Guide to Computer User Support for Help Desk and

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A Guide to Computer User Support for Help Desk and

Support Specialists, Third Edition

Fred Beisse

ISBN: 0-619-21510-0 © 2004
Additional online resources

Chapter 1
IBM z-Series mainframe

Sun Microsystems SunFire minicomputer:

IBM iSeries minicomputer
Peter Drucker’s 1995 article on knowledge workers in The Atlantic
Online computer glossaries
Description of Moore’s Law on the Intel Web Site
Timeline of GUI development highlights
City of Orlando, Florida, use of IBM iSeries minicomputer
Timeline of significant events in the history of computers (requires Adobe Reader)

Timeline of significant events in the history of personal computers
Slide show on the history of the Internet (requires PowerPoint or viewer)
Jaekel & Associates white paper on total cost of ownership concept
White paper on measuring worker productivity
Arguments by those opposed to supermarket identification cards
JDA Professional Services Web Site on total cost of ownership of computer systems
Web site devoted to information about tablet PCs

Chapter 2
American Staffing Association Web Site
Information Technology Association of America Web site
Robert Half Web site with salary survey
Microsoft Web site for peer user groups
TechRepublic article on the location of help desks within organizations
EDO Technical Support Operations Web Site
Client Outsource Web Site
American Career InfoNet site for support specialist KSAs
ACE Web site with free skill assessment
Occupational Information Network (O*Net) Web site
State of Washington position description
City of Des Moines, Iowa position description
Computer Jobs

Just Help Desk Jobs
Occupational Information Network(O*Net)
Web resources on employment trends in user support industry (requires Adobe Reader)
Indiana University Bloomington user satisfaction survey

Chapter 3
Jeff Davis’s article on communication skills r00320030107jed01.htm&src=bc
Lillian D. Bjorseth’s article, “Shhh! Listen, Don’t Just Hear!”
Web article on empathy and trust
Microsoft Office FAQ
Web-based training courses on help desk and communication skills

Communication and listening skills Web-based training course vendor
Haywood Community CollegeTechnical Support Web Site on MBTI
The Team Technology Web site on Myers-Briggs (MBTI)
Notes from Kate Nasser’s talk on difficult users
TechRepublic article on handling abusive callers
Leslie Barden’s paper, “Dealing with Difficult Customers”
Dell Support
Gateway Support
Improving usability of web sites
George Lawton’s article on improving customer service,14179,2804648,00.html
Voiceboard’s customer support policies and procedures to increase customer self-reliance
Example of a help desk phone call

Jennifer Stewart
The Keirsey Temperament Sorter II

Chapter 4
Digisoft web site on scripts
Example scripts in graphical format


Online bookseller
Online bookseller Barnes and Noble
Online bookseller Jim’s Computer Books
Microsoft Press troubleshooting series Web page
Microsoft Web knowledge base
Google search engine
Dogpile search engine
TechRepublic Web site for support professionals with connections to support professionals
Cyber Tech Help
List of Internet ListServs
Technical support provider Stream International
Expertcity GoToAssist product
LapLink Gold Classic Web site
Symantec pcAnywhere
NetOp Remote Control white paper(requires Adobe Reader)
Symantec System Works
PC Certify
Touchstone Software Web Site for WinCheckIt diagnostic utility

MetaQuest for Triage software utilities
PC Surgeon
Symantec Norton Ghost
InCharge utilities
ComputerWorld publication
InformationWeek publication
InfoWorld publication
Microsoft troubleshooter for Windows 98 printer problems
Web Site for OtherFolder Windows utility

Chapter 5
Monarch Computer Systems Web Site on hard disk compatibility problems
Microsoft Windows Catalog of XP-compatible devices
Webopedia glossary entry for DIP switches
Webopedia glossary entry for jumper pins
Universal Plug and Play Forum


Microsoft Web site on compatibility of application software
VCOM System Commander dualboot utility
Shareware web sites
Winguides tutorial on Windows Registry basics
Utility tools to modify and restore the Windows Registry site for general troubleshooting
Dr. Tech fee-based site for general troubleshooting via phone or Web

