User Support

When things go wrong, IT support professionals get the call. Here are the resources to help them improve their troubleshooting skills, their people skills, and their technical knowledge.

  • William Jones // April 30, 2008, 7:30 AM PST

    Don't waste your time supporting problems that don't exist

    Anticipating your users' problems is great, but make sure you're addressing a real need. A recent encounter I had with a vendor serves as a cautionary tale against make-work.

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  • Tricia Liebert // May 1, 2008, 8:24 PM PST

    What if business buys a Mac?

    Apple has shown strong sales, going 51% beyond the previous year. Some of that sales strength has come from the corporate market. What does an increase in corporate Mac use mean for support staff?

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  • Jeff Dray // May 2, 2008, 6:12 AM PST

    Being part of a team

    When you're overwhelmed by work requests, deadlines are piling up, and the phone won't stop ringing, don't forget that you have other team members to ask for help.

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  • Tricia Liebert // May 8, 2008, 9:29 PM PST

    Choosing a free alternative to Microsoft Office

    Microsoft Office is no longer the only game in town for users that are looking for office productivity tools. Players like Open Office, Google Docs, and Symphony are gaining an important foothold in the average end user's computing experience. These alternatives are fine, but are they ready to move to the enterprise?

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  • Jeff Dray // May 9, 2008, 5:34 AM PST

    Expect the unexpected

    When you think you've seen it all from the help desk, life has a way of letting you know different.

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  • William Jones // May 12, 2008, 2:30 PM PST

    A scalpel specially designed for PDFs

    Awhile back, I suggested some of software tools to replace Adobe Acrobat. A reader suggested I look at PDFill, and it turned out to be a gem. I have a new favorite piece of PDF software. Find out why.

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  • Joe Rosberg // May 14, 2008, 7:53 PM PST

    Fighting spam for thirty years

    Joe Rosberg "celebrates" 30 years of fighting spam. It started out small, but has become a thriving industry, both for spam purveyors and those who would combat the avalanche. What are your favorite spam-fighting tools?

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  • Tricia Liebert // May 15, 2008, 9:09 PM PST

    A computer bug for the rest of us

    While it is easy to protect a computer from most invaders, the state of Texas may have an invader that is tough to keep out. Crazy Rasberry ants have already proven to be a menace to computers at a chemical company and may have their sights set on Johnson Space Center. Hmm. Houston, we have a problem.

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  • Jeff Dray // May 16, 2008, 7:56 PM PST

    The importance of live logging

    Do you take notes and log later or do you live log your help desk calls? Here's why you should live log

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  • Tricia Liebert // May 22, 2008, 10:31 PM PST

    Announcing your social security number on national radio is a bad idea

    When LifeLock CEO Todd Davis started announcing his social security number to the world, security gurus everywhere predicted trouble on the horizon. So it will not surprise anyone that Lifelock is now the focus of two different lawsuits, both focusing on the ineffectiveness of the service.

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  • Jeff Dray // May 23, 2008, 5:56 AM PST

    Think twice, act once

    Jeff Takes another wander down memory lane (no pun intended), cautioning help desk pros to think twice before performing even routine maintenance.

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  • William Jones // May 27, 2008, 8:28 AM PST

    Keep your training classes useful with these four rules

    Training individuals is part and parcel of working the help desk, but what about providing training to a group? Planning is a key to being successful when you're leading a class, and these tips will help you make sure you're prepared.

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  • Joe Rosberg // May 27, 2008, 10:30 AM PST

    Build a computer for a Vista 5.9 Performance Rating

    How do you get Windows Vista's 5.9 performance rating without breaking the bank? Joe Rosberg went shopping and built a computer that achieved his goal. Would you do it differently?

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  • Tricia Liebert // May 27, 2008, 9:32 PM PST

    The multiple faces of identity theft

    We all know that it is important to protect your personal information, and we use a variety of methods to do that. But what happens when the information is used only to obtain employment for a person in the U.S. illegally? And what are the avenues open to a person when they discover that their SSN is being used by someone else?

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  • Tricia Liebert // May 29, 2008, 10:18 PM PST

    Apple releases new update, patches iCal, Flash, and Apache

    Apple released patches for OS X that include security fixes for Flash, Apache, and one of three reported flaws in iCal. This software update brings the version of Leopard to 10.5.3 and provides additional stability and security to the operating system overall.

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