[ubuntu-uk] What do non-techies like the most about Ubuntu?
alan at popey.com
Wed May 16 07:03:20 BST 2007
On Wed, May 16, 2007 at 06:08:55AM +0100, Matthew Macdonald-Wallace wrote:
> I work on a helpdesk as a day job supporting windows 2K/XP and an
> AS/400. Most of our users know how to use a computer to get their job
> done and that's it. Any errors at all (from "my computer won't switch
> on" to "the internet's gone down!!!!") are reported to us and we
> basically tell them (after three, 1...2...3) "Have you tried switching
> it off and back on again?" which, as it's windows, usually fixes the
Arrrgh! No it doesn't!
For many issues it makes the problem (and hence the user) go away. It's a
quick bodge to make the user stop calling. It is the typical helpdesk
response in pretty much every company I have been in for the last 15 years.
Nobody bothers to analyse a problem to figure out what the underlying issue
is anymore. If it takes more than 30-60 mins to "resolve" a problem most
companies just re-image (format and reinstall from a known good image) the
hard disk and forget it.
I have been at companies where (on numerous occasions) the helpdesk have
offered exactly three options:-
1) Leave the problem as it is and live with it
3) Re-image the PC
(note none of these is a "fix", all three are workarounds)
I have then investigated the problem for anything up to 10 to 20 minutes
(most often using a combination of google and the microsoft support website)
to discover a real fix - be it a hotfix, registery hack or whatever. Of
course if the helpdesk did that they would then have a nice knowledge base
of information to call upon to fix problems in the future.
Part of the reason for this may be that many companies employ low-skill 1st
line support operatives who have little actual technical or problem
diagnosis skills. They follow a roadmap which ultimately ends at the same
place "reboot or rebuild" when all other avenues are not applicable. Maybe
this is a good reason why Microsoft claim a low TCO of windows over Linux,
because when it does go wrong all you need is an index finger to push the
power button, not a few brain cells, some logic and reasoning.
I am not having a go at you or helpdesk people in general. I totally
understand that with a large number of users and a small helpdesk there is
little time to diagnose every problem. It can also be difficult to
diagnose problems on Windows machines - no easy ssh access, most activity
isn't logged etc. It is the attitide that rebooting "fixed" something that
gets my goat.
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