September 2016

There is a specialist for everything high tech these days. It is a booming career. The digital world is compartmentalized. Because people are ignorant of how computers operate for the most part, there is a need for professional help. People make a good living fixing things because the average person is often at sea. They don’t even try to learn as they assume it is beyond their scope. I know guys who charge $50 an hour or more as personal consultants to repair a computer that isn’t even broken. A few keystrokes and the problem is solved. Most of the time it isn’t anything critical and you probably can fix it yourself. I guess most companies have a tech support department and we have to keep these employees busy for the staff. Given the number of computers in a large-size companies, they make their rounds. I supposed they get annoyed if they are constantly called to resolve non-issues. But the user doesn’t really know if anything is wrong or not. So let’s let these fellows keep their jobs. They can install and upgrade new software and add memory to your computer to keep it humming along.

Some techs do complain about nonsense calls even though they are required to show up. The worst is the case of a guy who called for tech support on an emergency basis because of the keys on the keyboard was stuck. It turned out that food was caught under the key and the tech cleaned the keyboard using a small air compressor. We all should own one. It keeps debris off the keyboard and you don’t have to beg for tech support for no reason at all. You can buy these compressors at any office supply company. You can share it with your colleagues and show them how it works. It is rather magical. The other tip to share is not to eat your lunch over your computer and you won’t have a problem.

While air compressors are large industrial machines such as the sixty gallon two-stage model, the computer cleaning kind is a different animal and comes in a small can. It is an aerosol duster in effect. I suppose you could use an industrial version, but this works so well for stuck keys that you needn’t resort to other measures. I can’t see lugging around a two -foot size contraption around the office. Then there is the kind of air compressor to inflate tires. So get yourself the right stuff and keep your keys functioning. There is nothing more annoying to a fast typist than keys that stick. There is no need to ask for a new keyboard when there is a ready solution. I keep my spray can in my desk and it is ready to use in seconds. Don’t be surprised at the cold spray that comes out. That is expected. Read the precautions on the can as there may be things to know before you begin your cleaning operation.

One of my coworkers plays in a band. It’s pretty good and gets hired often enough. I am not a musician but I admire what he does and try to attend every venue as part of the audience. I guess I am part of his groupie crowd and enjoy the camaraderie of the music world. The people are talented and colorful. They are people like no other. Each has his or her own preferences so the performances vary and are each unique. Sometimes people surprise you as to what they think is appropriate for a given listening crowd. There is something to say for novelty unless you have a string of hits that everyone wants to hear over and over again. Such is not the case with this band. It is just a local group that is getting a bit of a regional reputation. Where there is talent, there is a ready audience.

For an upcoming concert, we decided to put up flyers around the neighborhood in windows and on telephone poles and walls that would be eye catching and lure a new type of crowd. Thumb tacks were not practical so I borrowed a staple gun. A friend of mine is a painter and he stretches canvas over a wooden frame and fixes it with his staple gun. It is fast and effective. I thought I could use it to tack up the concert flyers wherever appropriate. The staple gun is easy to use and not that heavy so I toted it around for an afternoon finishing my task. I covered a lot of ground. I was hopeful that passersby would spot the signs and note the location of the band’s show. The flyer had a nice photo of the group, which by the way already has a bit of a following.

I like helping out doing something useful since I have no musical skills. My coworker has encouraged me to get to know the other players and friendships are blooming. I never thought I would relate so well to a band. I volunteered to do the flyers the next time since I already had the staple gun. Maybe I can help back stage packing up equipment or talking to the venue managers to book new gigs. I would be a little more important than a poster hanger and might even come up with some new ideas for gear and attire. I am sure my coworker didn’t expect this show of interest and felt that I had truly surprised him. Maybe he will even let me play the tambourine. Isn’t that the instrument for people who don’t know how to play anything else. I could add color to the group and wear an attractive outfit. Then we would have to take a new group photograph for the next set of flyers. I may be overstepping my bounds here, but am just trying to help. Who can’t use an extra pair of hands.