Technibbles 2007 Year In Review

Happy New Year everybody. I have picked out some of our best articles for each month in 2007 which you may have missed. This article can also serve as a great reference for techies.

January:

We were focusing on hardware by posting guides about RAID and upgrading your RAM.

Lorna, one of our past writers gave us plenty of business advice with her articles about marketing and self promotion, networking with people, finding your niche and laid down the ten commandments of a freelance techie.

Read on for the rest of the months.


February:

We talked about some of the more basic parts of business such as debt collections, branding and finding a business partner.

We showed you how to delete undeletable files and viruses with Killbox.

Also in this month, Technibble also turned 1 year old.

March:

This month Lorna focuses on recruiting staff for when your business reaches the stage where you need to take on more workers. She covers topics such as starting the recruitment process, placing job ads, shortlisting and preparing for interviewing and the actual interview.

Boris wrote a special report titled “a day at a tech job” where he write about his experiences, thoughts and concerns while onsite.

April:

One of our guest writers sent us the article “How to replace a power supply (and buy a good one)“.

Back on the recruitment trail from March, Lorna writes some guides on preparing for your new employee and training them.

I also show our readers how to format a computer like a computer technician.

May:

I wrote about the main mistakes that I had made in business to show that it happens to all of us and you usually come out the other side as a better business person.

I also wrote about how to properly secure a PC, and I am not just talking about windows logons, patches and firewalls. I’m also talking about physically locking it down.

June:

This month, Lorna tells you why you cant afford to be indispensable, shows you how to keep good customer records and gets us to give our businesses a half yearly health check.

Though trial and error, I discovered a way how to fix the common problem of svchost.exe maxing out the CPU.

I also posted a guide on how to create a Windows XP virtual machine to testing purposes.

Back on the business side of things, I show you ways to gain client loyalty, spot advertising opportunities, create extra tidbits of income and I share some information about getting sued.

We also touch on the store-front side of the computer business with computer stores and liability, the danger of spoilage and becoming a reseller in the computer business.

This month I also learnt that in the world of advertising, bigger is not always better.

One of our seasoned forum members greggh, posted a very comprehensive list of what he brings onsite to computer repair jobs.

July:

In July, I lay down some of the things you must know in the computer business such as how to do computer work for your family, how to be responsible and giving away too much information and dealing with time wasters.

We also publish some handy computer business guides such as making a living with second hand parts and time management and motivation as a freelancer.

A handy thing to have onsite is a Installer CD which has all the commonly requested freeware applications on it such as iTunes, PDF readers, PDF creators etc. Speaking of being onsite, we posted an article on how to clean the inside of a computer case which has many comments about how this can be done out in the field.

It was also this month that Geeksquad was caught stealing porn for a customers computer.

August:

Technibble asks the question do I need to be qualified?

I had an hour long interview on the computer radio show “Computer America”. (I’ll see if I can find a working link for this).

We cover a little about maintenance contracts, variable vs fixed pricing, looking after your bread and butter client and how to question customers and get the right type of answers. We also show you how to keep an eye on your competitors.

For onsite computer repair work, we show you how to quickly deploy software with Win-Get, how to make the most of progress bar time and I drop the question whether marketing via bluetooth is smart or shady?

From one of my own experiences, I did a case study on a tech support call I did on that day.

September:

We write about the dreaded paralysis by analysis which is the process of doing too much reading and not taking enough action. I also show you how to successfully outsource computer repair work.

It was in this month when we launched our super-successful Computer Business Kit which provides business owners with forms and contracts frequently used in the computer business.

I show you how to drum up some extra business by talking about doing web development for clients, offering free second opinions and ask whether your staff can really sell, not just take down orders.

I asked if you have what it takes to be self employed, are you a business dreamer and whether wardriving advertising is smart or shady.

October:

October was the month we released our Computer Repair Utility Kit which is a collection of all our repair tools of the week in one easy download with a nice GUI. It was hugely popular, being mentioned on over 4000 sites.

This month we focused alot on the business side of things with articles like how to generate more work from your existing customers, keeping expenses down and what makes your business different.

I talked a little about advertising such as explaining the computer advertising trap and the secret of advertising.

We also wrote some how to’s such as how to land more callout jobs over the phone, how to fire a client, how to avoid getting burned and how to raise your prices.

November:

In November I answer the question “how much money do I need to send on marketing?” and once you get your customers though the door we show you how to sell to them. I also answer the big question which I am frequently asked; “why do people create computer viruses?

I also touch on some relevant topics such as creating multiple sources of income and some advice if you have a great business idea.

I provide some helpful information such as mentioning our tried and tested software recommendations and where to download commonly missing files and components. One of our Technibble forum members also sent us an article showing us how to tell what type of Windows XP CD or license key we have.

For some laughs, we asked our technibble readers to send in their computer technician stories that they encountered onsite.

December:

In December we posted the somewhat controversial guides how to gain access to a windows user account and how to remove a BIOS password. Afterwards we posted a guide on how to spot stolen hardware so the above methods are only used for good, instead of evil.

I also posted a brief guide on how to setup your business legally.

I did some investigation into those “Dodgy Computer Technician Reports” to determine whether the technicians were really being dodgy, or the media was just criminalizing them to raise their ratings.

A Technibble reader asked me how do a decide whether to format a computer or attempt a repair.

We also asked the question “are computer technicians legally allowed to look though clients files?” based on an existing court case that recently happened in America.

For laughs, I wrote a letter to my clients saying all the things I never said, but wanted to say.



Bryce Whitty

About the Author

Bryce Whitty
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Bryce is an Australian computer technician and the founder of Technibble. He started his computer repair business when he was 17 years old and is still running it 9 years later. He is an avid traveller and spends at least a month of the year in another country.

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