Surviving the Holidays for the Tech Savvy

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It’s that time of year again. You are heading to another awkward holiday gathering where you will have forced conversation with relatives you hardly ever see. But that isn’t even the worst of it. Between the warm egg nog and burnt turkey you will inevitably be asked, “Hey, can you help me fix my computer?” It probably isn’t the first time your family has asked you this, but every year you hope it will be the last. Trust us, it won’t be.

So this year instead of dreading it, be the tech god you are capable of being by using these simple tips!

Come Prepared

Before going to you families festivities make sure you have everything you need. Downloading the latest software updates before hand can be helpful. This way you don’t have to wait on slow internet connections to get the computer up to date. Grandma still has dialup, what?? If you are unsure of what operating system your family members are using, download the most common ones to be safe. These might include Windows and MAC operating systems.

Windows: 8.1 7, SP1 | Vista, SP2 | XP, SP3
OS XMavericks, 10.9.5 Mountain Lion, 10.8.5 | Lion, 10.7.5 | Snow Leopard, 10.6.8 | Leopard, 10.5.8 | Tiger, 10.4.11

Bring Backup

If your family is full of non-tech people, chances are they don’t have a lot of tech items. Come with a portable hard drive so that you can backup the computer before attempting to fix it. I’ll never forget last Christmas when I was trying to help my brother fix his computer and I actually made it worse. (Don’t ask me how, but it happened) I was so embarrassed that I couldn’t undo what I had just done.

This is especially important if you end up having to re-image or wipe the computer to solve the problem. The hard drive is also your safety net in case you click a wrong button and accidentally delete all of Nana’s pictures from the last family reunion.

Pro Tip: This hard drive can also store the software updates you bring with you. 

Think Security

You will probably notice that most casual computer users don’t have an antivirus software running on their computer. And if they do, it is probably out of date. Keep on hand a free antivirus installer that you can run on their computer. The scan will help you search out issues while you’re there and will continue to update automatically long after Thanksgiving is over. (At least until Christmas, right?)

Enjoy the Day

Finally, it’s important to remember that you are off the clock. You don’t have to do anything or help anyone you don’t want to. And if you can’t solve the problem “IT’S OKAY!” So sit back, relax and eat some pumpkin pie!

Happy Holidays from all of us at No-IP! 

One Comment.
  1. john

    You don’t ask the hairdresser in your family to cut your hair (for free) at Christmas eve. You don’t ask for the contractor to renovate your living room.

    You don’t ask the IT-guy to do his work. For free. On Christmas eve.

    I’d take a quick look. Give them a hint or two in the general direction.
    But don’t ask me to work for free on the one day of the year that nobody works.

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