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 // December 11, 2008, 5:11 PM PST

    Supporting Macs in the enterprise: Eliminating malware

    In spite of their marketing message, Apple knows that their computers need to be protected from malware. Don't be caught unawares! Make sure your Macs are set for the day the big one hits.

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  • Joe Rosberg // December 10, 2008, 9:58 AM PST

    Which spyware removal tool do you use? Take the poll.

    Virus protection and a good spyware removal product are both vital tools for user support professionals. But which one to use? Take the poll and participate in the discussion.

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  • Jeff Dray // December 8, 2008, 4:04 AM PST

    Getting it all done, the art of time management

    Have you got a brain like a sieve or can you remember every little thing you are supposed to do? Do you have methods that help you to keep up with work or do you lurch from one crisis to the next on a daily basis? Jeff Dray is looking for time management tips.

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  • William Jones // December 4, 2008, 9:09 AM PST

    Help desk techs are owed overtime pay

    Many managers assume that salaried employees are exempt from overtime pay, but this is not necessarily true. According to U.S. labor laws, many support techs may be due for overtime compensation, regardless of what employers may want to believe. Are you affected?

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  • Joe Rosberg // December 3, 2008, 10:14 AM PST

    Supporting home users? Share your experience and take the poll

    It seems that supporting home users could provide a huge market for IT pros, but most would prefer to focus their attention on the business user. What are some pros and cons of supporting home users, what are some of the pitfalls to avoid, and what would be the right way to do it?

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  • Jeff Dray // December 1, 2008, 8:04 AM PST

    Offshoring the help desk

    If you think it is hard to understand people on off-shored support lines, spare a thought for those of us who get to do house calls in the more rural parts of Merry England. Blogger Jeff Dray illustrates how a common language can divide a nation.

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  • William Jones // November 27, 2008, 9:40 AM PST

    Living with elderly technology

    The old saying goes, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." New stuff is sexy, but sometimes there are good reasons for keeping older tools that are still serviceable.

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  • Joe Rosberg // November 26, 2008, 9:07 AM PST

    What to do when there's no one at the office (and a Happy Thanksgiving message)

    I went into the office the day before Thanksgiving, and the first clue as to what kind of day it was going to be could be found in the parking lot. It was practically empty. What to do?

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  • Jeff Dray // November 24, 2008, 6:11 AM PST

    Christmas on the help desk

    That time of year is coming around again, when people take time off to enjoy Christmas at home and the office starts to look empty, yet there is always a need to man the help desk.

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  • William Jones // November 20, 2008, 1:53 PM PST

    Tips for holiday tech support

    If you're going to be supporting friends and family in between servings of turkey and pumpkin pie, here are a few things to bear in mind beforehand.

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  • Joe Rosberg // November 19, 2008, 9:42 AM PST

    Customer service isn't just one thing, it's the only thing

    When considering the purchase of a piece of equipment or a service from someone, the quality and price of the product is a big consideration, but it's not the only one. The biggest consideration, at least in my opinion, is the level of the customer service behind the product - in fact, it's priceless.

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  • Jeff Dray // November 17, 2008, 5:36 AM PST

    Pyramid calling for the help desk

    The help desk works hard at customer relationships but does an automated call distributor help or hinder? When you need to disseminate information quickly, how much personalization do you have to trade off?

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  • Selena Frye // November 14, 2008, 4:43 AM PST

    Will remote support technology make your users happier with the help desk?

    One study finds that only one in five organizations gets good marks for meeting user expectations of tech support.

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  • William Jones // November 13, 2008, 7:33 AM PST

    Do not let equipment standardization lead to inflexibility

    In organizations with a lot of computers, using similar hardware wherever possible creates economies of scale. For support techs in particular, having standard machines makes it easier to provide consistent service, but we should not let loyalty to a specific platform blind us to other solutions when they are appropriate.

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  • Joe Rosberg // November 12, 2008, 12:54 PM PST

    A crazy idea -- put those dirty keyboards in the dishwasher

    It's been shown that keyboards hold more germs and bacteria than just about any other surface in the home or office. How do you clean them - or do you clean them at all?

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