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A lot of
people have problems with computers and other gadgets, we know this to
be true as our phone is constantly ringing from friends and family
asking us for help on tech problems. If you are not as lucky as these
people in having a tech boffin they know then you could do a lot worse
than give BT a call.

The telephone company has been offering a home IT support service since last year. The service costs start from around £9 per month or £25 per incident.

For
some reason BT was keen for us to get a taste of what an engineer visit
was like so it sent one around for us to sort out any problems we had.

The
guy turned up on time and even managed to call beforehand to let us
know he was on his way. Usually the type of calls they get are to set
up wireless networks and troubleshoot basic computer problems as well
as do a spring clean on your computer.

Well we did have some
problems, but not the usual ones. You see we at Absolute Gadget are a
pretty clued up bunch of individuals, so we know how todefrag, uninstall
and set up wireless networks. (Well we do have a background in PC
support ourselves). So our problems were perhaps a little more complex.

{mospagebreak}For
a start, Firefox had gone all quiet when playing back flash-based
videos and we wanted to set up a network using our mains cables.

The
friendly engineer said he would get to those problems but first he
would do a spring clean on our computer (no need really – I told him
that the laptop was new – he soon found that he didn’t need to do
anything on it, apart from the silent video puzzler). He also found
that we didn’t have an anti-virus application installed (we happen to
think the firewall on theBT Hub works pretty well and anyway we surf safely).

Anyway,
with
AVG installed (at least it didn’t cost us anything as AVG is free)
he set about trying to fix our Firefox problem. About ten or twenty
minutes later the problem left our engineer scratching his head as his
attempts touninstall and reinstall Firefox did nothing to rectify the
problem. He soon decided to phone a friend (well the guys back at BT
HQ) and see if they knew how to fix the problem. Another ten or twenty
minutes came and went and they too drew a blank. No problem was no
nearer being fixed and time was pressing.

The next problem was
to set up a network using HomePlug.
Basically this uses adapters that you plug in the wall which send data
around the electrical cables in your house. We wanted to uses
someLinksys powerline adapters alongside some D-Link ones to connect a
Mac upstairs. The engineer tried to find out why the Linksys
adapters weren’t talking to the D-Link ones but couldn’t find a
solution and time sadly ran out for the man as he then had to go on to
another appointment.

{mospagebreak}While the service may be good if you really
don’t have a clue about computers and find all technology troublesome,
if you are like us and fix most problems yourself then it probably
isn’t worth the money.

For your information, after the
engineer left we Googled the two problems. The Firefox issue can be
dealt with by simply editing the registry and deleting acertain corrupted entry within. And the D-Link and Linksys
powerline adapters would not speak to each other as the D-Lin is
PowerLine AV and the other isn’t, making the two incompatible with each
other. The lesson that can be learned here is that if you have a
problem and have an internet connection, Google appears to know more
than aBT engineer.

Rating: 7/10