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Posting Etiquette

Please be aware that this entry is over two years old. Therefore, it may contain broken links, outdated information, or views and content which are no longer completely valid.

The “Weekly Rant” column was featured in the PC Mechanic Newsletter since 2005. Topics relate to some aspect of technology, which include opinions on hardware, software, new technology, technology companies, and computing standards.

When you post on any web forum it, there are a few things that you can do that will help you solve the problem:

1) Request assistance–don’t demand it or think you’re entitled to it.  On most forums (including PCM), everyone answering questions is a volunteer, so if you’re being overly rude, the chances are good that most of these volunteers will pass up your question in favor of someone else who is asking politely for help.

2) Describe what is happening–don’t just say, “My computer is broken.  How can I fix it?”  Include error messages, a description of what you do that leads to the problem appearing, what software/hardware is involved, and anything you’ve tried so far to fix the problem.

For example, if you get a blue screen every time you start up Word 2003, say that every time you start up Word 2003 you get a blue screen.  Then copy down the STOP error that appears on the blue screen.  Those numbers do mean something to troubleshooters.

3) Be sure to including your system specs is very helpful for most situations.  Be sure to list your operating system and all the brand and model numbers for your hardware (CPU, motherboard, video card, RAM, hard drive, etc).

In short, if you just keep these three things in mind, the chances are good that your problem will be solved fairly quickly.

(Originally published in the newsletter)