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Old 12-26-2010, 10:20 PM   #1
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Default Tech Guide

Im 15 and just got done taking a comp sci class at school. Sadly my teacher is terrible because this was his first year and we were supposed to get through the whole book and we didnt even get half. I aced the class but i still want to know more about computers. We were using the comptia A+ certification book by mark meyers but I think its outdated since it never mentioned DDR3 RAM and the fact that the computer industry changes rapidly over 2 years. So im debating whether or not to ask if i can borrow the book for a while.

Since the average joe dont know crap about computers, i thought i could take advantage of this and start a little tech business where i would do things like RAM upgrades and re-imaging for people and charge them. And since im a minor it's tax free! So what im asking is what should i use as my source for knowledge?

I want to get to the point where I could build someone a system based on their desired specs and not have to spend 5 hours on the internet researching after he tells me what he needs.
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Old 12-26-2010, 10:32 PM   #2
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Default Re: Tech Guide

Judging from your name you are in the UK which means teh sentence about tax free becuase you are a minor must be nice becuase here in the US we would be charged to do this! I wouldnt go with the book personally. I would start researching online and use the forums for help. If you get stuck we can be here to help. Bounce ideas off the forums before purchasing or if you need help with a specific piece of hardware. Just ask and we can probably help you!
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Old 12-27-2010, 06:07 AM   #3
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From memory (I'm no lawyer) you're allowed to get very small amounts (i.e. pocket money) tax free but as a minor you're simply not allowed to set up a proper business with VAT numbers, PLI and so on then publicise and start earning - and that's what a business is, not just going round people's houses plugging in more RAM!

The other thing is that there are many people out there doing this already, in fact in general terms the market is pretty saturated with this kind of stuff. Add that to the fact people generally won't ring up a minor they don't know to do some odd jobs for them (they'll generally go for more established people / companies even if they end up paying more) and your business venture probably won't work at all. I'm not trying to be discouraging just realistic; I'd advise against that path.

Instead, get your skills up some more and then if you're still interested in that sort of work try to find an apprenticeship / trainee position as a technician, perhaps in a school or similar. That way you can get a steady income, get your skills up and if you still want to, you can start your business later with much more experience behind you.
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Old 12-27-2010, 07:55 AM   #4
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@berry, of course you are allowed to go and do "odd jobs" for people at any age. Never heard of kids going around offering to cut peoples grass, wash their car, walk their dog, or if you go back a good few years, collect their empty bottles to give back to the shop? And for the record, the way I thought it was is anything below 16 is tax free, after that, for the first 6k or something is tax free, then after that, below a certain wage is tax free. I know the first and second point are true, I'm fairly sure there is a set amount you can earn that is tax free.

@OP It isn't as easy as just going around and doing it, to actually get customers as an independant company without shop and without age/experience is extremely difficult. By no means impossible, but very difficult. I was around your age when I started, but I was very lucky because my mum had a second job working with a lot of people in my local area, so she would hear if they had problems and mention what I do, so I was able to get a fairly large base of customers fairly quickly, and of course, they would tell people. Without that, I very much doubt it would have been possible.

I would say a better bet would be to go to your local computer store and ask if you can work there. If they aren't employing, say you will volounteer, even if you just watch. If they accept, you will learn, get experience, they may pay you sometimes for little jobs you do and you wills how your willingness to do the job. In the short run you aren't getting any money out of it, in the long term you have something to put on your resume to show you are passionate about it
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Old 12-27-2010, 10:14 AM   #5
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@berry, of course you are allowed to go and do "odd jobs" for people at any age. Never heard of kids going around offering to cut peoples grass, wash their car, walk their dog, or if you go back a good few years, collect their empty bottles to give back to the shop? And for the record, the way I thought it was is anything below 16 is tax free, after that, for the first 6k or something is tax free, then after that, below a certain wage is tax free. I know the first and second point are true, I'm fairly sure there is a set amount you can earn that is tax free.
Of course you are, which is exactly what I said - but the OP is talking about setting up a business, something very different from doing odd jobs!
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Old 12-27-2010, 04:58 PM   #6
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the first 6k you earn is tax free, anything after that is taxable regardless of age. Otherwise your parents would have businesses in your name!
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Old 12-27-2010, 05:07 PM   #7
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Since no one really answered your book question, I will. Try the latest edition of Upgrading and Repairing PCs. I had an earlier version of this book when I was in school and it really came in handy.
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Old 12-27-2010, 06:00 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by berry120 View Post
Of course you are, which is exactly what I said - but the OP is talking about setting up a business, something very different from doing odd jobs!
The way I understood it, and the way it would actually work, he said buisness, but it would just be odd jobs. Some kid knocking door to door offering to wash cars isn't running a car washing company, in the same way that someone knocking door to door or posting leaflets or whatever else saying I can fix your computers is doing an odd job for someone
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Old 12-27-2010, 06:30 PM   #9
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Default Re: Tech Guide

Also keep in mind if you do this you are taking liability and you are at risk if anything goes wrong. Always backup the data before doing work if you can. I have a 2tb drive that i clone all computers on before doing work and deleted when complete just incase something goes wrong during the process i dont want to have to tell a client i lost all of their important data.
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Old 12-27-2010, 06:34 PM   #10
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The way I understood it, and the way it would actually work, he said buisness, but it would just be odd jobs. Some kid knocking door to door offering to wash cars isn't running a car washing company, in the same way that someone knocking door to door or posting leaflets or whatever else saying I can fix your computers is doing an odd job for someone
That may well be the case, but the difference needs to be established in the OP's mind at least!

Regardless of legal standings, I still maintain that unless the OP knows definite people he could do these jobs for, it's probably not worth persuing. But hey, if you want to go down that route, earn a bit of cash and prove me wrong feel free!
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