I am a senior citizen, just into computing about 3 1/2 years. In computing, I am a 3 out of 10 in knowledge. (compared to you Experts) I am a 10 compared to the average person in my area. I know just about enough to get me in trouble. I can usually repair a downed PC, but I often need assistance from you "REAL" experts. I became seriously disabled in 2004 and could no longer work. Rather than watch TV all day, i read a well-known PC magazine in 05 and built a computer from scratch. It worked and I was hooked. I am self-taught and learn more every day. Mostly from 5 magazine subscriptions, the Computer "how to" sites, and Experts Exchange. I am the officially unqualified neighborhood repairman. My hobby has evolved into a small repair business, as long as I am physically able. I do the basic stuff; remove viruses, reinstall windows, install protective SW, update SW and windows, use restore console and generally help people as best as I can----Until I have to come to the Experts for assistance. I know so very little compared to you all.
I make a little money, and I do a lot of work for free. It keeps me occupied and alive. What I have been doing lately is going to the recycling dumpster and retrieving perfectly fine older PCs that have been discarded for newer models. I am shocked at how wasteful people are, considering what I bring home from the center. People throw computers away when maybe all that is needed is a video card replacement. That is my job to determine and repair/replace if I can.
The pcs range from P3, P4, dual core and even better. Some even are so new they have Vista installed. i rescue these PCs. I add memory, put in Newer Hardware or Software if needed and either sell them for the cost of the memory/hardware or give them to poor people whose children need a PC for school. Some are actually late model P4 HPs, Dells, Compaqs etc. I have permission from the public works director to remove them from the dumpster because they are going to be destroyed anyway.
People knock on my door every day with "broken" computers and I fear it may get out of control soon. I am beginning to work like I have a full time job and that cannot happen for health reasons. However I enjoy, immensely what I do.
that is my story.