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Old 11-28-2004, 06:50 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Anyone else a Computer Technician?

I'm a computer technician...yep that's my job. I love my job and the people I work with. Met my girlfriend at work even

Was wondering if anyone else was a PC Technician? Also, most common question heard!


The most common question for me would be "How do I make my computer go faster?"

Post, discuss, pants.
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Old 11-28-2004, 08:06 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Location: Southeast Ohio
I was a PC/Mac/Laser Printer Tech professionally for 5 years.... I'm A+ and Net+ certified, and was MCP until my certs ran out..

After about 4 years of professional PC tech, I took a job as a telephone broadband repair tech for a local cable company. I excelled at my job, and was looking to be promoted to supervisor... but I took a job (and a huge payraise) within my company as a division marketing coordinator and haven't looked back. I still own 5 computers (3 PC's, an IBM laptop and an iBook).

I try as hard as I can too keep up with the industry, and still use linux for IP masquerading, server/file storage, but don't use it as my main workstation as I once did.

I've found it quite challenging to keep up with things when you don't directly work in the industry, especially with networking and such.

The most common question I received was also "How can i make my computer faster."

The most odd situation I ever ran in to was this:
A gentleman dropped off a computer saying that he turned it on after work one day and it blew white smoke from the rear of the computer... I'm thinking "OK, easy fix, probably a bad power supply".. I was right, but for all the wrong reasons. I opened up the computer and was hit by a tear-jerking wave of terrible odor that reeked of stale urine.

1. I called the guy with the following series of questions and answers:
How do you have your computer set up at home? "On the floor, on it's side (desktop PC), with the bottom facing left"

The above question implies that the power supply was closest to the floor.

2. Do you have any pets? "Yes, I have a dog."

Together, we discovered the dog urinated on the case and it had basically dribbled down in to the power supply, causing it to be shorted.

Ah, the memories.
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Old 11-28-2004, 08:13 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RallyEX
I was a PC/Mac/Laser Printer Tech professionally for 5 years.... I'm A+ and Net+ certified, and was MCP until my certs ran out..

After about 4 years of professional PC tech, I took a job as a telephone broadband repair tech for a local cable company. I excelled at my job, and was looking to be promoted to supervisor... but I took a job (and a huge payraise) within my company as a division marketing coordinator and haven't looked back. I still own 5 computers (3 PC's, an IBM laptop and an iBook).

I try as hard as I can too keep up with the industry, and still use linux for IP masquerading, server/file storage, but don't use it as my main workstation as I once did.

I've found it quite challenging to keep up with things when you don't directly work in the industry, especially with networking and such.

The most common question I received was also "How can i make my computer faster."

The most odd situation I ever ran in to was this:
A gentleman dropped off a computer saying that he turned it on after work one day and it blew white smoke from the rear of the computer... I'm thinking "OK, easy fix, probably a bad power supply".. I was right, but for all the wrong reasons. I opened up the computer and was hit by a tear-jerking wave of terrible odor that reeked of stale urine.

1. I called the guy with the following series of questions and answers:
How do you have your computer set up at home? "On the floor, on it's side (desktop PC), with the bottom facing left"

The above question implies that the power supply was closest to the floor.

2. Do you have any pets? "Yes, I have a dog."

Together, we discovered the dog urinated on the case and it had basically dribbled down in to the power supply, causing it to be shorted.

Ah, the memories.

Ha, good stuff. I remember one guy brought in his computer because he said he couldnt open it. He got so frustrated he cut a huge hole in the back of the case, while doing so he made a huge mark in his motherboard. He said his computer wouldn't turn on. Wonder why

We called him back, showed him how to open the case correctly, and then told him he needed a new motherboard. He was kinda...kooky
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Old 11-28-2004, 09:08 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Location: Central Coast CA
Iím a technician for my college, and i make great contacts from teachers to fix there problems out side of work. I love my job, it pays decent (well above my previous dish washing) and I have class down the hall so I donít have any drive time during the day.
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Old 11-28-2004, 10:48 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Location: Wisconsin...
I've been a tech for 3 years, I make them sell them fix them. I run my own little business that I do onsite work. I do work for some business. I do work for the local cable company trouble shooting cable internet problems. The biggest questions I have are people that bring me pentium 1 or older computers and expect them to work great.
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Old 11-29-2004, 06:41 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Location: texas
I'm a network administrator if that counts for what you're looking for.
If you use canned air (Fellowes, Radio Shack, Memorex, etc...), I work for the OEM.
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Old 11-29-2004, 09:14 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Location: Chapel Hill, NC
I work for my university in the same capacity. Not a bad job, but damn I get tired of fixing fucked up computers with 1000+ pieces of spyware on them.

