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The Tech Doctor – 2 years on

2 years ago today I closed and locked the doors on my office at The Tech Doctor Network Pty Ltd, a business I had bootstrapped up to 5 staff. Over the weekend the change happened, and it was reborn as Tech This Out on Monday morning. I had sold my business (though I retained the name with a 2 year no-trade clause)

Why and how I sold are probably posts for another day, but now that I’m free to use that name again, what do I do with it? It probably has limited value now, though I’m sure the email address and phone numbers will still receive their share of messages while people still have fridge magnets and cards stuck on filing cabinets and computers everywhere, but I have no real wish to do any more IT support than the handful of friends and family I still look after.

I’m thinking video. As long as 4 years ago I had the beginnings of a plan to record and sell IT Help Videos for those who missed part of the technology boat. Simple stuff like how to setup windows updates, how to spot scam emails, buying and selling on ebay and setting up a skype account. Stuff that comes naturally to most people under 30, but not so much to those a bit older than that.

It also needs to be something that fits in with the time I have available, or I’ll end up back where I started, but I’m older and wiser now…

What do you think?

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RAM Upgrade

I just upgraded my Macbook Core2Duo 2GHz from 1Gb of RAM to 2Gb. Took me about 3 minutes and cost less than $200. Will make a real difference in performance, especially running parallels.

Occasionally get asked what apps I run on the Mac, so here goes:
Firefox, Thunderbird, Neooffice, Twitterific, MSN, Skype, iChat, iCal, CyberDuck (FTP), Disco (Disc Burning)

That\’s pretty much what\’s in my dock. I bought a fantastic bundle from macheist.com but I don\’t necessarily use those apps every day.

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Remote Controls

I think the Tech Doctor needs to get into the Remote Control business. There are basic one which may or may not automatically know how to turn on everything in your AV Rack, right through to fully programmable, touchscreen ones that do everything you need, like switching to the correct TV input etc.

I mentioned it to Jase, and within minutes he came back with this…

Of course, I would need at least two of them – at the moment we have like 6 or 7 remotes, but at least if we lose one we can still control all the other things.  If we lost the one true remote we’d be screwed 🙂

    Three Remotes for sport-kings watching Foxtel and Sky
    Seven for the DVD, video and stereo surround,
    Nine for batteries doomed to die,
    One for the House Lord on his comfy throne
    In the Lounge Recliner where couch potatoes lie.
    One Remote to rule them all, One Remote to find them,
    One Remote to bring them all and in the loungeroom bind them
    In the Lounge Recliner where couch potatoes lie.

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Remote repairs

It’s been a week of remote repairs, with varying levels of sucess.

I managed to remote control my Sister’s machine in Mt Beauty (3 and three quarter hours away) to help her with a confusing install.

Then I completely failed to be able to get a remote control session on my parents machine in Lakes Entrance (3 and a half hours away) to help them with what what looks like an IE spyware problem. (I really wish they would listen to me and use firefox…) If there are major problems, I’m going to set them up as a power user so they cant install anything!!

I think we finally got Mum &amp:: Dad’s machine working a bit better though.

Then my sister rings me to tell me that the keyboard just stopped working on her laptop!! We tried a few things like restarting &amp:: tapping all the keys with no luck. I told her to try and vaccuum it while brushing the keys with a pastry brush and hung up, expecting to have to spend another hour or so on the phone to her tonight walking her through taking the keybord out of her laptop to check the connection.

she sent me an email 5 minutes later with the subject:
&quot::It’s all ok!  the vacuum did the trick – thank you – thank you – thank you!&quot::
Yay.

Dont get me wrong, I love helping my family, but that was already 4+ hours spent on the phone or Skype, when I really need to get some business background work done, and some sleep!

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