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As a rule, I used to set up my own PCs. I carefully picked components, assembled the machine, and installed everything myself. I knew what I was doing and that nothing really bad could happen. Then, in 2015, the expensive motherboard I got turned out to be incompatible with something, and the advice I found online was to reinstall BIOS. So I did that.

When I shared this fact with some friends that were IT professionals, they invariably made a face like I casually told them that I spent the weekend juggling burning chainsaws.

I thought I knew what I was doing, but this is what I learned: generally, there is a fair chance that anyone reinstalling BIOS without knowing what they are doing ends up bricking their machine. “Bricking” was also a new term for me, but it essentially means damaging any electronic device beyond repair, so they become useless, except as a very expensive brick.

I was lucky, and nothing happened. But I won’t be doing that again.

If you look around, you can find clients who know (very) little about your subject dancing on the edge of the abyss with their eyes closed, blissfully unaware of just how close they are to “bricking” the whole thing.

Help people open their eyes to the real dangers of dabbling in your field. And next time they have to do something and are unsure if maybe they need help, they will probably think of you.

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