You live in Japan, and your computer is acting up. Perhaps you prefer communicating about the problem in English. Perhaps you manage or work in a branch office of a foreign firm with lots of English-speaking employees. Perhaps you just want some IT advice or training. Perhaps you have a few questions regarding Japan's technology atmosphere. Perhaps your computer imploded. Perhaps you still wet your bed from time to time (like me). Perhaps not. Either way you need some IT help, and Japan's native offerings are not overly preferable. Let's see what we can come up with...
That Thing Called "The Internet"
Lucky for (most of) us there's this cool thing called the Internet that may be able to help. Even though you may live in Japan, you're not bound to Japan's limited IT resources to assist you out of IT breakdowns. English-language community forums offering free advice and assistance abound, and are a simple Internet search query away.
However, like most things, you get what you pay for in this world, and there's often a good reason it's free. Anyone who has used forums before can tell you nightmarish tales of haters and trolls. If your particular issue requires hands-on assistance or a phone call, you're likely out of (free) luck. You might also hit stumbling blocks if your particular issue is not only technology-related, but life-in-Japan-technology-related.
You could also explore paid online options. Membership forums like Expert's Exchange are not free, but could certainly provide more patient and more professional help depending on the particular tech issue. Many paid forums offer free trials, which would give you a preview of how satisfactory their services are.
Your Nerdy Friend
Probably over 90% of the world's IT support is provided by that geeky computer-savvy friend/acquaintance with whom everyone maintains a cobwebby relationship with for the purposes of obtaining free or near-free (gotta treat him to lunch tomorrow) IT help. This person is likely a male that works in the IT industry. He might be a coworker or a friend's roommate or your boyfriend's college friend or your nephew's girlfriend's brother. Apologies for the generalization, as not all nerdy friends are IT men/dudes/guys/males: I'm sure there are plenty of female computer geeks out there too.
Be prepared to provide something in kind if you seek IT assistance from your nerdy friend/acquaintance. They may not request anything, nor even expect anything; but chances are high they get hit-up for IT help all the time. Being one of the "good ones" that buys lunch, bakes oatmeal cookies, furnishes envelopes of cash, provides invites to awesome gokon parties, etc. ensures that you will be placed at the top of their tech support queue. If you're a cute girl asking an IT boy for assistance, be prepared to get asked out on a date. If you selfishly request free tech advice like your social stratum demands it, then you'll soon be labeled what we in the tech industry call a "douchebag." In other words, not one of the "good ones." Please...be a good one.
Ask Me For Help
You may have guessed upon reading the above "Your Nerdy Friend" section that I write with a voice of forthright worldliness. I am an IT guy with well over a decade of professional IT experience--more than half of it here in Japan. I am that nerdy IT support friend/acquaintance/coworker for a myriad of (mostly) foreign expats. A multitude of my blog articles relate to Japan technology and support. I swim ferociously in tech.
I cannot gauge the demand for my services, so I'm still working out the logistics of this. For now please feel free to contact me using the link at the very bottom or via Facebook (social media links also at the bottom) with your IT-related queries.
* Please do not ask for support using the blog comment system. I will ignore most support requests there unless the question is directly related to the article topic.
* I may update and/or revise my approach, including adding paid support options. Please do not expect to receive free Japan tech support for the rest of your life.
* Please be prepared to pay for my IT assistance and/or asked for a donation. This is especially true for cases involving hands-on hardware repair, onsite visits, phone calls, etc. I will do my best to answer questions free of charge, but some cases may require remuneration. I accept Paypal and bank transfer.