Paid forum/and or Website questions.

June 6, 2010 at 10:14:02
Specs: Linux Mint 7
Alright, so I'm thinking of trying to maybe start a paid forum/and or website for tech support (virus removal, tune ups, drivers, etc), I was thinking of charging maybe like $9.99, and or $19.95 for support (where either I could connect to said PC with crossloop, or help them via forum posts like Computing.net does) however, some things on the forum would NOT be paid such as drivers and or software links. My question is, would it be smart to charge a one time fee for help, or, should I do strictly advertising (Google Ad Words, etc) and help for free?. Another question I have is, would I do this all via a shopping cart like website or is there another way to do this?. (I'm not sure if it's even possible to using a shopping cart with a forum which is why I'm asking).

As silly as it is, I was also thinking of making premade AIM Pro accounts for users to log into via either the cilent itself, or via the web applet, and I could guide them and help them that way (I know it sounds silly, but, at least it's innovative).


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#1
June 6, 2010 at 16:08:03
If it helps, I can move this to the Web Development forum instead?. As I saw someone else with a "Website ideas" thread there.

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#2
June 7, 2010 at 13:25:09
xryanx, I noticed in some posts you suggest tools that you have never tried.....hmmmmm....exactly how experienced are you at repairing PC's?

Some HELP in posting on Computing.net plus free progs and instructions Cheers


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#3
June 7, 2010 at 13:56:26
I'm actually pretty good in dealing with viruses (some tools, such as Hitman Pro 3.5., I've never heard of, but have read about and tried them , same with Combo Fix.), I've got about 6 years of actually working hands on with hardware (as in actually replacing hardware like mother boards, fans, etc in desktops), but that's about it. (I'm not good with laptops, and I'll admit that) Networking, I have litttttlllleeee bit of experience in, but not much. When it comes down to it, I'm wanting to learn about as much as I can with viruses, malware, and spyware, but I'm not sure which book(s) to start reading.


I hope I'm not coming off as inexperienced or something..heh. >.>.


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Related Solutions

#4
June 7, 2010 at 14:00:38
Pretty hard to start a business if you aren't familiar with the tools...Good Luck

Some HELP in posting on Computing.net plus free progs and instructions Cheers


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#5
June 7, 2010 at 14:04:12
Well, I know I'm going to need a business license, insurance, and whatever else. I've got a list of software I plan to use, and also a list of competition, if you will. Uhm, I've got a basic pricing structure. I'm not great when it comes to the greatest when it comes to the marketing aspect. (Though I do know how to use social networking sites, and get attention by word of mouth).

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#6
June 7, 2010 at 16:00:27
Seems like you have all the administration side of things in order but XpUser4Real says "pretty hard to start a business if you aren't familiar with the tools..." and that's the critical bit of your business.

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#7
June 7, 2010 at 17:21:22
xryanx

You need to be able to differentiate between hardware and software problems. Following a troubleshooting procedure without blindly thrashing on a machine is the first thing you need to know.

Now that's hard enough with the pc sitting in front of you; even more difficult trying to do it long distance.

Try this one on for size...

A 5-6 year old desktop sits unused for 3 months. Upon boot up, none of the 3 operating systems installed on two different hard drives will boot into windows.

To make things more interesting, none of the 3 operating systems can be reinstalled or repaired.

Q1. Hardware or software problem?
Q2. What do you think the problem might be?

Now for laptops and some of the problems queer to them.

Those things are pretty popular nowdays...seems everyone has one and there are few easy fixes for problems that are relatively simple repairs on desktops.

Just cleaning a processor heatsink of dust on a laptop can be major surgery, you can ruin one trying to change the keyboard, service manuals are harder to find, components are hidden in strange places, etc. You get the idea.

Point of all this is that you shouldn't practice on another persons computer; it's already difficult enough for the technician and customer when the tech knows what he's doing.

What do you think the problem was on the old computer above?

Skip


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#8
June 7, 2010 at 19:02:55
I believe it is a hardware problem, since they cannot be reinstalled or repaired. My reason is because it sat unused for 3 months, and enough dust probably collected inside of it to cause problems with the components.

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#9
June 7, 2010 at 19:43:46
xryanx, Skip didn't state this but I'm assuming the computer was shutoff during those 3 months. If that assumption is correct, how would it collect dust?

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#10
June 7, 2010 at 20:05:28
Yeah, it was shut off and dust wasn't the problem.

"I believe it is a hardware problem..."

It was.

Hint: It took less than an hour to find and fix the problem

Skip


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#11
June 8, 2010 at 08:08:12
I'm going to say it was something to do with the hard drive? (as you stated none of them could be reinstalled/and or repaired). I don't think it would have anything to do with slave/master settings through on the drives.

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#12
June 8, 2010 at 09:14:00
Lithium?