Computer Architect Web site for general troubleshooting via e-mail
The PC Guide Web site for hardware troubleshooting
PC Mechanic Web site for hardware troubleshooting
Tom’s Hardware Guide for hardware troubleshooting Web site for troubleshooting MacOS systems
InfiniSource Web site for troubleshooting Windows systems
Microsoft product support center for operating system and applications software
Web site articles on problems with Windows operating system and applications software
Google search engine
Ask Jeeves search engine

ZDnet product and troubleshooting Web site moderated Web sites on computer topics
Dell knowledge base article on time loss on Dell systems
NIST Web site to download NISTIME time synchronization utility

Chapter 6
TriActive white papers on help desk staffing and operating procedures demo/whitepapers/pdfs/optimizing_help_desk.pdf (requires AdobeReader)
Mary Baldwin College incident management procedure
University of Connecticut Law School help desk procedures
Tutorial on telephone headsets and help desk productivity Web site on job stress
Remedy Help Desk software Web site
Peregrine ServiceCenter help desk software Web site
Magic Solutions Service Desk software Web site
Clientele for Help Desks
HEAT help desk software
HelpTrac software
Track-It! help desk
Manage-IT! help desk software
Soffront Customer Helpdesk
BridgeTrak help desk software
Yahoo directory of help desk software vendors
eHelpDesk white papers on help desk software evaluation and selection
TechRepublic call-tracking software evaluation tool kit
Nortel Network Web site for ACD products
Database Systems Web site for ACD products
Call Center Magazine article on ACD systems
International Engineering Consortium’s tutorial on IVR technology
HelpDesk Expert for IT Support video demonstration
IBM Web-based support site
Online article and tutorial on intranets
BusinessWeek article “The New Global Job Shift”
ComputerWorld article “Exporting IT Jobs”,10801,80661,00.html
Gateway computer user support
Adobe software user support
Symantec user support Web site
Alamo Community College’s support
Monarch Bay Web site for HelpTrac software
Help Desk Institute criteria for help desk evaluation (requires Adobe Reader)

Chapter 7

Page Resource URL

Westbay Engineers support center staffing calculator
Keith Geddes & Associates help desk aptitude and skills test vendor
Walden Personnel Testing help desk aptitude and skills test vendor
Sample interview questions download
Jeff Davis’ TechRepublic article on help desk training
Jeff Dray’s TechRepublic article on help desk training
Microsoft Project 2003
Kidasa Milestones Simplicity 2002
Project Management Institute Web site for project managers
Microsoft certification
Cisco certification
Novell certification
Oracle certification
Sun Microsystems certification
Listing of product vendors’ certification
CompTIA Web site on A+, Network+, Project+, and other vendor-neutral certifications
Chauncey Group Web site for Associate Technology Specialist certification
Institute for Certification of Computing Professionals (ICCP)
Linux certification


Society of Internet Professionals certification
Help Desk Institute certification
Help Desk 2000 certification
MindLeaders online training and certification courses
Netwind Learning Center online training and certification courses
InfoSource online training and certification courses
Specialized Solutions online training and certification courses
Aaron’s Computer Training online training and certification courses online training and certification courses
Open Directory Web site with links to other training and certification vendors

informIT Exam Cram 2 Web site
Article on computer adaptive testing (CAT) Web site for Computer Technical Support online certification test
Transcender Web site for certification pretest assessment exams
John Norby’s MCDST certification Webcast (requires free download of InterWise Participant Software)
Microsoft MCDST certification Web site
ITAA’s study of the demand for technology workers (requires Adobe Reader)
Help Desk Institute home page for support professionals
Help Desk 2000 home page for support professionals
Association of Support Professionals home page
Information Technology Association of American home page
Service and Support Professionals Association home page
Network and Systems Professionals Association home page
ITAA code of ethical standards
Association of Information Technology Professionals standards of conduct
ComputerWorld 2003 IT salary survey Web site wizard for industry salary data
TechRepublic article on help desk morale and retention
Brainbench Web site offering free online certification exam
CC News

Call Center Magazine
Certification Magazine
CIO Insight
Communications Convergence
Customer Inter@ctions (via e-mail only)
Extensive list of computer trade publications

Chapter 8

Page Resource URL

Article on computer industry standards
History of Computing Project information on hardware and software vendors
Open Directory Web site lists popular trade publications Appendix 1

Page Resource URL

Google directory of business and trade publications
List of e-zines targeted at the computer industry
Computing Review product reviews Web site
InfoWorld product comparison Web site

