Thursday, 22 September 2011

Google by proxy...

Working on a corporate support desk I mostly deal with questions specific to our in-house applications, network or VoIP setup. Occasionally, however, someone puts in a ticket asking for help with MS Office or some other incidental application that we use, but with which I am not wholly familiar.

When I run into this kind of program at home I follow a simple set of troubleshooting steps: 1) Poke around the menus and try various options to see if they do whatever it is I am looking for. 2) Use Google to search for an answer.

I suppose that my customers have simply replaced step 2 with Something along the lines of 'consult resident computer geek.' In some cases I think this method works well for them because I do actually know the answer, but for the more obscure questions I turn to the encyclopedia mundi. I put my question before the concentrated intellect on the Internet and wait. Digging through unhelpful opinions, ignorant rants, pointless trolling and bad grammar I glean the answer from those that have gone before. Dragging the meat of the answer back to my customer and presenting it like a trophy kill from a hunting trip.

An interesting metaphor for which is nothing more, really, than doing the dirty work for somebody else. They get to sit back and relax while I hunt their answers for them. I am the servant typing in their search term and reading the results back to them. It's Google by proxy

There's something about that phrase that sound really cool. I wonder if I could make it into a t-shirt...

Friday, 16 September 2011

Looks like I'm the guinea pig

Some of the executives in my company have opted to carry an iPad instead of a laptop. Not a bad way to travel considering the differences in weight, but similar capabilities. The unfortunate down-side is that an iPad is a target for theft such that you are not even safe leaving it in view on your car seat while you pop in for a bite to eat.

As a new iPad owner it has fallen to me to troubleshoot some of the problems these executives run into and then try to explain why, in Apple's infinite wisdom, they aren't allowed to do certain things. On occasion, however, I get to test a new gadget or application, all in the name of work.

For example, I am currently typing up this blog on a Bluetooth keyboard I was given to test. While not personally to my taste I'm sure some executive will enjoy adding it to his luggage. That is until they plug in the charging cable and find that the charge port has no support other than its contacts which snap like threads when put under the slightest pressure. In other words, I broke the Bluetooth keyboard when I moved it while it was plugged in to charge.

Oddly enough they haven't given me any more gadgets to test since...

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad