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Blog - Helpdesk

By sceato02 ·
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First Blog:Decisions and Documentation

by sceato02 In reply to Blog - Helpdesk

<p class="MsoBodyText"><font size="3"><font face="Times New Roman">Being a student completing my last semester of college, I was na?ve in thinking that the advice given by many of my instructors about real world IT was frivolous and based on their personal biases. I had yet to gain any real life experience in the field, and was unaware of the way that business users act in regard to information technology. The following account describes exactly why I have come to embrace the advice given to me by my instructors: "Business people do not want to make decisions; they just like to make suggestions and expect you to fill in the details; that way they can hold you accountable for anything if it doesn't work the way everyone wants. So in short, make sure they make all of the decisions and they document everything that is to be done."</font></font></p>
<p class="MsoBodyText"><font size="3"><font face="Times New Roman">For my first IT project, I was given the task of creating two computers that would be used by the public at a convention. These machines would have access to the Internet and would serve a few other purposes as well. I was excited about the project, viewing it as something simple that I could easily excel at. I knew the whole thing shouldn't take more than a day.</font></font></p>
<p class="MsoBodyText"><font size="3"><font face="Times New Roman">I was sent the e-mail string regarding the project and tried my best to decipher exactly what they wanted from the ramblings of the different people who came up with the idea. Once I thought that I had a handle on it, I decided to write up all of the things that the machine needed to do and the purpose that it needed to serve . To ensure that everyone was clear on the expectations, I copied all of my notes into an e-mail and sent it to the person in charge of the project. This is where the problems began.</font></font></p>
<p class="MsoBodyText"><font size="3"><font face="Times New Roman">The person that I e-mailed said that I should have contacted someone else and forwarded my e-mail to another person, who also said they really didn't know what was needed?so they forwarded it <i>again</i>. The next person?instead of saying whether or not my information was correct?proceeded to tell me that they thought everything had been decided and didn't know what the confusion was. This person sent the e-mail to my supervisor, questioning why everything was so confusing.</font></font></p>
<p class="MsoBodyText"><font size="3"><font face="Times New Roman">I realized now that I wasn't going to get an answer from anyone, so I decided to stop the string before it got any worse. I immediately did a reply to all and stated that there wasn't any confusion, and that I was sure that I had enough information to complete the task given my understanding of the project was correct. As I was typing this reply, I received a meeting request from one of the people involved, asking for everyone to meet in her office to resolve this complex issue. </font></font></p>
<p class="MsoBodyText"><font size="3"><font face="Times New Roman">All of this seemed absolutely amazing to me. I had been clear and concise in my first e-mail, asking for a simple confirmation of the information, just to make sure I was doing what I was supposed to. I couldn't even get that from the parties involved because it seems that no one wants to make the final decision and say exactly what needs to be done. It seems that my professors may have known something about the IT industry after all: nobody wants to make decisions.</font></font></p>

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Hey, Maybe You Should Try the Box?..

by sceato02 In reply to Blog - Helpdesk

<p class="MsoBodyText"><font size="3"><font face="Times New Roman">O.k., so my work continues on the now infamous Kiosk Project that I've been working on the past few weeks, off and on. I've been given a Mac and a Windows machine to restrict Internet access on for a trade show. Sounds easy enough, but then the restrictions come in that there is no money budgeted for this, and I cannot set up a proxy server for the machines. Still, how hard could it be?</font></font></p>
<p class="MsoBodyText"><font size="3"><font face="Times New Roman">Now, I haven't used a Mac since grade school when we used to play Number Crunchers and get stickers for getting to the next level. I don't have anything against Mac's; I've just been surrounded by Windows my whole life. Realizing that the Mac could present potential problems, I opted to take care of the Windows machine first and move on to the Mac later. </font></font></p>
<p class="MsoBodyText"><font size="3"><font face="Times New Roman">For the Windows machine, I was able to find a great deal of freeware and shareware that allowed me to filter Web content. I opted to go with Browse Control v1.7 from Codework, a very nice program with a 30-day free trial that would easily surpass the shipping time and the four-day show. I had the Windows machine imaged and set up within an hour. </font></font></p>
<p class="MsoBodyText"><font size="3"><font face="Times New Roman">Then, I moved on to the Mac mini. I opened the box and was impressed with its size. I pressed the power button on the back of the machine and was greeted with the familiar power-on sound from grade school. I started to feel a little more at ease. When the login screen came on, I realized that they had imaged the machine before sending it to my office to save me some of the trouble. I quickly called to obtain the username and password and logged in to the system. The interface was a little too flashy, but very intuitive.</font></font></p>
<p class="MsoBodyText"><font size="3"><font face="Times New Roman">I started doing research on the Mac trying to figure out the best way to restrict browsing. Nearly every search produced a list of software options that had 14-day trials, which would not be long enough and would expire in the middle of the show, once you factored in the shipping time. Along with these items, Google kept providing me with links on how parental controls were built into OS X Tiger. "Ok," I thought, "I've got OS X on here, but I haven't a clue if it's Tiger, Puma, Lion, or Thunder Cat at this point." I turn to Google again and find out how to tell what OS I have by the version. Why Macintosh uses a new feline name for their OS each time they move up a partial version is beyond my comprehension. </font></font></p>
<p class="MsoNormal"><font size="3"><font face="Times New Roman">So it turns out I have Panther installed on this machine and I need Tiger to get the parental controls. I e-mail around trying to find a version of Tiger but I never receive an answer. I download a few of the free products with shorter trials but none seem to work exactly the way that I want them to. Time is ticking by and the show grows closer. My first project and Steve Jobs is about to make me **** it. I'm so frustrated I feel like throwing an IPod when it occurs to me that this is a newer machine and Tiger has been out for quite a while. Nearly all new machines that come in to our office have some version of preinstalled software on them. I walk over to the Mac box and pull out a little green box from the packing material. I stare in disbelief as I look at the CDs inside that read OS X 10.4 ? which for those of you that don't read Mac ? is OS X Tiger. So as of right now, I'm installing Tiger, and from everything I read, it's only a matter of changing some settings in Safari. A week's worth of frustration, solved by looking in the box.</font></font></p>

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Hey, Maybe You Should Try the Box?..

by j.rudkin In reply to Hey, Maybe You Should Try ...

Hi,<br /><br />I'm slightly disappointed no one bothered to respond to this. You were joking, right? "<font class="qdesc"><font size="3"><font face="Times New Roman">A week's worth of frustration, solved by looking in the box."<br /></font></font></font><br /><br />Come, come - you'll be telling me you do this for a living next!  Always go to apple web site to learn more....and go to Atomic Learning to understand more about using a Mac!<br /><br />I hope it all workd out OK!

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