Thursday, July 21, 2005

Doin' Support

I did a support call this morning that went something like this:

Her: This computer has gone wacky!
Me: What's wrong with it?

Her: It's the lab computer. At first it wouldn't transport, but then I called companyname tech support and they said the primary DVI wasn't working but she got the secondary DVI working and now I can transmit. But I did a trace and it was several milimeters off. I called tech support again and she said we need a voltage regulator. Do you know where we can get one or better yet get one for us?
Me: Umm ... A voltage regulator?

yea, a voltage regulator.

Now, forget the fact that I don't really know what this gadget does and what she's talking about when she says primary & secondary DVI, I need to convince her that she needs to get something we can actually buy ...

Me: Do you mean a UPS?
Her: What's a UPS?

Me: You know, an Uninterruptable Power Supply.
Her: What's it for?

Me: Well, among other things, it provides good clean steady power to whatever is plugged into it ...
Her: We really need a voltage regulator.

Me: Um, well, I guess we could find a power conditioner only ...
Her: Is that the same as a voltage regulator?

Me: Yea ... actually, we need a good inexpensive UPS and that will solve your problem. It should deliver 60 Hz sinusoidal ... you'll be good to go.
Her: Isn't that like a surge protector? I know what a surge protector is!

Me: Kind of. Go look at the computer in the front right, it has a UPS on it.
Her: Ok, back in a sec ...

Me: sighing and tapping fingers on desk as I wait for her to get back ...

Her: Oh, hey, that's one of those battery thingies. Will that work?
Me: It should, yes. In fact, I'd like to put them on every com...

Her: Will that fix the problem?

By now I've realized that the company that built their aging equipment has probably concocted a convenient, but unlikely, culprit to the misalignment problem, that of fluctuating power. But I'm not sure I'll ever get that across.

Me: I Don't know.
Her: Let me give you companyname technical support and you can call them and discuss the problem with them direct.

Me: Thanks ... a lot.

So many of the problems we encounter in life are due to mistaken communication. If we all could just talk to each other, things would be simpler.

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