How it began, and why it continues

I, Steve Smith, talk about why my show TQA Weekly exists, and how it came to be. I even give you an idea into why it is named the way it is.

Episode #8-50 released on August 5, 2018

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This episode marks my 400th episode, and today, I will be talking about some of the reasons why TQA Weekly ever existed in the first place.

For those who don't know this, for a long time I used to fix computers and other electronics for others who needed help with their devices. I've had to deal with hardware failure, software issues, issues related to operating systems, installation, purchasing the right hardware for a computer, and more.

On more than one occasion I've even served as witness and expert when dealing with hardware and software purchases, in an attempt to do two things, get the right equipment and at a fair price. And, the number of issues I've seen when people talk to so called sales representatives is appalling. I've even worked in a computer store, while, hosting this show, and there is a clear difference between some chains, provided you get served by someone willing to go through the work of learning the craft.

What am I going to talk about today? Well I will help you be better hardware and software shoppers, and help you open your eyes to the fickle reality of your devices. All devices have system specifications, and any additional hardware or software you buy, also, has system requirements.

I will use my own experience to help you out, some of the references may be outdated, but you will understand fully what I mean.

Case A, a client of mine had an issue with graphics performance. His current system had access to PCI and AGP graphics, the technology that predates PCIE. In a Futureshop, the sale representative hearing that he needs a new graphics card suggests a PCI graphics card to my client. The issue, the sales representative missed several key issues. He did not ask what the current graphics card was, he did not ask anything about the computer, including the power supply wattage, or compatibility of parts for the motherboard, and more importantly, did not ask anything about the desired task. The result was quick and swift, serving as his computer technician, rather than have him purchase the part, I cancelled the sale, and went to a boutique store instead. Remember, when you are upgrading, knowing what your motherboard, processor, and other parts are already capable of is important, but more important is the sales representative asking about your current device or its specifications.

Case B, a client wanted to access his computer from the living room, the computer is in a bedroom. WiDi would be perfect, but it is not available for everything. He entered a store, and the sales representative provided him with an VGA cable, and VGA extension. The issue, the sale representative did not ask enough questions. Had he asked the right questions, he would have known that the client intended to be able to watch movies on his computer on his TV, while directly controlling it. Solution, HDMI cable. The HDMI cable allowed him to connect his television with audio and combined with a wireless keyboard and mouse he could directly control his computer. It is important to note that due to length of the HDMI cable, gaming, especially with the wireless keyboard and mouse, would be problematic, and this means that solutions need to be flexible to the needs of others.

Case C, the user manual is king, and now you can read manuals for many devices before you buy any. Why is the manual useful? One client was hard of hearing, and had a home sound system, his wife was tired of the high volume, so he wanted to go with a wireless headset. The issue is that, apart from modern mainboards, most sound systems do not offer a permanent separation between the speakers and the headset. Meaning, that once the headset is plugged in, the speakers would be cut off. Normally, this is not an issue, but for some older individuals, it seems to be too complicated to plug in a device every time they wish to use it as they please. This is why the user manual is king, you can explain that the device is incapable of being used in this way. If you haven't purchased the device, you, also, have the chance to look at other devices that can do exactly what you need. My tip read user manuals, a lot of them, choose the device you understand the easiest, and that meets your requirements. Understand, that the solutions you want, may not be possible in the end, or consider being more flexible in what you need, or what device you finally get to achieve your needs. In this guy's case, using a computer to interface between the sound system and the television, could have made everything possible, even an inexpensive computer would have done the job. Though to be honest, all he really needed to accept was to be ready to get up, plug in, and listen.

What do all these situations have in common? Not enough information was provided or requested during the purchasing process. Even the client asked more questions, they could have had better products in the first place. If the sellers asked more questions, the same would, also, be true. Case A never bought the product from the first seller. Case B got refunded and was provided the correct solution for the desired use case, and the last case had to live with the decision, having to get up, plug in, and listen. This is why this show is called Technology Questions Answered Weekly, or TQA Weekly for short.

Season 9 starts week of August 19th and will have more Linux, Raspberry Pi, more news, and definitely more technology questions answered. Consider being part of our Patreon, and as a patron you will help further the reach of this show, and it is original intent, to help us with technology. You can join by heading to, and all patrons get episodes 2 days before the general public, as well as access to discord channels, too.

Host : Steve Smith | Music : | Editor : Steve Smith | Producer : Zed Axis Dot Net

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