I am not "technically(DIY) gifted".. will taking small courses help?

Discussion in 'General Off-Topic Chat' started by ShawnTRods, Sep 13, 2016.

  1. ShawnTRods
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    ShawnTRods GBAtemp Psycho!

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    Hey :D SO usually I make a lot of random topics here on temp :P most of the times with hardly any solution or responses.. but I guess I will still stick to temp lol.
    Lets get to the point.

    I have no disabilities. But when it comes to technical stuff.. I am REALLY bad. Technical stuff as in things involving manual work, puzzles, building things(putting a computer together, heck.. following simple instructions to put a small table or chair together), not good with screws, you get my point. All these little things that almost everyone can do.

    Now, the funny thing is, I am a biomedical scientist and when it comes to practical exercises in the lab, I am pretty good with it.

    But I just feel extremely frustrated as to how bad I am with this basic things. Struggle with little things like taking out the sim card from a phone or putting it back together. That might be a little exaggerated but you get my point :P

    I am particularly interested to improve in the IT department. Building computers together, taking apart, and things like that.

    Searched online and found QUITE a lot of different courses actually. Not just computer based but also other things like DIY courses, photography, home DIY, many different things. With the cost of those courses being between £50 to £500. Certified from colleges/universities throughout london.

    My question is, will those really help me improve my skills? I have always been book smart but I considered myself a technical retard :P due to my struggle with puzzles, basic things and putting things together lol.
     
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  2. TeamScriptKiddies

    TeamScriptKiddies Licensed Nintendo (indie) Game Developer

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    Planet Earth :P
    It boils down to being a left/right brain issue, that makesvit come easy to some and not others, however that doesn't mean you can't learn it, you just have to work harder to get there. That's how I am with math, I literally have to drill it into my head (okay maybe not literally lol) but I'm an engineering student.
     
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  3. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    I am never quite sure what to make of those courses. Most of the ones I have seen aim to teach people a few specific things rather than giving them an appreciation for what they are doing -- a client of mine went on a website building one once and it would have been outdated 10 years before, some others tried the woodworking courses and the results would probably not have allowed them to pass GCSE woodwork though they came away knowing how a saw was held and some of the joints and probably enough to do small household repairs. Many more act more as meeting new friends as an adult type setups as well. You are probably not going to be conned too badly and you will learn something if you want to but if you want to get something real then distance learning and actually aiming to get something would be the aim of the game. At the same time I would have to appreciate that I had been playing with tools for more of my life than not by the time I hit double digits and it is not like I have left that behind since.
    If courses are not for you then maybe have a look to see if there are any hackerspaces/makerspaces around you, and in London there will be, as they will probably be able to do something and they often run workshops for just this sort of purpose.

    Building a computer is square peg in square peg hole at this point -- about the worst you will do is put the RAM in the wrong slots and suffer a slight speed drop if you don't read the motherboard manual as you build it, and you might end up double powering a hard drive if it has old style molex as well as sata power. I guess the front panel switches could pose a problem if you refuse to read (HDD+ connector goes to the HDD+ pin header, and you will never guess where HDD- goes). Some of the really old school stuff you could mess up but if you are content to just handle basic office and home stuff then it is fine, some ancient legacy stuff (don't know about biotech labs but I see it often enough in industrial and some chemical analysis gear so it is not impossible you will find some in the wild -- the same line of thought that says my 20 year old microscope still resolves at the resolutions I need so why change also applies to the gas chromatograph or whatever of similar vintage that is running an old machine even for then as taking some data from serial is not a high bandwidth affair).
    There are about seven parts to a computer (case, motherboard, RAM/memory, cpu, power supply, hard drive and optical drive) so when buying one then make sure they are of the right type for the motherboard. You get a tiny bit of nonsense -- by most accounts the RAM timings are almost irrelevant in comparison to the RAM speed these days so don't sweat timings if you can get more speed or more of it for the same money).

    By puzzles so you mean jigsaw or mathematical/logical? In either case if you just approach them with a lot of knowledge but no technique then it is not going to happen, or happen easily.
    Or if you prefer then watch the whole thing

    Warning: Spoilers inside!

