Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Are you having a problem with your Ipod that the instruction manual does not explain how to remedy? Have you lost or just don't want to bother with searching for the manual for your TV? Can't figure out the complicated technical jargon in the manual for your new digital camera?

Fortunately, in our world of ever-increasing gadgets & ever-increasing gadget-created frustration, there is a great one stop source for solutions to many of the technological confusions we face. FixYa is a website that provides free tips on how to repair or troubleshoot hundreds of common problems for devices such as cellphones, MP3 players, printers, refrigerators, video games consoles, turntables (hey, they are making a comeback), & even wine coolers.

FixYa was, according to its website, "founded by an entrepreneur who decided to take advantage of the fact that consumer products manufacturers are not providing adequate support through their web sites. Although these products become more and more technologically advanced, their manufacturers are not allocating the necessary resources that are required in order to provide good technical support." The great hook of FixYa is that its basis is on real consumer's experiences with technological problems & solutions, & not based on the often confusing or incomplete manuals provided by a product's manufacturer.

FixYa has a relatively straight-forward means of searching. The homepage quick-lists links to dozens of major manufacturers. By clicking a manufacturer name, the page will reset to list the categories of products produced by that company. Great, too, is that the site has pictures of the products, so you won't need to know a product number to access the information about it.

The other means of searching is a simple search box much like a Google or Yahoo search box. In this search box, you can enter either a product name & number if you have the "find a product" selection clicked. Or, if you've clicked the "find a solution" button, you can enter, for example, "playstation 2 blank screen" or "heating coil dishwasher whirlpool" to get to series of possible answers to the problem.

So, keep FixYa in mind the next time you have trouble with one of your gadgets. Unless, of course, the gadget you're having difficulty with is your computer. In that case, you might have to dig out that user's manual after all.

Patrick Layne: playne@bpl.lib.me.us

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Bangor Public Library

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