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#13
June 8, 2010 at 09:57:45
No, two hdd's were installed.

MemTest86 reported errors almost immediately. Pulling the last stick of memory solved that little problem and upon closer inspection, corrosion was found on a couple of the contacts of that stick.

It's a matter of asking yourself "what is common to both hdd's and all 3 OS's?"

Motherboard? CPU? RAM?

CPU is unlikely as the machine works with errors; it's also not easy to test. Same goes for the motherboard but it's easy to check the RAM. A quick cleaning of the RAM stick and motherboard fixed it right up.

If the pc had not set unused for months, this might or might not have happened. Who knows? It was however, a clue; like moving or shipping a computer..."It worked in Dallas but won't work in Lubbock!".

The problem I outlined took place in a computer shop a few months ago and the owner and techs were baffled. They pretty much agreed that the customer needed to buy a new pc. On the other hand, the customer thought that "it worked when I shut it off so it should work now!"

Kind of hard to argue with that kind of customer logic ain't it?

The guys at that shop just didn't add it all up. In addition, none of them tried booting from a live cd. It was like none of them had ever seen a loose or wrong or misinstalled stick of memory before.

Skip


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#14
June 8, 2010 at 10:30:43
... experience is a good gauge "xryanx"

... judging by common fault solutions that tend to regularly "pop up"

"...I no nuffing bout puters..." my own statement lost in some post some were.

... one can only try "xryanx" at least you have the "bottle" to go ahead and "give it a go"

... wish you all the best!

.

.

... Posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties
http://img402.imageshack.us/img402/...
Grrrr... ...im


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#15
June 8, 2010 at 12:23:55
Skip,

My second guess WAS actually the motherboard, but for some odd reason, I didn't think it was the problem. RAM too, also flashed in my mind for a brief second.

And that is. I was also thinking of either hiring someone/and or a few people to help, on the hardware end of things and etc. The reason I'm not as sharp as with hardware as I should be, is because I've been out of school for awhile (3 years atm), so I've kind of lost my touch =P. But, now that you've brought that to my attention (again, haha), I'm going to be keeping that in mind.


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#16
June 9, 2010 at 01:55:31
All I can say is...... Oh my. I am guessing a lot of us have been there. The problem I see is that support is being offered that can not be given due to lack of experience. Personally I know little about laptops myself aside from the fact that they seem to out number desktops especially when it comes to having issues and that the one you work on today is most likely totally different than the one you will work on tomorrow even though they are the same model. There are a few things that hold true to all computers desktop and laptop alike, they all need electricity, pushing the power button usually turns them on, they usually require some sort of operating system to function properly. Aside from these there aren't many similarities to those of us with no experience.

Offering generic support is to offer support for everything. If your not skilled in everything this could be your undoing. It seems to have been suggested that you have the skills to run a business. This sounds great as long as someone else is doing the support.


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#17
June 9, 2010 at 10:38:48
Very true, which is why I'm A) either of thinking of just creating a site/forum to deal with just viruses of all types, or B) a forum/website that deals with everything (just like computing.net), and I'll look for someone to help out with the hardware side of things and whatever else I'm not skilled at.

My other thing though I'm trying to decide is what certification I'm wanting to study for. I'm not sure I'm wanting to get my A+, but, I am looking into the Strata IT for sales cert/and or the IT fundamental's cert. I was also looking into taking one of the Kaspersky Labs courses, just for the fun of it.


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#18
June 9, 2010 at 14:13:18
If you can get past the start up with a staff of techs to do the troubleshooting you may be alright. Getting started though? No one wants to work for nothing. So you have people getting paid to wait for someone with an issue to contact your site out of I am guessing at least hundreds that do the same. Or you are paying people for piece work or by the answer and who with experience wants that.

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#19
June 9, 2010 at 16:59:38
My original plan that I have, is that I would like to strictly deal just with viruses (Google Redirects, Rootkits, XPantivirus, etc) and nothing more (no hardware, etc). And that's what I was thinking of either running a forum and or freelancing in somehow. If it's not possible to even get that up running, then I'm going to look into doing a forum that caters to everything, and hire a few techs to help.

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#20
June 10, 2010 at 02:35:02
Your biggest problem is going to be getting noticed - there are
hundreds, if not thousands, of sites out there offering these,
and more, services. Some are good, majority are rubbish and
the paid-for ones are always suspect because many are set
up just to get cash from unsuspecting users.

Also, if you are planning to deal with these sort of nasties
remotely, another major problem I can see is going to be actually getting
a remote connection to the infected machine - if they cannot
connect/access your site, then you cannot do anything...

Savvy home users will spend time trawling free sites like CN
looking for answers, un-savvy users are going to call in their
local tech to do the job.

"I've always been mad, I know I've been mad, like the most of us..."


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