Monday, May 1, 2006

Save yourself some tech support hassles with Computing Unplugged


By David Gewirtz

It's a holiday weekend here in the U.S. We all know what that means: extra work doing family tech support. Mom and Dad, Grandma and Aunt Lucy have all saved up their dumbest and most annoying tech support problems, just waiting for you to arrive and fix them.

Somehow, between requests for you to sit at the dinner table, you're going to have to reinstall Windows, update drivers, remove the spyware Uncle Bob installed while surfing "those" sites, and do it all between bites of cold hotdogs.

For many of us, helping our users is a day-to-day job as well. And while you're trying to get your regular work done, all of us with the techy gene are also stuck helping our co-workers use wireless networking, laptops, PDAs, and those darn cellphones. Computing Unplugged, of course, is an ideal resource for off-loading that support load. Just point your users, friends, and co-workers at the magazine and many of their questions can be found in our back issues and the articles we publish each week.

We got a letter on this topic last week from DominoPower reader Olek Leszek and it applies just as well to Computing Unplugged:

I'm suffering from an inability to be in 300 places at once. I support nearly 3,000 Notes users and on any given day, I've got 300 or more requests for support. I'm constantly pointing my smarter users at DominoPower, but it always seems I have to remind them to check you first.
I'd like to just sign them all up for DominoPower's mailings, but your site requires me to enter one name at a time. Is there any way I can just sign up my whole company and be done with it?

We told Olek in DominoPower that many magazines sell site licenses or company subscriptions. It's actually a quite lucrative area of the business, netting publishing companies thousands of dollars per license sold. It's an area of business here at ZATZ we've also found quite lucrative in the past.

But, in the spirit of the Memorial Day, we'll take pity on all our readers who are in the trenches of the tech support war. For a short time, we'll waive our usual site license fee and sign up your company, group, school, or organization en mass to all the ZATZ magazines, including Computing Unplugged, at no charge.