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DOWNLOA Users share 11 complaints about IT support

By JodyGilbert ·
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maintaining passwords

by michael.adel In reply to DOWNLOAD: Users share 11 ...

Although there is no way to avoid the necessity of regular password changes there is a method I recommend to ease the pain.

In the fifth grade I learned the names of the Great Lakes (and haven't forgotten them since) using the following mnemonic: H-O-M-E-S (Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, and Superior)

This same technique can be used to generate a password list that can be recycled as needed.

Let's assume the following:
- the last six passwords can't be reused
- the password must be at least 6 units
- there must be at least 1 non-alpha character

Start with a seven letter word (6 passwords + 1): HOUSING

Create easy to remember passwords from each letter (First password starts with letter "H". Second one letter "O" etc.) tag on the requisite Number or Symbol and voila!

E.g., HENRYX5 (my brother-in-law), OSCARX5 (my pet gerbil)
Avoid obvious names like spouse or automobile.
And I often throw in an 'X' so the code is less easily broken.

Another plus to this scheme is that if I forget my password (like after returning from a three week vacation - yes, some of us do get that much contiguous time off) I can usually hit my password in three tries or fewer.

The only other caveat is to synchronize the passwords so that mainframe, NT logon, email and whatever use the same password at the same time. If one expires in 30 days and the others in 60 days then change the 60 day ones after 30 days even though the password hasn't expired.

I haven't failed. I just found 10,000 ways that don't work.

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You are very Diplomatic

by ITisForME In reply to DOWNLOAD: Users share 11 ...

I like the way you look at both perspectives. It?s easy to go for the Jugular from either side. I have a bit of a different experience. About half of our users work very well and the other half is the exact reciprocal. All users in there perspective departments have the exact same hardware and software. I made that a point from lessons learned. After nine years I finally got burnt out with support and had to turn it over to the Trainer and I support the Trainer as needed. I had to come up with a list of common problems that largest department has for a point of reference. Now the problems are specific to our equipment however, if you follow along I think that you will catch the drift of things although you may not identify the equipment or applications. I?ll let each reader draw their own conclusions. I would love to read some replies. Specifically is it the equipment, IT support or users. Here is the list. I have not listed the problems that result from mistakes just the common mistakes themselves.

TCD Problems

1. Not Logged into Novell properly from a Reboot or Power On Startup.

2. UEMC Screen not set correct for TCD.

3. Did not login to TCD Dispenser.

4. Did not bring TCD Lifts up.

5. In Wintep Interfaces is not Checked for Cash Dispenser

6. Did not put Cassette Lever Locks all the way down correctly.

7. Have Cassettes marked for denomination incorrectly.

8. Have Cassette denomination in wrong place.

9. Did not cede Cassettes in TCD correctly

10. Did not exit TCD Cash Before servicing TCD.

11. In TCD Cash Dispenser Popup on dispense request is not checked.

12. Powered off TCD and Powered on TCD while TCD carriage was in Cast Iron case. It needs powered on while it is pulled out and then pushed back in. I think that it is an issue of the lifts not being brought up automatically or something nor being reset internally. (This needs proven)

Printing Problems

1. In Wintep Dip Keys are not set correctly.

2. UEMC Screen is not set correctly.

3. In Wintep Printer settings are not set correctly

4. Have a Stuck Print job and the printer icon is displayed in the tray.

5. Did not choose the correct Printer to print to.

6. Need to Reboot PC do to PC not functioning properly.

7. Did not Archive and the Archive Button is Active ( Highlighted ) and Receipts have built up.

8. Receipt Xpress has a Red Server Status Light and Receipts have built up.

9. WinCFP is not running.

10. WinCFP is not set correctly.

11. UEMC , WinCFP and Wintep Printer settings do not correspond with each other.

12. In Receipt Xpress Options the Star Printer is not checked.

13. Wintep needs Exited and restarted if you have had a Printing problem.

14. Printing to the Laser printer and the Switch box or PC Sharing it is not set correctly.

15. Can not open up in Wintep because they are opened on another PC.

16. Paper Tension Unit has broken clips and paper jams in printer.

Receipt Xpress Problems

1. Did not Login Novell from a Reboot or Power On Startup.

2. Did not Delete Asterisks and Click OK on Windows Password Prompt.

3. Need to Delete Windows 98 Password and Reboot.

4. R: Drive is not Mapped.

5. Did not Archive and the Archive Button is Active ( Highlighted ).

6. Receipt Xpress has a Red Server Status Light.

7. WinCFP is not running.

8. WinCFP is not set correctly.

9. In Wintep Dip Keys are not set correctly.

10. UEMC Screen is not set correctly.

11. UEMC , WinCFP and Wintep Printer settings do not correspond with each other.

12. In Receipt Xpress Options the Star Printer is not checked.

Additional tips are as follows

These problems can be aggravated as well as additional problems can occur from Using the Internet and most especially having the Internet running on the PC while Processing and also using Desktop Themes and other Desktop Customization. Using the Windows Default Desktop and no Desktop customization is highly recommended.

