Articles in Category: Editorials

While much of Ask Leo! contains my opinions on various matters relating to computers and technology as I answer various questions, these items are less about the answer, and more about what I think. Or in some cases, how I rant.

What Information Should I Provide When Asking For Help?

What Information Should I Provide When Asking for Help?

When you ask someone for help, stack the deck in your favor by painting a clear picture of the problem you’re experiencing.

Tech Support

Why Can’t I Talk to a Real Person?

There are many reasons why you’re more likely to be directed to online and self-help resources than talk to a real person.

"... the more frustrated and resistant you are to the changes you’re facing, the harder you’re making it on yourself. "

How To Reduce Your Frustration with Technology

Believe it or not, there’s one change you can make that can dramatically impact how well your technology works for you.

Hanlon's Razor

Never Attribute to Malice…

Malicious intent is a common knee-jerk reaction to technological trials and tribulations. Unfortunately, it’s usually the wrong assumption to make.

Stop Spreading Manure

Stop Spreading Manure

Perhaps most importantly, stop believing it.

Microsoft, We Deserve Better

Microsoft, We Deserve Better

Updates to Windows seemingly can’t be trusted, and yet they’re forced on us. Something must change.

If I Had to Do It Over…

If I Had to Do It Over…

I never planned to be a writer. And yet here I am. I kinda wish I’d approached a few things differently along the way.

The Future

The 40-year Take-away

Feeling reflective, I look back on my career path to see what we might learn from it that could apply to today’s youth.

WHY IS EVERYONE ON THE INTERNET SO GRUMPY?

WHY IS EVERYONE ON THE INTERNET SO GRUMPY?

Using all upper-case characters is the internet form of shouting, and is considered quite rude. Don’t be surprised if you get a grumpy response.

Microphone

What are the Internet’s Rules about Free Speech?

Often, when people find their posts or comments removed or altered from websites they visit, they’re quick to claim their right to free speech has been violated. That’s rarely the case.

Help!

Why Can’t You Give a Straight Answer?

I can’t always give a straight answer, mostly because every computer is unique. My most common answer? “It depends.”

Watching for Interactions

Interactions between software can cause unexpected side effects. If you’re experiencing a problem, it’s one more thing to look into.

Anything is Possible

“Is It Possible” is the Wrong Question

Yes, it’s possible. But you might want to ask a different question that will result in a more helpful answer.

The Nuclear Option

When Tech Drives You Crazy, Don’t Make the Problem Worse

Impatience leads to frustration. Frustration leads to desperation. Desperation often leads to more problems than you started with.

Communication

Are Human Relations Skills Important in Tech?

Technical aptitude and skills are important, of course. But perhaps as important is the ability to relate to and work with the people around you.

Why Are Manhole Covers Round?

So Just Why Are Manhole Covers Round?

Manhole covers? Really? Interviewing for technical positions can be tricky, but it can also be fun, if you know what interviewers are looking for.

Programming video games is very different...

How Do I Become a Computer Programmer?

Being a computer programmer can be a fun and rewarding profession. Here’s my take on what it takes to get there; some aspects are obvious, and others are not.

Coffee Shop

Is the internet directly responsible for our economic problems?

Economic change is actually nothing new. I feel pretty strongly that you can’t blame the internet for the economy – find out why!

Bug!

How can I make a computer “Crash Proof?”

Do I have to say it? The only crash-proof technology is a good and recent backup!

Bad Computer Day

One Reason Why You Don’t Need a New Computer

Buying a new machine is a common knee-jerk reaction to a bad malware infestation. And it’s wrong. Not just a little wrong – it’s very wrong and unnecessary.

Shocked!

How the Internet Is Breaking Journalism (and What It Means to You)

When it comes to journalism and other information that you read on the internet, there’s a very strong argument that things are seriously broken. The result is that we all need to be more vigilant than ever to separate the truth from falsehood and recognize what’s important as opposed to what’s popular.

Communicate

The Most Important Skill

The most important skill for everything from getting your computer fixed to becoming a highly paid professional may not be what you think it is.

Global Internet

Shouldn’t Everyone Have Internet Access?

Nearly 20% of people in the United States don’t have internet access. In my opinion, that’s a big problem that needs solving. I’ll explain why.

Steve Ballmer

On Steve Ballmer leaving Microsoft

The end of an era. I share some of my thoughts on Steve Ballmer’s impending departure from Microsoft, and why it’s the right thing and the right time to shake things up.

Head Scratch

Are Humans Getting More Stupid Because of Computers?

Computers make many things easier. Personally, I can do and be more than ever before. It’s because I allow the technology to help with many of the things that I used to have to remember or know… freeing up my time for other things.

"... the more frustrated and resistant you are to the changes you’re facing, the harder you’re making it on yourself. "

Embracing the Most Important Attitude

There is one approach to life — one setting in your psyche — that affects your experience with technology much more than any lack of skill or knowledge.

Why Shouldn’t I Forward this Email Asking Me to “Forward to Everyone I Know”?

Every few days, we get forwarded email warning us about everything from lost children to free money. They’re mostly bogus, and known as urban legends.

Looking Closely

Why You Should Never Blindly Trust an Online Recommendation (Even Mine)

A reader left a snide remark about one of my recommendations, but it actually raised an important point about recommendations you might find online – there are many opportunities for abuse.

Arm Wrestle

Do Desktop or Laptop Platforms Really Matter any More?

As platforms like Windows, Mac, and Linux have all matured, the differences in fundamental capabilities are getting smaller – in many cases, small enough that which one you choose can often boil down to simple personal preference.

Communicate

If I Had to Do It All Over Again…

It may not be fair, it may not be politically correct, but the practical reality of the internet is that speaking and writing English well, matters.