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.

  • Best Buy's recycling program does not accept storage media

    Best Buy's recycling program does not accept storage media

    Before the company will recycle an old computer, Best Buy's policy says that the hard drive has to be removed. While it is prudent to make sure that there is no data on a machine destined for a recycl...

    William Jones · February 19, 2009, 3:13 AM PST

  • ViewSonic customer support redeems itself -- A follow-up story

    ViewSonic customer support redeems itself -- A follow-up story

    Have you ever given up on a vendor or supplier because of a bad experience with their customer support, but they later came through and redeemed themselves? Here's an instance of that very thing happe...

    Joe Rosberg · February 18, 2009, 10:07 AM PST

  • Tips for holiday tech support

    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.

    William Jones · November 20, 2008, 1:53 PM PST

  • Christmas on the help desk

    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.

    Jeff Dray · November 24, 2008, 6:11 AM PST

  • Living with elderly technology

    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.

    William Jones · November 27, 2008, 9:40 AM PST

  • Offshoring the help desk

    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 illustra...

    Jeff Dray · December 1, 2008, 8:04 AM PST

  • Are you using virtualization on the desktop?

    Are you using virtualization on the desktop?

    Justin James says that he likes to use virtual machines on the desktop to experiment with new configurations of operating systems. Take this quick poll to let us know if your shop is using virtual mac...

    Justin James · October 6, 2008, 2:03 AM PST

  • Fixing computers or fixing people?

    Fixing computers or fixing people?

    Jeff Dray has been a support specialist for twenty years and has found that even when technical knowledge fails, possessing the right soft skills can help you become a successful help desk analyst.

    Jeff Dray · October 6, 2008, 7:18 AM PST

  • Are you making the 64-bit transition?

    Are you making the 64-bit transition?

    64-bit technology has been available for a while. How many TR members are taking advantage of the additional speed?

    Joe Rosberg · November 5, 2008, 9:17 AM PST

  • Do netbooks make sense for corporate users?

    Do netbooks make sense for corporate users?

    Last year, word of Asus's forthcoming Eee PC and the One Laptop Per Child XO laptop had most techies pining for a mini notebook. More companies are making them now, but does that mean they are more th...

    William Jones · October 30, 2008, 3:12 PM PST

  • Getting it all done, the art of time management

    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...

    Jeff Dray · December 8, 2008, 4:04 AM PST

  • Supporting home users? Share your experience and take the poll

    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, ...

    Joe Rosberg · December 3, 2008, 10:14 AM PST

  • Help desk techs are owed overtime pay

    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, rega...

    William Jones · December 4, 2008, 9:09 AM PST

  •  Age before beauty?

    Age before beauty?

    Jeff Dray considers the age divide in the workplace. Youth and vigour, as well as age and experience, have their place in support roles, and the combination of the two benefits everyone.

    Jeff Dray · February 23, 2009, 3:34 AM PST

  • What's on your go-to equipment list?

    What's on your go-to equipment list?

    When replacing or upgrading hardware components, do you have a ready list of vendors and manufacturers that you go to or are you constantly on the lookout for a better product (or just a better deal)?...

    Selena Frye · February 25, 2009, 5:20 AM PST