Let it be known that on this great and blindingly sunny morning I accomplished yet another first here at technabob: I got dibs on the word flowchart. As unbelievable as that sounds this is indeed the first post here that contains that superficially geeky word. But a flowchart itself, if used by masters like Morris Rosenthal, is not just truly geeky but truly helpful as well. Rosenthal’s book, Computer Repair with Diagnostic Flowcharts: Troubleshooting PC Hardware Problems from Boot Failure to Poor Performance, Revised Edition (Paperback), has a long-ass title for a very short book, but his flowcharts are relatively easy to follow, with questions and instructions that a person with average knowledge of computer hardware can easily understand.
Above are the flowcharts that anticipate most, if not all, of the things that can go wrong with your computer that will prevent it from starting up. Rosenthal knows how the internet works – it’s all about sharing – so he has a link to the full pdf file on his website. Rosenthal is cool with you printing the poster for personal or educational uses (I converted it to jpeg and turned out to be a massive 4500 x 4500 image). His website also has flowcharts in more manageable sizes too, like this one about optical drive problems:
Any flowchart with a step that tells you to “Laugh at self” is a good flowchart. The flowcharts on Rosenthal’s website are somewhat interactive: clicking each step takes you to a more detailed explanation of what’s going on and what you can do to fix it. You can also download a free pdf of the flowcharts on Rosenthal’s site. If you only have one computer you’d better print that ASAP, or better yet get a copy of Rosenthal’s book. It’s only $14 (USD) on Amazon. And remember: I was the first one to use the word flowchart in this blog.
[via Boing Boing Gadgets]