In our modern society sometimes we can easily feel overwhelmed by all of the options technology provides us. Luckily there is a fantastic tool out there to help you wade through the shortcuts, syntax, and computer errors.
That’s right, the answer was Google. Now please do not feel offended by people suggesting you look things up yourself. They are often not just trying to dodge responsibility. They may either want you to learn for yourself, or they aren’t entirely sure themselves. Personally, when I am troubleshooting computers I search things up on Google all the time. There always seems to be someone else who has had the same issue I had. Often times those issues have answers and solutions! I wanted to outline some of the more common uses for Google when supplementing your day to day computer issues.
1. Error messages
One of the most useful things you can do when you get a computer error is to search for the error on Google. Error messages often contain very specific messages, developers will often create large manuals, or posts that help diagnose these errors.
To get the best results: type the name of the program you’re using, what operating system you’re using, and start typing the error message. Often times you will see the error message start to populate from the presumptive searching feature. In this example we would want to search “Adobe acrobat windows there was an error opening this document. The file is damaged and could not be repaired”
As you can see there are currently 25100 results related to our search. Luckily for us, we will likely only need the first few. The first one shows multiple hits from the Adobe forums where people have asked about the same error. Digging into those results you will find people getting together to collaborate and help each other to find a solution. Forums results like this are very helpful for defining the issue and finding creative solutions!
2. Programming help
Ever have trouble remembering the specific syntax for some rarely used programming function? Well search for the name of the programming language, and the name of the function, and you will easily find a breakdown of any syntax. Searching google is also a fantastic way to find out why you’re getting an error. You can often find a forum that can review your code, and find an error that you might have missed. It always helps to have a second pair of eyes when you’re stuck coding, and searching forums can provide you with many eyes to review your code!
3. Is this possible?/Has this been done?
One last suggested use is to search for computing solutions. Often times you’ll have someone ask “is this something you can program?”, and you’re just not sure. If you can turn their request into a general computing related phrase you can search online, and maybe find someone who has already done the exact same thing, and has shared their code with the rest of the world to help save other people time! There have been many instances where I have had an idea, but I just wasn’t sure if the program I was working with could do such a thing.
A quick Google search can reveal the instructions on how to use Photoshop better, or import a file in a different format. The possibilities for google are nearly endless as long as you’re willing to try searching different phrases, or combinations of your keywords. So next time you run into a tech problem try googling it, and relaying your finding to your tech person. Maybe the solution is something even they were not aware of!
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