Reply to post: Let everyone off the's for the best.

Linux-loving lecturer 'lost' email, was actually confused by Outlook

Paul Chambers

Let everyone off the's for the best.

In over twenty years working for an SME, doing everything from network, infrastructure, through support, to actual functional work sometimes (end of year accounts support and the suchlike), I must have had thousands of such events. I have sympathy with the prof, because Issuing training material, or even having new applications or operating system upgrades deployed with training, is nowhere near as common as it should be, or even always possible.

It's galling when director X calls with a problem trying to make appication Y do something useful (that it can't), when they were the one who insisted that we *had to have* it in the first place. I would sit down with my users, solve any problem, and then just tell them that computers work when I touch them, it's not their fault (while gently suggesting a working methodology that avoids the problem in future). On a systems level, just make sure all the data is stored securely and daily backups are made that users can't get their hands on (including email). Most of all make sure that nobody in your organisation thinks that saving things on a single desktop computer is anything like acceptable, or supported by IT.

A computer expert can often cause problems, but many unskilled users make light work of truly screwing things up. Don't let them near anything important. Have central data, with historical backups. be able to revert desktop environments to fresh installations, that are known and tested.

My heart goes out who to those whose job it is to navigate users through the ribbons, rather than wrestle the bits at infrastructure level.

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