’ are the result of a typo ?

Maybe they are the ‘Greek Squid’ ?

But then that is insulting to our Kebab making friends……..

 Posted by at 4:46 am

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