A Bloggers Nemesis: Computer Phobia
Now please don’t laugh at me me because I’m going to tell you something that I’ve never admitted to anyone else before. The Bloke once had a phobia with computers that was so bad that I was afraid to even touch a keyboard.
Amazing for a guy whose career in the computer industry goes back to the 80’s, but I assure you its true!
But please don’t tell anyone else because it could seriously damage my reputation as a geek. It’s also probably why I’m such a super geek now because I made the decision to get over it, and the best way I found to do that is to just jump right in. Get your feet wet. Sink or swim — that’s the spirit.
I suspect that there are a great many others out there who share this same fear. The reason I believe that is because I couldn’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve been asked questions about something that is plainly staring them in the face. And I know the reason is because some people are just freakin’ scared of their computer and don’t know where to look for help.
They assume that the answer is beyond their limited brainpower. That it is so inescapably difficult that only a geek could possibly be in the know. Or if they click that mysterious link their computer might go poof up in smoke.
This is not anything new. We live in a word of phobias and technology is no exception. Fear of flying, fear of spiders (I still have that one), killer viruses on the loose, hackers and phishers trying to steal your personal information.
The quickest and easiest way to get started is to just install a router. Routers are cheap now and even if you only have one computer, get one because they come with a built-in hardware firewall. But don’t stop there.
Install a software firewall as well. Why you ask? Because hardware firewalls only check for inbound traffic, that’s why. And of course don’t forget the antivirus either, but I bet you already knew that.
But what about losing all your data? No biggy. There is so much backup software out there to choose from. Heck, you could even just drag and drop it into a different location than the original if you want.
Let me tell you what I do. I have a three-pronged attack to the problem. Firstly, I use something called DataKeeper by PowerQuest which constantly runs in my system tray. It makes an automatic backup of any files that are changed to a separate partition.
Secondly, I regularly backup ‘My Documents’ to a another partition. Or even better, install a second hard drive and put your backups there. Put another copy of your operating system on it and add it to your boot menu as well. That way if your original hard drive or operating system goes wonky you can boot into the other drive to fix it.
And thirdly, I also make a backup to a CD. Or if you want you can you save it to a cheap memory stick or a removable hard drive. Or you could even go the whole nine yards and make a clone of your hard drive.
Now the same of course goes for your blog. Don’t just backup your entire blog. Before you play around with your template always make a backup onto your hard drive. Software like w.bloggar makes that really easy to do.
In fact, make many backups. What I do is before I make any changes I rename the previous backup to today’s date. That I way I have a progression of backups that I can go back to. Sometimes that is necessary because I’ve made a mistake that I didn’t notice right away and I need a much older version to figure out where I went wrong.
If you see something in a blog that you like and want to know how they did it, just right-click your mouse in your browser, and choose “view source“. If there is a buzz word you aren’t familiar with, look it up in Wikipedia, ’cause that’s what it’s there for.
So if you just learn to take the right precautions or know where to find information there is nothing really to be afraid of your computer. If you count yourself as one of the many computer scaredy-cats I recommend that you do the following. Just play with your computer. Point and click — click, click, click. There, now that didn’t hurt a bit, did it?
Explore and enjoy the journey. Chances are you’re not going to break anything. And if it does it can be easily fixed. Or if all else fails, you can always ask me… the Blog Bloke.
Trust me when I say I’ve been there and done that. Now what are you waiting for? Get clicking.
Filed under: instabloke, blog, blogging, blog tools, blog resources, computers and internet, technology, tech, security