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But it wasn't broke yesterday!

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  • But it wasn't broke yesterday!

    That line is from a member on a different computer help forum. It's a saying that techs know, but may be cryptic to the average computer user. Please allow me to explain.

    Computers consist of both hardware and software. The hardware is the physical devices on the computer such as the keyboard, monitor, mouse, cd/dvd drive, power supply, etc. The software is the programs such as XP/Vista, programs that you have installed, personal pictures, etc.

    There is a common misconception among the average computer user that "software" is absolute and is never prone to corruption.

    An epitome of this example is a clean install of Window's 98 that I did eons ago (on another planet lol) A couple of weeks later, the customer calls me and says, "I just installed such and such (can't remember what program), and now my computer won't start up". To make a long story short, she thought that the issue was under my "warranty" and I should fix the problem for free.

    If you explain the dynamic nature of software to your customers, as well as the fact that the moment they turn on their computer and access the internet they are modifying the software, most will understand that no company or tech warranties software.

    If they do not, then this analogy that I came up with has done well:

    "You have gotten into a car accident and I've repaired the damage. No one will guarantee that you won't get into a car accident again and require further repair".
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