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The technician's toolbox

 
 
techophile
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      06-23-2003

I noticed that Mike included some software tools on the cd with his book.
I'm planning on starting a "mobile" tech service after being certified(I've
been working on friends, family, and my personal computers for awhile, but
just now getting certified). So with limited funding $1500 what would any
of you that have "been here and done that" recommend? I think this will be
helpful for myself as well as many others on the board. So maybe we can
catergorize them as :

Actual tools needmaybe some actualy toolkit suggestions here)
Free software tools
Commercial software tools
Troubleshooting knowledge bases


Anything else that doesn't fall under these 3 categories would be
appreciated too. Maybe some links to help in the finding if you have the
time and urge to further hold the newbie's hand.

Much thanks for anyone that helps out.

1 last thing....are there any good techician message boards or newsgroups
around that you know about?


 
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Paul Stelter
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      06-24-2003
G'day! Have been at this end of business for a while now, and have
found the following very practical:

Software: Major operating systems - copy of win95 / 98 / ME, 2000 (demo
has the same install files), XP, DOS 6.2, win98 boot disk, norton
system-works PRO (it includes Ghost), and the latest copy of NAV. Too,
Sisofts SANDRA 2003 pro (good for benchmarking / burning in pc's), and
WINZIP (whatever the latest version is)

Tools: Phillips screwdriver (one long handle, one stubby), micro /
precision screwdriver kit (includes Torx, phillips, slot). Small
flashlight, nuts/bolts/standoffs, CPU Paste

Supplies: Drive cables (scsi, ide, floppy) audio cables (cd-rom to
card/mo-board), one complete board/cpu/memory for emergency swap-outs
(sort of current - update your machine periodically and use the other
one as a spare), AT and ATX power-supply (one of each - make sure the
ATX is certified for P4), spare key-board, mouse, low-end video card for
testing, at least one NIC (all of this fits on a largish box to haul
around with you), patch cables (variety of sizes), small hub / switch,
compressed air.

There are some diagnostic cards that are comercially available, but they
seem to be capable of little more than reading the POST beeps (which
most people can hear) and report that back - don't bother with them.

Go to www.startech.com and sign up for a reseller account - most of the
above is CHEAP from them, and their shipping is reliable. They have
some basic LAN tools too.

Hope this helps.

Paul Stelter MCP / A+

techophile wrote:
> I noticed that Mike included some software tools on the cd with his book.
> I'm planning on starting a "mobile" tech service after being certified(I've
> been working on friends, family, and my personal computers for awhile, but
> just now getting certified). So with limited funding $1500 what would any
> of you that have "been here and done that" recommend? I think this will be
> helpful for myself as well as many others on the board. So maybe we can
> catergorize them as :
>
> Actual tools needmaybe some actualy toolkit suggestions here)
> Free software tools
> Commercial software tools
> Troubleshooting knowledge bases
>
>
> Anything else that doesn't fall under these 3 categories would be
> appreciated too. Maybe some links to help in the finding if you have the
> time and urge to further hold the newbie's hand.
>
> Much thanks for anyone that helps out.
>
> 1 last thing....are there any good techician message boards or newsgroups
> around that you know about?
>
>


 
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Fred
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      06-25-2003

I wish I had this PC toolkit, but at almost $1,000 bucks I'll wait.
http://www.tecratools.com/pages/datacom/80118.html

This company has many cool tools.


 
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techophile
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      06-25-2003

Thanks Paul. How do you feel about Belarc software?


 
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techophile
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      06-25-2003

They seemed pretty expensive on their other toolkits too. They did seem
very complete though.


 
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RussS
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      06-25-2003
Excellent choice there Paul. Very closely resembles what I carry. I also
have Belarc Advisor and am playing with AIDA32 at the moment. I also have a
copy of AVG for those clients who do not have anything on their machines or
they have something that hasn't been upgraded since purchase (usually about
3/4 years ago on average ... lol).

--
RussS
MCP W2K Pro & Server, A+, Net+

http://www.techexams.net/


 
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Paul Stelter
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      06-25-2003
techophile wrote:
> Thanks Paul. How do you feel about Belarc software?
>
>



Not entirely sure! I have a dim view of much of the software available
out there for testing - lots of it can be duplicated using basic
utilities that come either with Windows, or can be downloaded free from
a variety of sites. Too, the results generally won't tell you what the
specific problem is. A utility I've been looking for is one that could
potentially test system memory for errors (I bought some bad RAM a while
back and am curious to know specifically where the problem lies...)

However, anything that comes recommended from a fellow technician is
definitely worth looking at. I find a general rule of thumb is 'try
before you buy' - thankfully most companies have time-bomb versions of
their software, giving you enough time to fiddle with it and develop
some sort of an opinion.

I also had a look at the tool kit advertised on
http://www.tecratools.com/pages/datacom/80118.html - rather nice, but
probably a little overkill. I guess one advantage would be that it
certainly would impress your client!!!!!! LOL!

Oddly enough, I keep my network installation tools (crimpers, testers,
saws, hammers, fish-tape etc) in a different box (OK - two boxes, once I
get my drills put together).

techophile wrote:
> Thanks Paul. How do you feel about Belarc software?
>
>


 
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Paul Stelter
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      06-25-2003
Thanks! I'll give that a shot.

Paul Stelter

ImhoTech wrote:
> http://www.simmtester.com/ Download DocMemory.
>
>
>>specific problem is. A utility I've been looking for is one that could
>>potentially test system memory for errors (I bought some bad RAM a while
>>back and am curious to know specifically where the problem lies...)
>>
>>

>
>
>


 
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walterbyrd
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      06-28-2003
tomshardward did an article about this, maybe a year ago. An
experienced technicial put together a great toolbox. Also, slashdot,
did a "what's in your software toolkit" article a few months ago.

"techophile" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message news:<MlLJa.83682$(E-Mail Removed). com>...
> I noticed that Mike included some software tools on the cd with his book.
> I'm planning on starting a "mobile" tech service after being certified(I've
> been working on friends, family, and my personal computers for awhile, but
> just now getting certified). So with limited funding $1500 what would any
> of you that have "been here and done that" recommend? I think this will be
> helpful for myself as well as many others on the board. So maybe we can
> catergorize them as :
>
> Actual tools needmaybe some actualy toolkit suggestions here)
> Free software tools
> Commercial software tools
> Troubleshooting knowledge bases
>
>
> Anything else that doesn't fall under these 3 categories would be
> appreciated too. Maybe some links to help in the finding if you have the
> time and urge to further hold the newbie's hand.
>
> Much thanks for anyone that helps out.
>
> 1 last thing....are there any good techician message boards or newsgroups
> around that you know about?

 
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techophile
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      07-01-2003
Thanks for that info. I hope tomshardware keeps archives. I'd be
interested in seeing what was listed.


 
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