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.

  • Tricia Liebert // June 3, 2008, 10:13 PM PST

    Keeping IT working, even through a mortar attack

    Most of us will never experience life on the front lines. But here is a quick look at two guys that not only experience the front lines, they do it while keeping a network comprised of multiple levels of complexity up and running no matter what. It will make you think twice before complaining about your network infrastructure.

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  • Andy Moon // June 3, 2008, 1:38 PM PST

    How long will it be before Linux is on your desktop (if it isn't already)?

    Two of the world's largest Linux distributions, Ubuntu and Fedora, have put out new versions that are drawing some positive feedback. Ubuntu has been hailed as extremely user friendly, even for novice Linux users, and Fedora is said to be extremely configurable, though its flexibility comes at a price.

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  • William Jones // June 1, 2008, 1:21 PM PST

    Balancing support and security: Do you encrypt your drives?

    Data security has become even more of a concern after some well-publicized blunders. Some experts recommend encrypting the entire drive of a computer to protect the data therein, but does this policy have fallout in the realm of user support?

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  • Jeff Dray // May 31, 2008, 6:49 AM PST

    So why do managers collect so much data on the work we do?

    In all the reporting that must be done now, how do we account for the intangible benefits of providing good customer service and going the extra mile? Do we work for the customer or the bean counters?

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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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  • William Jones // May 29, 2008, 10:12 AM PST

    Advanced partition management on your Apple computer

    All operating systems come with some means of creating partitions and formatting disks. Too often though, the included tools will come up short, omitting support for advanced tasks and non-native partition types. Here's my favorite option for Mac users who need an advanced partition manager.

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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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 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 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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  • 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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  • 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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