Websites for Geeks
No, I don't have all the answers stored in the back of my head
Evem the great and powerful Wizard of Oz needed help. Here are websites - with live links to 'em - that I go to for answers.
Leo Notenboom does consulting in the Pacific Northwest, and here he shares his expertise by offering advice to questions posed by readers. A great site, with internal cross-links to more information about related advice. Leo also offers links to external sites, and I have found many worthwhile topics here.
Tons of advice and good how-to videos, too. I find it more entertaining than problem-solving, though.
EE is a membership-based site where users post questions and subscribing experts answer them; users get to assign points and level-of-difficulty to questions, and assign grades for the answer(s) when selected. Users can answer questions and become experts.
You may find that off-the-wall problem I solved for you listed here.
When you open Task Manager, the Processes tab lists every top-level program that is currently running on your computer. This site will tell you some detail about each of these processes.
They sell a program that will do the legwork for you, called The Ultimate Troubleshooter, and yes I have used it. A trial version is also available for free.
And here are a few of my favorite shopping sites. I'm competitive when I shop. While I find re-certified/refurbished products as potential bargains and buy from a wide range of online merchants, I require warranties and reasonable return policies, especially when something doesn't work. And I almost always go with free shipping, when available.
Caveat emptor - look at merchant ratings, check their return policies before you buy. But also look at user reviews.
If you're not sure a vendor is legitimate, pay a little more and go with one you recognize & trust. I strongly recommend checking customer reviews - especially of the products; of the site, if it isn't mainstream.
Comparison shopping is built right in. Hint - if you do the least expensive shipping from a vendor in a neighboring state, it generally arrives in a day or two.
Often better than Amazon for layout, the specifications and reviews are easy to find. Some of their warehouses must be nearby, becuase shipping is fast.
Both TigerDirect and NewEgg have good bargains on new products, and often have free shipping. Be sure to look at the product comparisons and especially user reviews.
Word to the wise - there is often more to learn from the most negative reviews than the most positive ones.
Many refurbished products at great prices. Some new, also. Also check manufacturer's sites for refurb/outlet sales, if they sell directly to the public.
Too much fun! Their theme song is stuck in my brain. Maybe not practical, but the Wootcasts are addictive, as are the Woot-Offs. Go. Woot, woot!
Don't forget about the world's largest flea market! Note that many sellers offer new items but few are authorized resellers. So if a new product's warranty is important to you, be sure to check.
Google once had Froogle, but it can be done straight from the Search bar. But there's more!
How to Do Anything
I believe there is skill in using search engines. Google is my friend. Using the right search terms - and modifying them when what's returned isn't quite helpful - takes some intuition. You can do it. Try, try again!
People and companies offer videos on all sorts of information and how-tos. I was surprised how easy (eh, relatively, that is) it is to replace a shattered screen on an iPhone 5. It's usually easier to do something after watching someone else do it.
Go, diagnose, fix, shop now! And recycle as much as possible.
But if you want some time for painting, golf, Facebook, learning to play the guitar or filming your own cat videos and skip that frustration, let me do it for you!