Short bio: Computer Scientist, FOSS supporter (read more)
Tux Machines (TM)-specific
I enjoy being the tech hero. Relatives and friends come to me with their computer problems, and more often than not, I help them. Their problem gets solved, and my ego goes up a notch. (I can vouch for that last one. --Ed.)
It helps to have the right tools--and unless a friend has a hardware problem, all of those tools fit onto a single flash drive. If a person's system is sufficiently sick, I can boot a Linux variation called PartedMagic from the flash drive. From there, I can retrieve files off an unbootable PC, check the condition of the hard drive, and scan for malware.
Not that I always have to do that. My special flash drive also contains multiple portable Windows utilities (relatives and friends with Macs are on their own). With these programs I can clean a hard drive, recover deleted files not in the Recycling Bin, properly remove installed programs, check the condition of the hard drive, and scan for malware.