Category Archive What I Do

ByMarc Fowler

Today, I have been mostly…

There is so much variety in what I do for a living. Every weekday sees me working on all sorts of different things with personal computers, Macs, smartphones and other devices. Sometimes though, I have a day which seems to run on a theme.

I started today with an emergency callout to Hemley, where I quickly restored an existing customer’s wireless broadband connection, renewed their expired Kaspersky Internet Security on three PCs and re-established access to their main Hotmail account both from the computers and BlackBerry.

By 10:25 I was with my next customer, in Hasketon. Read More

ByMarc Fowler

Fixing my own laptop: Bad_Pool_Header after disk clone

I had to repair my own laptop this morning. It loaded Windows XP with no problems, but the moment I clicked the ‘Start’ button, I received a ‘Blue Screen Of Death’ with the error BAD_POOL_HEADER – STOP 0x00000019. After restarting the Dell Latitude D610 I experienced the same thing again. These types of error messages stop you using the computer at all and usually suggest a problem with one the of computer parts (hardware) or a driver (the code that makes the hardware work)

Now, I must admit the problem was partially self inflicted. It only happened immediately after cloning my hard drive. This means making an exact copy to a brand new laptop hard drive, by hooking both up to another machine with the required software. Only after fitting the new hard drive to the laptop did I experience the problem. Read More

ByMarc Fowler

Updating a BlackBerry® Bold™ – not so easy!

As I write, I’m half way through a ‘simple job’ – updating the software on a BlackBerry® Bold™ 9000. It’s taken me three hours to get this far!

My customer called last night to say he’d lost all sorts of features on his BlackBerry®. Emails and text messages had disappeared, the camera and sound profiles were not available and other things were missing. Assessing it this morning, I decided the best solution was to ‘simply’ upgrade the software to the latest version. He already had the BlackBerry® Desktop Manager on his computer so we started by making a backup of all his files and settings. All fine so far.

Next step: go to the correct website and download the latest BlackBerry® device software. Again, simple, right? Well, it would be if the site’s update feature didn’t lead you to an incorrect address, resulting in a ‘Page Cannot Be Found’ message. Read More

ByMarc Fowler

I’ll connect anything!

Where would we be these days without our wired and wireless internet connections? So many of our devices simply won’t work to their full potential without them.

I’m regularly called out to connect people’s devices to the internet; usually computers, but the list of things I connect is steadily growing.

In the last year, I’ve connected the following;

  • Laptops and desktop computers running Microsoft Windows 98, Me, 2000, XP, Vista and 7)
  • Laptops and desktop computers running Linux operating systems such as Ubuntu and Mint
  • Apple iMac
  • Apple MacBook
  • Apple iPod Touch
  • Apple iPhone
  • Apple iPad
  • Nintendo Wii
  • Nintendo DS Lite
  • Sony PSP
  • Sony PlayStation 3
  • Microsoft Xbox 360
  • Various mobile phones including Blackberry smartphones

I have also connected countless printers to home broadband routers to enable wireless printing. This is something I’ve seen many people struggle to set up or get the most from. Many is the time I’ve had to explain that a wireless printer can be used from any computer in a home, not just the one that plugged into the old printer!

An increasing number of the above connections are wireless. While better than a few years ago, wireless connections can still be awkward to set up. Either people are not sure what to do, or obscure technical problems get in their way. That’s usually when they call me.

Once connected, I will often show people how to make the most of their new devices. iPod Touch and iPhone users find this particularly helpful, as a little guidance goes a long way to getting the most out of them.

Gone are the days when a “computer man” only helped with computers!