On a good day, we feel pretty darn good about our computer savvy skills. But on a bad day—you know, the one where the dinglehopper fails or you get a warning that your "Attribute error seeks rate change"—we're left humbled and alone, more confused than a chameleon on a pile of skittles. But luckily, we've all got a few life lines for at-home IT help.
Yes it's true, plenty of tech problems can be solved with a quick Google (or any other engine) search. Type your question into the search bar and skim through forums or pages on Yahoo! Answers—chances are, somebody has had this problem before.
Ask a More Savvy Friend
You've probably already gotten buddy-buddy with the IT folks at work so they'd un-block Facebook, right? Well whip up a batch of cookies and ask a tech-support-industry friend to help.
Make Use of Retail IT Services
Check in with the store where you bought the devil-possessed machine to see if they can offer any help. Plenty of stores have help staff, most notably the Apple Retail Genius Bar and Best Buy's Geek Squad. But be aware that some (like Geek Squad) will charge you fees and might not have the best user reviews.
Use Online Help Desk Services
Get remote help from an online IT provider. Depending on your needs, you can go for a one-time remote IT pro (many of those will brand themselves as "small business IT" help). While they will charge a fee, you know you're getting good help from a knowledgeable source
Check for Local IT Services
Search the web or the yellow pages for IT consultants in your town. Many local businesses outsource their IT needs, so these companies have a team of pros that are probably willing to to help you out for the right price.