Good news is we just got a new image server that lets us reimage machines in less than 20 minutes--anything thats totally hosed goes on it. Much less headaches.
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Old 11-29-2004, 09:38 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Location: texas
Sailor: if its a windows network with users logging into Active Directory. USE SOMETHING CALLED GROUP POLICIES. Don't let the spyware get on their comp. in the first place.
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Old 11-29-2004, 10:08 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Location: Flint, MI
I've been a tech for several years now. Started off as a contractor doing work for GM, EDS, local hospitals and universities, banks and city government. I fianlly went full time here at the city about 4 years ago.

The most common question I hear is simply "Can you fix my computer for me?" I try and make a good impression on the workers here and tend get get their business for their home computers as well.

Lately, I LOVE spyware. Cleaning that off home PCs has made me some pretty good money this year.
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Old 11-29-2004, 11:58 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Location: Comfy Little Bungalow
In my past.

I did everything to do with PC's for almost two decades, from Mainframe Computer Operator, to Technician, to Desktop installer/troubleshooter, to Wwoking on the network side. I just got tired of being everyone's technical suppor outside of work.

It's so weird, like being a doctor. You tell someone you work with computers and the next thing you know they want you to remove a virus, or install something, or help you buy a new computer, or solve some e-mail attachment problem, or whatever...

You know, if you told be you were a refirgerator repairman, I wouldn't ask you to come over and see if you could optimize my fridge! Come on. anyone else in this thread get the same kind of thing, especially from family where you <rant>CAN'T SAY NO!</rant>

Anyway, just my $.02 worth.

Pierre
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Old 11-29-2004, 12:30 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Location: texas
The reason I got my parent's a Dell computer is so that they could call Dell with questions since I live 2 hours away. I still get calls rarely now, but they do like the Dell help when they need it.
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Old 11-29-2004, 06:33 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Location: Over here
<- Computer Engineer.

Formerly...
Process Technician
Assembler
Integrator
"Service Associate" (yuck!)
Repair Technician
"Upgrade Consultant" (gah!)
Service Clerk
etc

My first "real" (full-time) job was standing behind the service counter in a local clonebuilder/repair shop...I installed umpteen terabytes of memory while-U-wait and explained to people why they couldn't put a new PCI video card in their 486 VLB system...I moved into a repair bench in the shop for a while, then moved into assembly & QA in our modest production process (our daily build quota moved from 10 to 20 boxen a day). Then I moved over to our pre-owned wing and chopshopped all sorts of machines so we could try to sell them...

The store closed after the owner made some poor decisions and ran us out of business...

...and I hooked on at a larger place which was making the transition from Distributor to Manufacturer. We have become one of the premier white-box OEMs in NA, now shipping over 3000 desktops and ~200 each laptops and servers each month. I don't know how many hundred servers I have assembled...or how many more hundred I've loaded Windows, SCO Unix, Linux, whatever on...

a few years later...I now own most of the behind-the-scenes work that contributes to the quality of our server products. I'm partly an SE, partly a lab monkey, partly an awful lot of things. I'm 2nd-level support to our tech staff. I work with our salesdroids and customers to help them understand why a level-10 RAID solution is a better choice for running Exchange...then do a lot of evaluation work on new components, run compatibility tests...contribute to process improvement...and then I train our junior line techs how to load Loonix, and how to set up RAID arrays, and how to troubleshoot Stuff That Don't Work.

Most Common Question...hmm.

going back some years it would have been the combination of "How much is Meg?" "The Meg that's in this computer is 8, and I need a bigger one." "Can you put some more Meg in this?" etc...

Then it became "Do you have the driver for..." For some reason I became the drivers librarian in both shops.

