Since I use a computer at work, I’m the resident computer guy in my family. Yes, simply using a computer on a regular basis makes me the go-to guy for anything computer related. While I am a web developer, and know a decent amount about computers, I don’t know everything about every computer, far from it actually. One of the more difficult things is trying to help a family member over the phone. Whether it’s trying to hook up a new gadget, or troubleshooting an issue, descriptions are always as vague as possible. “My computer won’t turn on” can mean the monitor won’t turn on, the actual computer won’t turn on, or a number of other things.
Something I found to ease my pain was this USB hub in the shape of a little man (Amazon affiliate link). I got it for less than $5 shipped online one day. I’ve set it up on the desk of several of my family members. I connect it to the computer for them. Now, any time they call me needing help connecting their camera, mp3 player, Kindle, or any other of the plethora of electronics that use USB, I simply tell them to plug it into the “little guy”. It’s made everything easier on everyone. Depending on who I was talking to, connecting a USB device sometimes meant climbing under the desk and finding the port in the back of the computer, finding the right port on the front of the computer (sometimes concealed by a door to hide all the “ugly” ports), or finding it along the sides of a laptop. Now, if the device doesn’t work after they’ve connected it to the “little guy”, I don’t have to guess whether or not they’ve connected it to the right port or not.