I vaguely remember having read somewhere that when someone
asked Tesla how he was able to understand and invent complex electrical devices
he replied: "By breaking the concepts underlying them down into simple parts,
understanding those simple parts, and realising that complexity has an
An attitude like this prevents the mindset of being overwhelmed
when confronted with problems that inevitably occur when using the complex
technology of today. And of all the electronic devices that cause frustration,
home computers would have to be right up there, along with setting up (and
subsequently using) video recorders.
The added frustration that a home computer user has is that
even the so-called professional's solution to a computer user's software
problems is often destructive - ie, reformat the hard disk drive and start again
or, at best, reinstall Windows from scratch. However, a little bit of knowledge
and some careful analysis may be all that are required to save your PC's current
setup from obliteration.
It often amuses me that some people who profess to be "au fait"
with computers often describe themselves as software or hardware orientated and
then shy away from gaining knowledge about that side of computers they feel
doesn't interest them. This is a mistake, because if you are interested in
solving computer related problems, a reasonable knowledge of both areas is
necessary. After all, hardware faults can masquerade as software faults and
vice-versa, so you have to be prepared to deal with both possibilities when
The hardware and software in your PC is inexorably linked and
this must be fully appreciated in order to solve problems as they