More recently it's "Do you have a minute?" or "Hey, can you look at this?"
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Old 11-29-2004, 06:58 PM   #13 (permalink)
beauty in the breakdown
 
Location: Chapel Hill, NC
Quote:
Originally Posted by bendsley
Sailor: if its a windows network with users logging into Active Directory. USE SOMETHING CALLED GROUP POLICIES. Don't let the spyware get on their comp. in the first place.
Ive got no say in the matter--I fix the fucked up computers, not set networking policies.
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Old 11-29-2004, 10:33 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Location: No longer, D.C
hehe sailor, sounds like my old job. I used to be a computer tech in the math dept. I had no say over policies or setup of each computer. I set them up to their specs and fixed any that were going slow or no longer worked.

I don't think I really want to go back to that. Very tedious most of the time and felt like I never accomplished anything.
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Old 11-30-2004, 06:45 AM   #15 (permalink)
Junkie
 
Not a computer technican, but a programme manager for wireless strategy and architecture for a global IT company.

The most common two questions I get is "Can you shave another half a million dollars off that?" or "Can you talk to [insert multi-national name here] about how we deployed/manage/support/plan our wireless network?"

Mr Mephisto
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Old 11-30-2004, 07:09 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Location: Ein tov she'ein bo ra!
I am in charge of WAN strategies for a global company spanning 130 countries. Routers, switches, firewalls, Lan2Lan/SecurRemote/SSL, WiFi, and oh yeah corp. DNS. Fun Fun!
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Old 11-30-2004, 07:19 AM   #17 (permalink)
Junkie
 
Sounds interesting iamtheone.

I used to do a lot of LAN/WAN stuff before concentrating on wireless and security. There's just too much to cover these days. You end up being a jack of all trades and master of none. That, or you don't have any life.

Sounds like we could share some war-stories! LOL

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Old 11-30-2004, 07:55 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Location: Ein tov she'ein bo ra!
I know exactly what you mean.... We are so short staffed here you have to be a jack of all trades to get anything done. I am most interested in and enjoy the network security part by far..

As mentioned in another thread I have to upgrade our DNS to BIND 9.2.2. I know AIX for the most part but a change this size worries me....
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Old 11-30-2004, 06:00 PM   #19 (permalink)
beauty in the breakdown
 
Location: Chapel Hill, NC
Quote:
Originally Posted by oblar
I don't think I really want to go back to that. Very tedious most of the time and felt like I never accomplished anything.
I hear that. Im bored as hell with it, but hey, its easy beer money

I also do a bit of programming for a large bank over the summers, but that too is quite boring. Im debating whether or not I want to do it again this summer, but I probably will just because it pays so damn well for someone in college.
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Old 11-30-2004, 07:02 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Location: Texas
I used to be a tech for the government. I did all kinds of general stuff and was the resident windows expert when it came to anything "new". I left the job in disgust, but I really do miss working on computers.
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Old 11-30-2004, 08:18 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Location: Saskatchewan
I'm a network admin for a federal gov't office. I'm pretty much their go-to guy if it runs on electricity, though... <sigh>

LOL - truth is, I love my job too. I've been into computers since I first laid eyes on one when I was about 12. My first one was a Vic20. Went from there to a C-64, then an Apple IIe, then our first clone - a 286. I didn't know a damned thing about what I was doing, and I moved the DOS directory!! LOL! I learned a lot about computers that night because I had to fix it before my dad found out... Been fixing, building, selling and repairing computers of a variety of types ever since.

Most common question - how to get rid of spyware? Second up is how to speed up their computers. I too have made a fair bit on the side cleaning up spyware/malware on the computers of the clueless and while I despise the fsckers that write the stuff, I can't say I don't appreciate the extra income!

I spent a fair bit of time over the years working at jobs I hated, and have taken significant risks to get where I am. I'm here to tell you, it's not worth working the job if you dread going to work in the morning, no matter how much you're making.
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Old 11-30-2004, 08:58 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Location: Texas
Quote:
Originally Posted by JustDisGuy
I'm a network admin for a federal gov't office. I'm pretty much their go-to guy if it runs on electricity, though... <sigh>
Just curious, for who exactly? I used to work for GSA.
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Old 11-30-2004, 09:09 PM   #23 (permalink)
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I'm the sysadmin at a small college. The question I get most often:

"My email is telling me that I'm over-quota."