    Screws. Step 1 is philips is not always philips. http://www.instructables.com/id/When-a-Phillips-is-not-a-Phillips/ for a basic overview.
    If you are trying to screw a philips screw with a pozidriv driver (or vice versa) or a JIS cross head (Japanese standard you tend to see in Japanese cars and motorbikes) then it will probably screw in (or out if you want) but you definitely risk cam out and chewing up the screw, possibly then sliding the bit across the surface and then being dumped/divorced/disowned/some other negative thing beginning with d. Most people don't know this, won't bother and might not even own the relevant bits/screwdrivers.
    Step 2 is sure it is cool to be able to nail a fly on the wall opposite underhanded with a screwdriver longer than the average fencing sword, however if you have ever been in public bogs then you will know stick control is something many seem to fail at. To that end no shame in putting your forefinger at the bit end and guiding it in, or using both hands.
    Step 3 is allen keys/bolts invariably suck. If you are going to do lots then get a t bar set and/or a ball end set, or maybe even a ball end - tbar set. They will still suck but you might be spared a nice bruise across your hand.
    Step 4 is there is a difference between a drill and an impact driver. They look similar and both will sort of do the task of the other (they turn and do so with some power) but they have different mechanisms, however if you try to put a screw in with a normal household drill it has downsides similar to the bits thing mentioned in step 1.

    Furniture assembly instructions. Nobody enjoys those. Ikea do better than some but it is still not good, and if this is the second time you are putting ikea stuff together then good luck with that. What I will say is read the whole thing first, most don't and then they end up with some kind of abstract art because the thing that is almost the same length as the thing they needed was used instead, had they read the whole thing they would have seen there were two of those they needed and one of the thing they used instead and spared themselves the hassle. If you want to take it a step further and get all the things together in front of you, either basically there or as sub assemblies then it is not going to hurt.
    In the end I know joints, physics, woodwork and the like so I tend to rely on that to assemble things, and I also buy things that respect those -- some of the junk I have seen coming out of fancy shops these days turns my stomach when I hear what people paid for it.

    Other things you mention. What is your handwriting like? If it is not good then you might actually have issues with fine motor skills. It is quite common, and surprisingly enough even more so among scientists (it is even one of the diagnostic criteria for autism for some). Depending upon the cause (premature birth, childhood illness, various drugs in the past, various drugs now...) there may not be much you can do. The above stuff, assuming you are not at comedown levels of trouble, will help but it could also be that it is not for you. Also depending upon the lab work you are doing it might well be designed to be hard to fail at -- I drop a screw on a job site and nobody cares unless it falls on their head, you squirt either something unpleasant or that took 20 days to grow and purify, at considerable expense and/or rarity of the initial sample, down your leg and that is actually going to be a problem.
     
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  4. ShawnTRods
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    ShawnTRods GBAtemp Psycho!

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    Certain things I guess I could spend more time and repeat myself to learn. But when the frustration builds up and I am stuck on my own, I hardly make any progress lol. I did figure out the brain part :P just want ways to get a little more practical :)

    wow.. I appreciate your effort to always write detailed replies :)
    I actually read through it. So lets get back to some of your points :D

    1) Jigsaw puzzle / riddles. Generally anything that involves putting things together from several parts, I struggle with. Also puzzles in video games can frustrate me sometimes :P

    2) I understand that some of the courses are quite basic, which is why I would definitely look into some detailed and helpful courses. Its just I feel like with practical demonstration and guidance(in person) rather than watching videos would help me more.

    3) I always spend A LOT of time reading the instructions of putting a piece of furniture together, yet mostly fail without the help of someone else :P The other day I put this thing together and it was actually really difficult. There were quite a few screws of different sizes. For the first time ever, I think I put something from PIECES together with minor help. But the instructions were very bad to begin with.

    4) Putting a computer together... I am sure I could do it. Perhaps my confidence and the lack of practice/patience has ruined it quite a few times in the past. I have struggled with things as simple as taking off the side panel and ended up breaking it. The led stripes of my side panel is physically damaged as I took it apart by force.. I am sure I could do the job of putting a computer together but I am really not very confident with the parts, screws and the ins/out. Perhaps if I built a couple with the assistance of someone else, I would be able to do it on my own no problem. Once I learn something, I never un-learn it and I can confidently reproduce it.

