Niall Mulrine

Technology: Experts in technology – are they really?

Niall Mulrine

Niall Mulrine

WE ALL know these people in our lives which are either somewhat related to us or a friend who tell us that they are whizz at computer issues because of where they work. They work in an IT company or IT related service but they may never get the opportunity to actually repair a computer at work. Example locally, is someone saying my friend works in local IT Company and uses a computer every day and they know their stuff.

Is financial software important?
Accountant is one example of a person that comes to mind who, too sits at a computer all day maybe. Putting client files together on computer, creating spreadsheets, presentations and calculations all day with their keyboard and mouse, but does that make them experts in repairing system crashes? I know it’s slightly opposite field of work, but the sentiment behind it is the same.


Don’t take me wrong, there are lots of people out there in these roles that actually have a great IT knowledge and hold great abilities to troubleshoot most issues. Hats are off them as they have a keen interest in computers otherwise they would not be lending their services free of charge to people they know. In many cases experience in virus removal and knowledge of how different types of viruses’ effect machines is a great tool for any repair person to have, but have they fixed the virus or installed a virus?

Is free software really free?
Ironically, quite often I get phone calls to ask if I can salvage a problem that occurred on a system whilst someone was trying to fix it. The bones of a repair may have worked out and when the computer connects to internet this is the goal scored and job done. However lots of other issues may not be seen until later when the computer user goes to do something simple say, print out a document or scan a picture. The printer may not have been tested for these purposes when the initial repair took place, but it’s noticed now as it’s badly needed, normally in times of last minute preparation such as an assignment needs handed in or invoices need printed at the end of the month. Maybe they have no proper software on the machine to create a text document to begin with, as the repair wiped Microsoft Word from the system. In this instance, most people cannot prove they own a licence for Office suite and then ask someone to install a version of Microsoft Office on their systems. When asked, the normal answer will be “it came with the computer” and

I never had a disc. The truth is that 90% of the time to this statement is, “a friend gave me this disc to install on my computer when I bought it”. The first question you must ask yourself is, did you pay €699 plus for Office professional package that was originally put on? Why do I ask this? This is the normal retail price for a fully-fledged properly licenced version of Microsoft Office full suite of programs including Word, Excel, Outlook, Publisher and more. But the owner is convinced it came free as its “supposed to come with the computer”. Well yes back in the late 90’s and early Millennium of 2000, this was free to a certain extent. It came bundled with lots of computers, but remember the price of the computer may have been £2,500 punts. If you can reflect back to that time you may remember when purchasing a system it was very out of the comfort zone of many as it may not been apparent what a computer actually did! The retailer may have spoken to you about how you can create a fancy spreadsheet with numbers and automatically make a glossy graph by using some of the programs that you can get with the computer. Without the additional software the user may have been notified of the little value of a computer without these programs, so the purchaser will agree to a few extra hundred pounds on top of the computer price of two grand to do these tasks.

Beware of websites that give free software
Microsoft Office is not free, it’s a paid software that Microsoft sell globally to computer users to make profits, so don’t fall for the freebie. We may of heard of the stories on how we can download a free version of Office Professional from certain websites called Torrents or similar. Well sorry to tell you, that these versions are not “Free”, they are pirate copies that were uploaded by users all around the World that have hacked the software to trick it into thinking its genuine software where in fact they installed a Keygen virus. This Keygen creates an activation code for Office installation but it can also install Rootkits on your system drive that can be used for hackers to record your keystrokes, delete files, steal information or just cause havoc to the system.

Remember the saying, “If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.” A pirate copy may have cost more to fix the computer that what the software may have cost to purchase. Be careful about what goes on your systems. The message I am trying to convey on this article is that we need to be careful who carries out work on our systems. The topic of piracy software included is a small glimpse into the dangers of pirated software which is a follow up article that will be published later.

Contact Niall Mulrine

If you would like a workshop for a parents association, workplace conference, sports centre talk and many other venues, please contact me on 086-2377033
For more information & tips on Cyber Bullying & Internet Safety log on to or contact Niall Mulrine 086-2377033 if you wish to hear how you can haven Internet Safety workshop in your area.

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