By Michael Russell
There is no getting around that there are a lot of computers in the world. The percentage of homes alone that now have computers is staggering and with all these computers, some running literally around the clock, there had better be somebody available to repair them when they break down, and they DO break down. If you're interested in the field of computer repair or even building computers from the ground up, this article will give you some idea of what you can expect to learn from an accredited school.
Even though most of the glamour belongs to those who program computers to work, it is the ones who build and repair them who really have the hardest jobs. There is more involved with the building and repairing of computers than with any aspect of programming, networking or other area. If you plan to do this for a living, a good school will teach you the following:
The first thing you will need is a basic course in electronics. You had better have a solid foundation and understanding of how current flows, what a transistor is, what a resistor is and a number of other electronically related areas. You may not have to know as much as an electrician, but you need to have a fundamental understanding in this area or you can end up frying your PC to a crisp.
After teaching you the basics of electronics, a good school will then concentrate on the individual parts of the computer itself.
You'll first learn about all the different pieces of electronic equipment that you'll be using to work on your computer. There are a number of diagnostic and assembly tools that you will need to learn how to use proficiently.
The next thing you will learn is a general overview of the various parts of the computer such as the mother board, power supply, memory chips, hard disk drive and all the peripheral equipment such as CD ROM drives, modems, and floppy disk drives. The entire list is of course much more extensive.
After learning what each part of the computer does, you'll learn how to shop for various pieces depending on compatibility issues. You'll learn what hard drives can be used, size wise, based on the type of mother board you have and things of that nature.
You'll then learn how to install every possible piece that can be put into a computer. This covers hard drives, modems, mother boards, CD ROM drives, backup drives and the list goes on and on. Each one of these items will have special installation instructions.
You'll learn basic trouble shooting techniques when things start to go wrong. This part of the course is usually the most challenging. What the instructor will usually do is present you with a computer that has a specific problem. As the student, you have to first diagnose what is causing the problem and then figure out the solution needed for repair. This is the most intensive part of the hands on course.
After your computer is built, you'll then learn how to format your hard drive and how to install the operating system.
Mixed in with these basic areas you'll also learn about computer numbering systems, how to install adapters, how data is stored and a number of other things that are just beyond the scope of this overview.
Finally, when your course is completed you will then go for your A-1 certification which will qualify you to get a job as a computer technician.
Building and repairing computers is not a glamorous job, but when people bring their computers in to be repaired, they probably count on you more than on anyone else in the computer industry, and that has to be a great feeling.
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