Computers R not Us

Anyone who works close by knows computers don’t like me. I have no idea why hardware breaks or software corrupts. IT just happens. The game between me and my desktop at the moment is Shut Down.  Sometimes I know its going to happen – the screen freezes before pixellating into pretty  patterns – or it just dies at least once a day.

bugs in my computer

Today it was my laptop’s turn. It wouldn’t connect via wifi. In fact, it never has done on campus. I get a message saying further details are required for authentication. Windows 7 is very polite these days. Only one step away from adding the word please. Systems are finally moving on from the language of Fatal Exceptions, Illegal Operations and Internal Errors.

The Authentication window was no help because there was no clue as to what it wanted.

wifi authentication box in windows 7

Nothing seemed to work and I get nervous about calling the helpdesk. No one else seems to have the same problems . It’s no good telling me how the screen should look or behave because if it did I wouldn’t be on the phone in the first place. But today the response couldn’t have been more helpful. Not only explaining what the problem was but talking me through the solution (I needed to clear out my browser history) and making sure I knew how to avoid it in the future (choose Legacy wifi). Out of the conversation came two pieces of information. Firstly there are the ICT User Guides at and secondly ICT has a Support Desk at where under Quick Answers there are more help materials (although I have to say none of the wifi information addressed this particular problem – but I’m trying not to feel paranoid).

Working in a central support capacity, I’m used to staff sometimes being unaware of central sources of information, but here I was – unaware of all this online support. It was a useful reminder of the need to have a range of communication systems for getting the message out there – not just once but on a regular basis – and not just for students but for all staff as well, even those of us who – as I was told today – have been around for a while! 🙂

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