    5) Hand writing.. I probably have the worst hand writing I have ever seen. When I was younger, I took english and hand writing classes. It never improved.

    Not sure if I missed out on any of the points you made :P I tried re-reading to reply haha
     
    Last edited by ShawnTRods, Sep 13, 2016
  5. TeamScriptKiddies

    TeamScriptKiddies Licensed Nintendo (indie) Game Developer

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    It boils down to being a left/right brain issue, that makesvit come easy to some and not others, however that doesn't mean you can't learn it, you just have to work harder to get there. That's how I am with math, I literally have to drill it into my head (okay maybe not literally lol) but I'm an engineering student
    Whenever you become frustrated and progress ceases, just walk away and go back to it when you're ready. Whenever solving technical issues and puzzles even the "best of the best" have to do this. Sometimes the answer is right in front of you, but you can't see it, either BC ur over thinking the situation or your brain is just "fried" and needs a break. More often than not, when you take a break, the answer will come to you, then when you feel ready, you can go right back to it
     
  6. ShawnTRods
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    ShawnTRods GBAtemp Psycho!

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    I guess so. I need to buy so many things that needs to be built at home.. and due to my inability to do it I have been procrastinating it :P
     
  7. Daggot

    Daggot GBAtemp Fan

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    What I usually do is clear out and put almost any project I'm working on right on-top of my living room table once I start it. That way when I wake up or go to bed or want to eat or even feed my dogs I'm always forced to look at it and keep it fresh in my mind while at home. This way a project stays on your mind even while resting. I once dreamed about a m̶a̶k̶e̶s̶h̶i̶f̶t̶ "creative" way to help a fix broken piece of equipment while sleeping after coming home home and seeing it lying there which had me frustrated at the prospect of it being there any longer. I'm currently trying to fix a TV which is out of my comfort zone and I would've left it to rot ages ago if I didn't have to look at it every day.

    For a serial procrastinator like me who has to trick himself this is my DIY process. I have to work in this way to get the things I want out of myself.
     
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  8. cearp

    cearp the ticket master

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    you mean stuff like ikea?
    i think things like that are pretty easy, there is no creativity or though really, just follow the instructions :) like lego/k'nex lol
     
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  9. ShawnTRods
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    ShawnTRods GBAtemp Psycho!

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    Usually I dont procrastinate things. Its just the case of me unable to do it.. making me not wanna do it. I do wish that I could learn it :P I am quite eager to do these things but just the lack of creativity and lack of ability :(

    A lot of things. A new bike, computer desk, new family pc, gaming chair... various things that I need but am too afraid that I wont be able to build it properly :P
     
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  10. ScarletDreamz

    ScarletDreamz [Debug Mode]

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    Thing is, you are not building a bridge for a huge city, you are building a small thing for yoruself, if it fails, you just compile it again, and again, and again, and again, until you stop debugging it, and everything its ok. ;D
     
  11. ov3rkill

    ov3rkill GBAtemp Maniac

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    I'd say teach yourself to be patient first. Patience is the only key to learning anything you want.
    You can just watch different youtube guides or read tutorials on building your own computer rig, etc.
    There's no easy way to learn but to make a mistake and learn from it.
    Just keep on practicing. It'll definitely test your patience, gives you frustrations but at least you'll learn from it.
    Experience will teach you a lot of things. Practice, buy, borrow, and build it.
    You just need to be brave and determined to engage on new stuff.
    I'm sure you'll get it in time.
     
  12. CIAwesome526

    CIAwesome526 Im ugly and im proud

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    Theres no way im reading all these posts in the thread, which is something i usually like to do... everyone is just too helpful and it's too much to read!

    Anyway, my advice is just to practice (obvious advice, i know .-.). Most people who know me say im gifted with what you listed in your OP, specifically assembling computers. One thing im not gifted in, however, is learning (unless its about computers (expect programming. I can never seem to get far in programming course, even though i want to learn so bad! (but i know some basics to programming in multiple languages, such as c and java)), but i try hard, and after a while get the hang of whatever i set my heart to learning. So just keep trying to learn if thats what you want, and you'll figure it out. Also don't pay for those courses. You can get them for free somewhere else. I can train you even ._.
     
    Last edited by CIAwesome526, Sep 13, 2016