Thursday, April 16, 2009

Expert on Nothing!

I am an Expert on Nothing!

“What?” you say “And you say that out loud!”

Let me explain. According to the Concise Oxford English Dictionary an expert is:

a person who is very knowledgeable about or skillful in a particular area.

So, am I not a person that is very knowledgeable about or skillful in a particular area? I know a lot about certain things and not so much about other things. I started working with computers in about 1990. I worked with and on computers, I upgraded, repaired and supplied computer support. I taught people how to use computers. I worked with DOS, Windows 3.1, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows NT, Windows XP and Vista. I started on Bulletin Board Systems and from there moved to the Internet. I think you get the picture: from about 1990 computers and the Internet formed a big part of my life.

For the past few years I worked in a computer shop. My duties included ordering, receiving and selling of computers and components. I think that I am very knowledgeable about that. My duties also included working as a technician: repairing and upgrading pc's, installing and configuring operation systems and other software, making network cable's, “building” computers, removing viruses (without losing data) and all the other stuff that a technician do. A lot of the customers called me an expert but I still do not refer to myself as an expert.

If you look around you, you won't believe how many experts are out there. You see them on the television, predicting that if this happens that will happen. In the newspapers and on the Internet. Some days it seems that just about every website that you visit is hosted by or have some connection with an expert. Google “expert” and you get “Results 1 - 10 of about 302,000,000 for expert” And then you get the experts you know personally or meet in everyday life.

I can tell you a few stories about some experts I've met while working with computers. A few examples: the expert that plugged the stiffy drive power cable into the jumpers at the back of his hard disk ( please don't do it – it destroys your hard disk ) And I can tell you about the expert that “built thousands of pc's” and then he destroys his brand new motherboard because he forced the wrong 4 pin power cable into the motherboard.

One day last year while working in the computer shop one the the self proclaimed computer expert (“you can't tell my anything about computers”) and I were talking. Actually he was talking and I was just listening while going on with my work. He never actually bought anything but just came in to talk and mostly about how good he is. So he is going on and on when one of the regular customers came in. This customer was in the shop the previous day and said that he wanted to try Ubuntu Linux. I had a few Ubuntu cd's and told him that I will give him one. So while giving him the Ubuntu disc I tell him it's the Ubuntu disc I promised him. The self proclaimed computer expert (SPCE) then asked “Ubuntu?”
Me: “Yes”
SPCE: “This @#$%& government!”
Me: “Excuse me?”
SPCE: “The government made Ubuntu cd's. They ....”

I interrupted and explained to him that Ubuntu Linux is a open source operating system that is distributed by Mark Shuttleworth and his company. His next question: “What's a operating system?” Are you serious? You're suppose to be a computer expert! After explaining to the SPCE what a operating system was, his reaction: “Oh, so it's a new version of Windows”

The one thing that I've learned over the years is that the more you learn about something the more there is to learn. Things change so you have to keep on learning especially if you work with computers, the Internet or other technology. And that my dear readers is why I am an Expert on Nothing – I am still learning!


  1. Nice to find some humility after all :-)

    Btw, it's Operating System, not Operation system ;-)

  2. Oops! (fixing while blushing) Thanks! :-)