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 // June 25, 2009, 5:28 PM PST

    Make sure you are getting some support

    User support is about giving of oneself. One's time, one's knowledge, one's patience. Without a way of renewing those resources, techs will find themselves headed toward burn out. What saved me? A supportive community of professionals.

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  • Joe Rosberg // June 24, 2009, 10:19 AM PST

    My thoughts on the TR community gathering

    On the eve of TechRepublic's community gathering, I thought it might be appropriate to share a few thoughts - and ask for yours.

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  • Jeff Dray // June 22, 2009, 6:00 AM PST

    Night-shift boredom on the help desk

    Jeff Dray has worked some graveyard shifts on the help desk, when duties are lighter and boredom has a chance to set in. How do you cope when you need to stay alert but everyone you know is at home fast asleep?

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  • William Jones // June 18, 2009, 10:00 AM PST

    Be S.M.A.R.T. about your hard drive's health

    Given enough time, all hard disks will fail. Thankfully, most drives support a feature that could give users an early warning before the bitter end. Here's how support pros can introduce S.M.A.R.T. reporting to their clients.

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  • Selena Frye // June 18, 2009, 2:00 AM PST

    Are your end users getting more tech savvy?

    You're used to poking fun (gently, I'm sure) at your end users' screw-ups. But do you ever want to hand out gold stars to some of them? In general, do you see any overall improvement in the computer skills of your users? Take the poll and let us know your perspective on the current state of end-user tech savvy.

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  • Joe Rosberg // June 17, 2009, 9:10 AM PST

    RAM upgrades: Watch for high- and low-density requirements

    Not many computer components come in more flavors than memory. Don't overlook high density versus low density when selecting what's best for your build or upgrade.

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  • Selena Frye // June 15, 2009, 11:00 PM PST

    Teach your users how to create strong passwords with our tutorial

    Protecting your organization's important data starts with password security best practices. Use our Microsoft PowerPoint presentation to teach your users how to create strong passwords that are easy to remember.

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  • Jeff Dray // June 15, 2009, 4:38 AM PST

    Music soothes the savage beast

    When the customers stress you out, take a tip from Julie Andrews and whistle a merry tune, so no-one ever knows you're afraid. Jeff Dray shares his tips for staying sane on the job.

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  • William Jones // June 11, 2009, 4:44 AM PST

    Service and support: Get the fundamentals right

    MSN Money has published the results of their annual customer service survey. What's the biggest takeaway that techs can use? Don't blow the basics.

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  • Joe Rosberg // June 10, 2009, 7:12 AM PST

    Another social networking site harvesting e-mail addresses

    Another social networking site being used for e-mail address harvesting. Why am I not surprised? Have you been tagged?

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  • Jeff Dray // June 8, 2009, 5:05 AM PST

    Workflow, bean counters, and averages

    What happens when the average work load is not a true reflection of real life? There's no such thing as an average day but the statistics are used to make judgements on everyday life.

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  • William Jones // June 4, 2009, 7:25 AM PST

    Hardware hand-me-downs: a pitfall to avoid

    Every so often, someone gets the bright idea of giving--or even selling--the business's old PCs to the staff. Such a practice seems like a morale-booster, but it doesn't make sense from this support pro's standpoint.

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  • Joe Rosberg // June 3, 2009, 4:55 AM PST

    Microsoft Windows 7 Release Date Announced

    Microsoft has announced a date of October 22, 2009 for release of its newest operating system, Windows 7. Do you plan to upgrade? Take the poll.

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  • Jeff Dray // June 1, 2009, 2:46 AM PST

    Can you rely on voice mail?

    Voice mail is still a source of great frustration, despite its common usage. There is an assumption that a message left on voice mail is a communication miss and that it will need to be followed up later with another call. Why don't we trust voice mail?

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  • William Jones // May 28, 2009, 3:19 PM PST

    Support superheroes won't let users live in fear

    We may not rescue people from burning buildings or fight space robots, but support pros can perform a public service. We can make sure that our clients are not overwhelmed by a fear of screwing something up.

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