MacWorld product review Web site
MaximumPC product review Web site
Network Computing product buyer’s guide Web site
PC Magazine product buying guides,4148,13,00.asp
PCWorld product review Web site,00.asp
Smart Computing product review Web site
Tom’s Hardware Guide Web site
ZDnet product review Web site ratings of CD-RW drives,aid,110332,00.asp
ZDnet ratings of LCD monitors notebook buying guide
Search Engine Showdown comparison of Internet search engines
PC Magazine article on software to write PDF files,4149,1190639,00.asp
PCWorld article comparing tax preparation software,aid,108208,00.asp
Web site to run evaluation copies of software packages
PayChex Web site for payroll outsource services
Byte Magazine article on benchmarking
BAPCO Web site on benchmarks
PassMark Software Web site on reliability testing
SPEC Web site on benchmark tests
VeriTest Web site on benchmarks
Article illustrating weighted point method for selecting software and services
Selection criteria used at UCLA
Web site to download DecideRight software,fid,3971,00.asp
RFP procedure manual for North Carolina State University
Sample RFP for personal computers in St. Charles County, Missouri
RFP to develop a Web site for Shoreline, Washington Adobe Reader)
Honolulu Community College list of product standards

“Acceptable Use of Computing Resources” at University of Oregon
Evaluator for Windows XP readiness
Microsoft Windows XP compatibility evaluator
Bytemark benchmark utility download
Web site for System Analyzer benchmark utility
Xmark benchmark utility download
Moocher Web site to download file splitter utilities
Online survey Web sites
Information on how to write an RFP
Example Web site design RFPs

http://www.mrsc. org/rfps/C52rfpweb.pdf (requires Adobe Reader)

Chapter 9
Geary Rummler’s project feasibility guide (requires AdobeReader)
Microsoft Web site for Visio, a diagramming and planning tool
Novagraph Web site for Chartist, a shareware diagramming tool
End user training needs assessment Web site
University of Minnesota Web site on project charters
Project charter template (requires Adobe Reader)
Mind Tools Web site on costbenefits analysis
Georgia Tech Web site on questionnaire design
Flowcharting Center tutorial on flowcharting
Texas A&M Web site on graphical tools, including H-I-P-O charts
Example of a prototyping tool for Web page design

Chapter 10
K-Log computer furniture vendor Web site
Explanation of advantages and disadvantages of ergonomic devices
Heller’s guide to ergonomic furniture and accessories (requires Adobe Reader)
BusinessWeek article on assistive devices by John M. Williams nf91229c.htm
Ergoteam Web site on ergonomics
Cornell University Web site on ergonomics
CherryLand Electric Web site on surge suppressors
EPA Web site on Halon gas fire suppression systems
HARC Web site on alternatives to Halon fire suppression systems
Webopedia online computer glossary
The PC Guide Web site on computer hardware components
Publisher of PC Pocket Reference

Microsoft Web site for testing compatibility of hardware
Lists of hardware devices compatible with Microsoft operating systems

PC911 online tutorial on UPS systems
The PC Guide Web site on UPS systems
D. E. Levine’s tutorial on UPSs
NIST Internet Time Service Web site

Chapter 11A1
Don Clark’s glossary of training terms
Canadian government Web site on learning styles
Diablo Valley College online survey on learning styles
Paragon Learning Style Inventory
Alice Christudason’s online article on peer learning
OSHA guidelines for “Presenting Effective Presentations with Visual Aids”
Example multimedia presentation on using Visual Basic with Excel (requires QuickTime; available for download at
Example of a reference sheet for HTML
Example of a reference sheet for UNIX operating system commands unixqr.html
Buyer’s guide for LCD and DLP projectors
University of Sydney tutorial “An Introduction to the World Wide Web”
University of Idaho resources on the case study method
Web site on role playing
Example of a Web-based training session at the DigitalThink Web site
Susan Heathfield’s article on trends in training and worker development
SCinc Web site on training programs for help desk agents
Chapter on “Polishing Your Presentation Skills” from Loretta Weiss-Morris’ book. (requires Adobe Reader)


Mary Ann Richardson’s article, “Design Your Own Hands-On Tests to Get an Accurate Skills

