Connecting to the 'Net
- it's your connection
setting up your own connection
An appropriate technician from your local ISP should be able to come out to your home or business, and set up the Internet connection software on your computer, for a reasonable 'set-up' fee.
An Internet Setup for a standard fee means that the techo will help you hook up your modem, setup your main Internet software and check that everything works.
S/he may have enough time left over to give you half an hour of tuition on using your connection.
Anything else costs you an hourly fee, but it can be money well spent.
Before the technician comes to you, you can save yourself time and future confusion by having a serious think about the whole thing.
Everyone's situation is a bit different.
The technician will know you only as a 'new user', so it will help you both if you think about what you use your computer for, and what you plan to use it for in the future.
Talking to the technician about how you would like your computer set up, can make life much easier.
making your setup work for you
In fact, you have a captive expert in your house/business, and in my experience of computer techos, this is a goldmine of information.
- do you already have an account at work?
- do you want to be able to swap files around between computers?
- do you want to be able to pick up work email at home?
- do you have more than one person in the home who will be using the connection?
- would you like separate accounts and passwords?
- how about some security for your files?
- does your computer work the way you want it to?
- have you always wondered what that weird command or option in the program you use really does?
- do you travel a lot and would save telephone costs by having a connection in other places?
As I've said before, nobody knows everything, so it's reasonable for your computer techo to say,
"Sorry, I don't know about X, but I can put you on to so-and-so, or this book/resource [etc]."
Plan ahead, and tell him/her when you make the appointment, that you have a lot of questions to ask, and/or would like some individual work done on your computer setup.
It will cost you more, but if you are well-organized and pleasant, you can negotiate.
be prepared when you're getting help
When thinking about your service call, make a list of questions, and have it ready for the techo, so s/he can estimate how much time it will take.
Even better, fax or get it to him/her beforehand, so s/he can bring all the right tools (software and hardware) you will need.
If you have specific questions and want more time, your techo will then know what you are asking for, and will have planned the time for you.
S/he will also be able to refer you to information and training for quick questions that have rather longer answers...
But if you happen to have a cuppa and something sweet around (techos forget to eat meals), plus being organized with your questions and your own time, you have the basis of a beautiful friendship.
Getting set up and connected to the Internet is not something you want to rush, because a lot of it may be new, and you need to know what to do.
Before your techo leaves, make sure you have written down (or copied and printed) the Settings for the pieces of software which connect you up via your modem.
It's just like knowing how much air to put in your tyres or what kind of petrol your car should use. Basic survival information.
next article: Problem-solving your Internet connection
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