1. Don?t be Logged in to more then One PC that is running Receipt Express.

2. Don?t use a PC with out first verifying that it is in proper Operational order to do Teller work.

3. Don?t use a PC that not in proper Operational order to do Teller work.

4. Don?t Cancel a Novell Login Prompt and then try to do Teller work .

5. Don?t use Receipt Xpress if you clicked cancel at the Windows 98 Password Prompt.

6. Don?t use Receipt Xpress when the Server Status Light is Red.

7. Don?t use Receipt Xpress when an Archive needs to be done from a previous transaction.

8. Don?t use Start - Logout, Always use Start - Shutdown, Only use reboot for yourself.

9. Don?t use a PC that someone used Start - Logout, to login Novell instead of rebooting.

10. Don?t open more then one additional application and close it as soon as you are done using it.

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Part of the problem

by TonytheTiger In reply to DOWNLOAD: Users share 11 ...

is that management sometimes does not seem to see the value of hiring adequate (in both quality and quantity) technical personnel. Perhaps it's just me but we use over 600 applications in my organization and I cannot possibly be an expert in all of them. There are also many problems that arise that cannot be resolved by reading a flipchart.

(and for the life of me, I still cannot get triple-click to work in Word :))

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Frequent Password Changes

by shardeth-15902278 In reply to DOWNLOAD: Users share 11 ...

I would argue that much of th eproblem here is that It isn't really thinking through this one:

For some reason, everyone has this 90 days number stuck in their head, and nobody can provide any valid reason for it.

The more frequently you require a user to change their password, the more likely they are to use bad passwords, or leave them on notepads, or sticky notes.

crackers rarely try to brute force passwords. There are much easier ways to break in, like trojans, pharming, etc. Social engineering is the primary tactic used.

Ironically, the password complexity enforcement tools are making it easier for crackers in some ways, by reducing the pool of possible passwords to check. (I know the minimum password length is 8, and the system requires at least 1 number and mixed case, so 80% of the passwords will be 8 characters long, with one number and 1 capital letter. I just eliminated several million from my list of passwords to try.) understanding this, one would realize that "youareallabunchofretards" (which won't pass the requirement)is a much better password that "Obxw3ane" (which will).

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Common passwords

by etruss In reply to Frequent Password Changes

I agree. The ultimate result of what you said is this: Try the password "Password1". I guarantee you'll get a match pretty often.

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Excellent article

by stress junkie In reply to DOWNLOAD: Users share 11 ...

I rated it 5. That's a first for me. Other people have said about all that there is to say. I figured that it was still worthwhile to say "Good job Becky Roberts."

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by Becky Roberts In reply to Excellent article

Thanks Stress Junkie - I appreciate the positive feedback.

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Admin rights ...

by matic.zupancic In reply to Excellent article

I can only disagree with "solution" about admin rights on desktop computers.
No one except sysadmin should have admin access to the computers, and even she/he should normaly use only user rights when doing everyday tasks that don't need special (admin) rights (word processing, ...).
My honest opinion is that in these days when getting a virus is more common than getting useful information, administrator rights could couse a lot of harm. It's not about trusting employees (even when they "earn" our trust as suggested in the article), it's about common sense in computer security. It is a security issue.
So, I would suggest that administrator-rights-issue should be completely ignored at our work. Does any contract between employer and employee (not administrator) include a statement where administrator rights are needed for work to be done?
For conslusion: administrator rights are for administrators.

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Communication is key

by Gina In reply to DOWNLOAD: Users share 11 ...

It is good to step back and review our jobs from our customer's perspective. So many of these complaints come down to simple communication. Every IT department I have worked with could do a better job of providing users with information.

Too often the assumption is made that users won't understand security issues or technical details. Some may not, but those users who are interested can be educated and they are more likely to be understanding when things don't work like they want. IT departments can go along way towards improving relationships with customers by explaining and providing details BEFORE changes are made and along the way when problems do arise. Empower users with instructions so they don't have to rely on tech support for the most simple tasks and they will feel like you have really helped them.

Many IT departments are seen as an obstacle that users must work around. We need to do a better job of being seen as a helpful service. Communicating about our service, how it works and why, can change these negative perceptions.

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Absolutely on target. MBWA

by stress junkie In reply to Communication is key

Many of my temporary jobs have been spent either in small businesses or in small workgroups that were part of a larger business. I typically support between 35 to 100 people who are physically located close to each other.

One approach to communicating with end users is to manage by walking around. When I need to stretch my legs I often walk around the office cubicles. If I can say hello to someone without distracting them from their work I do that. I also ask them how their computer is working. That simple action opens the door to communication between myself and the other person. I find that people will often mention something that they would not have called the help desk to report. I can give them the attention that they need to be productive and it forges a friendly relationship between myself and the people that I support.

This method also helps me to identify those people who are looking for new ways to use the computer in the performance of their job. I often end up spending a lot of time with these people exploring what they want to do and helping them to achieve their goals. Everybody wins. The end user is happier and is encouraged to explore the potential uses of the computer. The end users also realize that I'm not some ivory tower monster to avoid. The business benefits because their more motivated employees are being helped to make the most of their talents. I benefit because I enjoy helping people.

I've always taken the attitude that end users should not be expected to know any more about computers than I know about accounting. They have their area of expertise and I have mine. I have always respected the end users for who they are and I have not thought badly about anyone outside of IT that isn't a computer guru. That may sound pretty typical these days but twenty years ago IT people would generally treat nontechnical employees with disrespect. I'm glad to see that this is no longer as common as it once was.

So I agree with you that communication with end users is critical in technical support. I think that people in IT would be pleasantly surprised if they got out of the office and walked around the halls talking to people. I love doing this.

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