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Automated PC Support Help on the Web

Techstination feature for Tuesday, November 20, 2001

A Web site aims to save your sanity when PC problems arise. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. When that CD ROM drive suddenly stops working... .or that computer starts acting flakey in any number of ways... finding and fixing the problem can be frustrating to say the least. Instead of spending endless minutes on hold with tech support... .a company called Distinctive Technologies says it can help... with automated Web-based diagnosis and repair. CEO Bob Wing says the service is called PC Pinpoint. Go to the site and answer some questions about the problems you're having...

"It'll then go in and if there's automated fixes to automatically fix a corrupt driver or a corrupt program, it'll download that and automatically install it for you. If we don't have any automated fixes available, it then falls back to a self help tutorial. It gives you a step by step pictorial description of how to go solve that problem."

A one week subscription to the service costs 14.95... or you can pay 49.95 for a year. My question was... what happens if those problems you're having keep you from being able to get online to the PC Pinpoint site? Wing says you can just pick up the phone...

"That's the case today. I should tell you that in the future we actually have a monitor that's running in the background that we've developed that will look for problems as they happen, so hopefully if we have an automated fix for something we see occurring, we can fix those problems before they become catastrophic."

The concept was good enough to capture a Best of Comdex award at the industry trade show in Las Vegas this month. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.