How Much Time Do You Waste On Basic Computer Repairs

from the too-much dept

Someone who prefers to remain anonymous, sent in a link to Marshall Brain’s attempt to track how much time he spent dealing with computer problems in the month of December. There’s nothing out of the ordinary in there. As the anonymous submitter states: “He had 21 documented problems. He’s got everything we all normally experience — driver problems, software problems, crashed apps, etc. He simply tracked it all for one month and came up with a total of over 11 hours in wasted time!” Sounds about right, unfortunately. Speaking of which, I just spent a good twenty minutes troubleshooting a finicky wireless router.

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Comments on “How Much Time Do You Waste On Basic Computer Repairs”

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McGroarty (user link) says:

Can I turn this into another Windows vs Linux thin

I had a couple hard drives go bad this year on some of my home systems, so I yanked them out, threw new ones in, and let the software RAID5 rebuild itself. 80g drives are falling out of trees these days. You have no excuse not to have a redundant array in any machine with real data on it.
Apart from that, I had to do a kernel upgrade and a couple package upgrades when some vulnerabilities showed up. Between ordering the replacement drives, installing them, and running dselect to fetch the upgrades, I’d wager I spent about 45 minutes this year on problems between nine machines.
I probably spend about another couple hours a month troubleshooting packages on the Debian testing/unstable box, but that’s because I’m explicitly testing things there and filing bugs upstream. That’s not a production machine, it’s a testing machine.
My Windows XP machine at work needs attention monthly. Visual Studio .NET just stops loading, the automatic update service starts trying to reinstall the same patch daily, things freeze up, service packs break applications, performance degrades whenever the machine’s up for more than a week at a time and the display starts losing track of which icon should get drawn where, one of the multi heads starts going into power saving mode until rebooting, file associations revert to unwanted applications, drives turn up full because Windows has been caching Windows Update downloads on random drives, Outlook locks up for extended periods, builds corrupt and project working folders need to be purged and full rebuilds need to be done, on and on. I think I can conservatively say that Windows screwiness costs me half an hour per day, or about 12 hours per month.
So my one Windows machine costs about 192 times as much maintenance time as my cluster of nine Debian boxes. The home machines are on 24/7, and I use the two Debian desktop boxes and the one Debian movie and music server about as much as I use the Windows machine at work.
Or put another way, the one Windows machine costs about 6 times as much time as the Debian machine where I intentionally run untested software to try and help find problems.

Bryan Price says:

I don't know

Let’s compare to the amount of time I’ve been working on my, the family’s and a friend’s computer in the past three months versus the time I’ve spent working on the three family cars in the same period of time. I think the cars would probably win. And considering I spend more time on the computer versus in the car, the cars are certainly more time wasting.
And that doesn’t include the time I wasted yesterday figuring out that the wife’s car’s timing belt was broke. 4 years old. Grrrrrrrr. My 14 yo Marquis hasn’t had as much down time as that damn Saturn!

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