The answer I use most often:

"You can't send an email with a 30MB attachment ... no matter how many times you try."

The rebuttal I usually get:

"I thought it didn't work so I sent it 3 times."

Fortunately, the fix requires that I open their mailbox and remove the offending emails. I bet I get to see a lot of great stuff that way. If I were the kind of person who would look at stuff like that ... which I'm not.
Doug
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Old 12-01-2004, 04:11 PM   #24 (permalink)
Insane
 
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Location: Saskatchewan
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shirtninja
Just curious, for who exactly? I used to work for GSA.
Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada. I guess I should have specified the Canadian Federal Government...
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Old 12-01-2004, 07:40 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Location: Texas
Quote:
Originally Posted by JustDisGuy
Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada. I guess I should have specified the Canadian Federal Government...
Its cold up there... I'll stay down at my non-computer job I hate and at least be warm.
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Old 12-03-2004, 07:59 AM   #26 (permalink)
Crazy
 
Location: Over Yonder
I work as a LAN Admin in the electronics industry.

I also have been the phone guru for our location. Doing MAC's on Nortel, Meridian and 1 old ROLM, some T-1 support, MUX, Channel banks, Cisco stuff.
User support all OS's,
Lotus Notes Admin both Database and user.
Server support, Citrix, 2000 Adv. Server, Arcserve, Active Directory. Netware.
MAC for the network, terminate drops, multimode fiber, copper.

Only thing I feel I have not done is mainframe AS/400 stuff.

Maybe branch into some WAN and Security. That seems to be where my interest are heading.

Getting tired of being the go to guy for everything!

Like you said, jack of all trades. Master of none!
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Old 12-03-2004, 10:13 AM   #27 (permalink)
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Location: TN
Quote:
Originally Posted by merkerguitars
...The biggest questions I have are people that bring me pentium 1 or older computers and expect them to work great.
is that not the truth or what? lady called me wanting to upgrade her machine to xp; after a few minutes i found out she had a 486 with a 386meg harddrive. this people AHHHHHH!
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Old 12-03-2004, 10:18 AM   #28 (permalink)
Psycho
 
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Location: i live in the state of denial
i don't know if you would technically call me a technician, but i do program the point of sale system in the restaurant i work in (mcdonald's, i'm ashamed to say), i work with the security consultant the owners hired to maintain system integrity (credit card #'s and whatnot), and i'm responsible for keeping the employee-accessible computer in the breakroom secure. the only part of my job i dislike is...making burgers. dumbest thing i've ever heard was, after carefully explaining to an employee that they could check email, play games, but not install ANYTHING was "why can't i install AIM?" after explaining it a few more times, the girl finally got the point, and was appalled that i would limit the usage of the computer in the work place. work, not chat...cripes
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Old 12-03-2004, 10:43 AM   #29 (permalink)
Insane
 
Location: Austin, TX
I'm a systems engineer at AMD's Austin design center (where they design the latest CPUs). I'm on a team that administers the 500 2P linux desktops that the engineers use, as well as a 5000-node linux cluster that they use to compile/simulate core designs. Among the more interesting statistics:

>100TB disk space on-line, via NFS
gigabit network to everything
~1000 dual-proc K7 systems in cluster (1U)
~500 single-proc nForce2 K7 systems in cluster (4U)
~3500 dual-proc K8 systems in cluster (1U)
~50 quad-proc K8 systems in cluster (64G ram each! ::drool:

We do everything: repair broken systems, maintain the network, write all the software/scripts that are needed to efficiently run this large of an operation (trust me, it's a whole different ball game after you start managing > 500 hosts)

Big props to the rest of my *nix-using IT comrades!
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Old 12-03-2004, 12:08 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Location: texas
skaven: :drool:??

are you kidding?

I want to hump that and let it have my kids!
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Old 12-04-2004, 11:19 AM   #31 (permalink)
Insane
 
Location: Austin, TX
Quote:
Originally Posted by bendsley
skaven: :drool:??

are you kidding?

