Understanding New Technology Takes Just 30 Minutes a Week

Do you know anyone like this: They buy some hot new tech toy, figure out the basics – the main things that are intuitive – and then keep saying that they will learn all of the other cool things the gadget can do . . . next week, or next month?

Back away from the mirror!

Look, I am as guilty of that as anyone, but one thing I have also learned along the way is that one of the best things one can do when it comes to technology is to take some time, look under the hood and get jiggy with it. But don’t just take it from me, take it from a Silicon Valley hotshot. Back in the day, I worked with a big name, high-tech company in the valley. I got to know some of the engineers, programmers and support staff. One woman, April, as savvy a computer geek as there is out there, once gave me some great words of wisdom: “Get off your duff, stop being so lazy and learn your software,” she admonished. As April explained, software companies put a lot of effort into making their programs easy to use and understand – you can see that here at Concur for sure – but just as importantly, they work hard at making them equally powerful and robust. That’s where most people drop the ball. “If people would just spend some time to learn their technology, they would be amazed at how much more it can do. Just give it a little time and effort. Even just 30 minutes a week can make a huge difference.” It turns out to be excellent advice. One of the great things about living in the Internet era is that there is just so darn much information out there. Finding articles, tutorials, YouTube videos, or webinars on a particular subject is easy. Whether it’s learning the various other things your software can do besides the obvious, or how to de-bug your computer, how to save the battery life on your cell phone, or whatever, taking a little extra time to go the extra mile often makes a big difference; it definitely will save you time and money. And April’s advice applies to a lot more than just technology. Example: I am not the handiest person around the house, and a couple of weeks ago our garbage disposal got clogged yet again. This seems to happen about twice a year, and twice a year I have to call a plumber and shell out $100 to get him to un-stop it. It usually takes him about 7 minutes.

So this time, remembering April’s rule, I Googled “how to unclog a garbage disposal.” Up popped a video that showed me the tool I need and how to do it myself. A quick trip to the store and a couple of turns of the right wrench, and viola! My sink was working again. Next up – that darn universal remote!

 

Previous posts from Steve Strauss:

 

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