Brain Dump - Things to do with a Master's in CS
By pmonday on Aug 01, 2006
Updated with new service: WiFi for a fee.
I've spent quite a bit of time helping my neighbors with their computer in the past few days. We had a lightning strike in the back that fried their ethernet port, they are frustrated talking to the HP support folks, they need their new high-speed Internet. I ended up going over and putting in a new NIC for them and installing their virus software. All in all, about an hour of work.
Still, it really begs the question, how do I monetize this side-job. I mean, really, its non-traditional. Folks know they need work done on their computer stuff, but they often don't trust some random geek (I can use this term since I am one) they call off the street and some businesses prices are just too high. FURTHER, these folks are NOT getting the help they are promised from where they purchased their computer and they are nickel and dimed to death (most of these folks can get free virus software through their ISP yet the companies insist on charging them $60 for software).
So, I have a solution...we all trust the ice-cream truck and our kids are almost giddy when they hear that music.
Here's my plan. Should I ever get tired of working for Sun (or Sun gets tired of me working for them), I'm thinking I will
a) buy an ice-cream truck
b) rebrand the ice-cream truck with images and labels like "Getchyour Viruses Fixed Here" and "Is your WIFI secure" and "I can help with your Nano" and "I spy spyware" and, maybe if I want to penetrate the power user "Getchyour home grid from me in under 2 hours"
c) create an 8-track tape (I somehow doubt my MP3 CD would work in the ice-cream truck) with my favorite jack johnson tunes (adults love jack johnson...it makes them all happy and giddy like a kid).
d) drive around the neighborhood playing my tinny jack johnson 8-track and selling services (two models, they can run out with joy to my truck and their CPU tower and I will fix it in my ice-cre...err...virus truck or i will come in and fix their computer for an extra fee...have you ever seen an ice-cream vendor out of their truck?)
e) when business stagnates i will offer free ice-cream cones to the kids with any service
f) attach a wifi-gumball-like machine to the back of the truck where adults can run up and put in their spare change to wifi enable their neighborhood at $5 / 10 minutes (no guarantee of service remaining in range so I recommend you have a laptop and charged battery). Per the suggestion of a friend, each gumball will have an SSID and WEP password on the surface of the gumball, so jot them down before you eat your gum.
Ahhh...one can only dream.