Archive for May, 2009

How to Help Us Help You

HouseCall Systems Administrators (SAs) are well versed in providing end-user tech support – that is one of the key components of our business.  In fact, our SAs pride themselves on their ability to rapidly troubleshoot problems and find solutions.  However, in many cases they must rely heavily on the user to give accurate information about what is happening on malfunctioning equipment (computer, printer, BlackBerry, etc.).  The more accurate and comprehensive the information you give, the quicker and more effectively we can solve your problem.  So here are a few tips on how to help us help you:

-Write down any error messages that is displayed on your screen and what program you were working in when they were displayed

-Note how frequently you have received the error or if you have seen it before

-Let us know if there have been any drastic changes to your equipment recently (i.e. your BlackBerry was just replaced, you just installed new software on your computer, a technician just worked on your printer, etc.)

-Have you rebooted your computer recently? *Note – rebooting your computer every 1-2 days is recommended for better performance

-Is there anything special about your equipment that makes it different?

Remember, the more information you can give us, the faster and more effectively we can help to solve your problems!

BlackBerry Tips & Tricks

For those of us who use our BlackBerries (BB) day in and day out quickly typing, sending messages, and navigating on the BlackBerry has become easy.  We thought we would pass some of our top BB shortcuts on to you.

Keyboard Shortcuts in Messages

C – compose new message
U – takes you to the next unread message
T – takes you to the top of the list
B – takes you to the bottom of the list
F – forward
R – reply to message
L – reply to all
P – takes you to previous day
N – takes you to next day
S – search
V – view saved messages
Space – takes you down one page

Address Book Lookups:

Your BB is connected to an LDAP server so you can do lookups in the Global Address List.  That means if you need someone’s information and they have a House.gov account you may be able to find their info using your BB even if you haven’t created a personal contact for them.

When sending a new message simply type in the person’s name (usually LastName, FirstName works best) and select “lookup” (it will be highlighted below where you are typing).  It may take the BB a few seconds to find them so be patient.  If it doesn’t find them try typing their name a different way.

When looking for a person’s general contact info go to the Address Book application and start typing their name. Once you have entered it select “*No Address*” and your BB will perform a Global Adress List lookup.  The BB will take a few seconds to do the search and then display a list of results.  Once you have found the person you can add them to your address book by selecting them, pressing the applications button (the button to the left of the scroll ball), and choosing “add.”  Even if you are not sure how to spell their name make a guess – you can even leave out part of the name (EX. Tim Seym will find Tim Seymour) and it will still give you a list of possible people.  You could even search just by last name or just by first name – its almost like using a phone book!

Typing Shortcuts

To make a selection hold the Shift Key (Caps) and scroll with the ball.  That will make a selection. You can then copy, cut, or paste into that region depending.

Double click space key – puts in a period
Hold down a letter key – makes a capital letter

Remember, the typing shortcuts work everywhere on the BB, so use them!