I want to hump that and let it have my kids!
Indeed. Here's the 4P servers we use:

http://h18004.www1.hp.com/products/s...proliantdl585/
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Old 12-04-2004, 03:22 PM   #32 (permalink)
Crazy
 
i am a computer tech for a lab on campus and for a charter middle school, you would think it would be the kids messing things up, but it seems I et more problems because of the teachers who have no idea what they are doing
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Old 12-04-2004, 05:44 PM   #33 (permalink)
R3d
Insane
 
Location: Sask, Canada
i just started my A+ course in Sept.. after that its on to MCSE.. then hopefully into CCNA or CCNP..

me talking about possibly modding my case

my friend - drill for what exactly?
me - my computer
my friend - wtF?
me - im drilling a speed hole in the cpu
my friend - ahhhh

Last edited by R3d; 12-04-2004 at 05:47 PM..
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Old 12-10-2004, 11:56 AM   #34 (permalink)
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I hate end users! and stupid techs.

So yes that makes me ..... GOD. lol so yeah Im a pc tech and a damn good one along with my certifcation of FRAG I could waste you all! lol
 
Old 12-12-2004, 09:19 PM   #35 (permalink)
Upright
 
Been a computer tech unofficially for years, helping out the friends and family.

I was a network admit at my old school.

Worked a summer as a computer tech.

I wish I could find more work as a computer tech where I live (Chicago, IL). You wouldn't think it wouldn't be that hard to find work here, but since I'm only just now about to turn 18, age has been against me. Heh, well, if anyone has any suggestions, lemme know.
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Old 12-12-2004, 09:26 PM   #36 (permalink)
Tilted F*ckhead
 
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Location: New Jersey
I used to be a computer technician, and the best one I ever heard while at my job was this...

I was trying to get someone's computer specs over the phone one day, and I asked them to right click on My Computer. Their response: "How do I click on your computer? I don't see any icon for that."
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Old 12-12-2004, 11:49 PM   #37 (permalink)
Insane
 
Location: Bay Area
I've been a tech since March. The senior techs I work with are basically the IT guys for dozens of small businesses in the area. I guess I'm just a normal tech or maybe junior tech, whatever, but I stay in the store most of the time removing spyware and doing system builds and upgrades.
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Old 12-13-2004, 06:51 AM   #38 (permalink)
Professional Loafer
 
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Location: texas
r3d: an A+ cert. really won't get you very far. I can pass that test with both eyes closed, hands behind back, dick in the wind. It's just not really a cert companies look for. For that matter, an MCSA/MCSE won't get you very far either. A friend of mine went the MS cert direction and I took the Cisco. He is still currently looking for a good job, currently working at Best Buy as a service tech at the moment. Imagine that, a service tech with an MCSE. He knows so much more than they do and they're absolutely clueless about it.

However, certs from Cisco will help you quite a bit once you get past the CCNA. I received my CCNP a few months ago and had many calls from companies wanting me to work for them. CCIE is your meal-ticket though. Get one of those and you can go pretty much anywhere you want in the IT industry.
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Last edited by bendsley; 12-13-2004 at 06:54 AM..
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Old 12-13-2004, 01:31 PM   #39 (permalink)
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I was a pc tech for 4 years and now I do Web Hosting. Honestly, what I miss about most is the 1 on 1 contact I had with people. Now, I just get people yelling at me and I never even get to see them.

Funniest story...

When I worked at my campus we used to have to install network cards into the PCs that came onto campus, this was before they came standard. We got this one call, they said they installed the network card (3COM) but could not get it working. We figured it was a driver or something so we had them bring in their PC. It comes down, they had actually shoved the network card in through the back in one of the slots. Half the capacitors were sheared off and the nic was ruined.

Anyway, we all thought that was very funny.
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Old 12-14-2004, 12:13 PM   #40 (permalink)
Upright
 
Location: 127.0.0.1
big up technical posse!
currently unemployed computer tech. there used to be days where i wanted to reach through the phone and strangle some of our "i know what im doing...." lusers. i really hated the ones who would tinker then be angry when they broke their boxen. on the other hand i know that sometimes the client is like a 6 yr old abandoned in the mall during x-mass shopping time. they have no idea and just feel helpless. many a time have i received phoncalls from clients seemingly about to burst into tears or already in hysterics... it always felt good to help them out, they tended to be much more grateful and polite when their problem was done. i once had homemade cookies sent to the helpdesk because i helped this client stop getting the pr0n popups. good times.
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