Jeff Davis’ article, “Help Your Help Desk Analysts Become Technical Trainers” (includes link to download TechRepublic’s Technical Trainer’s Toolkit)
Karen Cangero’s article, “The Economics of Web-based Training”
Ann Margaret Kearney’s article, “Real-world Advice for the New Tech Trainer”
Ellen Birkett Morris’s article, “Tips for Developing a Trainer Evaluation Process”
J. Galimi and J. Furlonger’s article, “Critical Success Factors for Various Learning Methods”
Marsha Glick’s article, “Twelve Steps for Designing Effective Training Programs”
Sun Microsystems’ white paper on learning management systems (requires Adobe Reader)
Ziiva vendor Web site resource on learning management systems
University of Texas tutorial on copyrights
Example WebCT learning management courses

Soloman and Felder Web site questionnaire on the Index of Learning Styles
T.H.E Journal

Training & Development

Home page for TechRepublic E-newsletters

Chapter 12


Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Web site about online newsletters
Mary Houten-Kemp’s e-mail etiquette Web site
Web site with links to usernominated worst-of-the-Web sites
Hewlett-Packard online troubleshooting guide for DeskJet 682c inkjet printers
David A. McCurrey’s Austin Community College online technical writing textbook
The Technical Writer’s Reference Page
Example of a style sheet maintained by the English Teaching Forum

Paul Brians’ Washington State University check list of common mistakes in language use
Gene Myer’s Western Washington University list of writing errors to avoid
Online version of Strunk and White’s Elements of Style
Adobe FrameMaker Web site
WebWorks Publisher home page
Doc-To-Help Web page
RoboHelp Web site
PC Webopaedia online dictionary and glossary
FOLDOC online dictionary
Rensselaer University Writing Center Web site with links to technical writing resources

Chapter 13

Page Resource URL

Guardian Computer Support hardware repair services Web site Web site on electrical power problems and solutions
Commercial Logic software trouble report form
NLANR Web site on network performance monitoring
Windows & .NET magazine article on network performance monitoring tools
Links to network performance monitoring utility software
Zone Labs Web site for firewall software

A1Page Resource URL

Sygate Web site for Personal Firewall
Microsoft Web site devoted to security of its products
Microsoft MBSA security analyzer
Qualsys check for browser vulnerabilities
Symantec free Web-based virus checker
Mirapoint Message Director software
Bryan Feltin’s article on biometrics (requires Microsoft Word or viewer)
Home page for SC Magazine devoted to security issues
Home page for SCO magazine, a resource for security executives
University of Toronto disaster plan guidelines and check lists
Example of disaster contingency plan at University of Arkansas
University of Minnesota check list of workstation ergonomics
Trial version of Tally Systems software audit tool
ISSP Web site on physical security and controls
NIST Web site with downloadable brochures on facilities management
National Recycling Coalition of organizations that recycle and reuse computers
Wipe Drive utility Web site

Darik’s Boot and Nuke disk cleaner utility program
Information about Dell’s recycling program
Downloadable evaluation version of FileBack PC backup utility
Downloadable trial version of WinBack backup utility
Dantz Web site on progressive backup advantages (requires Adobe Reader)
Raxco white paper on media defragmentation (requires Adobe Reader)
Information on Diskeeper Lite defrag utility
Executive Software DKlite download site
List of freeware and shareware disk cleanup utilities
McAfee QuickClean disk cleanup utility
Action Office Supplies Web site Web site
Boise Cascade Office Products Web site
Cheap Office Supplies Web site
Clean Sweep Supply Web site
eBay auction Web site
Global Computer Supplies Web site
Keysan Web site
Office Depot Web site
OfficeMax Web site
PriceSCAN Web site
Quill Web site
Staples Web site
The PC Guide Web site on preventive maintenance of PCs
A1 Computers Web site on preventive maintenance of PCs
Clean Sweep Supply site for cleaning supplies
IBM white paper on computer viruses
Symantec antivirus home page
McAfee antivirus home page
F-Secure antivirus home page
Freebyte Web site with links to free, shareware, and commercial antivirus software
Symantec AntiVirus Center Web site on hoaxes
Example of virus hoax
Guide Star Web site on customer satisfaction surveys
Web site to obtain “The User Friendly Office” flier
Cisco Web site on benefits and support problems with workers who telecommute
Industry white paper on chargeback systems for use accounting

Article on ethical issues in employee monitoring

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