A fresh start… a fresh semester

turn-it-off-and-back-on-again-2If you follow the @RGU_Helpdesk on Twitter you will have seen their big welcome back this week to students new and old.

A new semester is an opportunity to make a fresh start; reorient yourself with your course, and the campus. Having been through the stress of exams and assessments, it’s time to re-establish a routine through your studies and get some welcome stability back to your life.

The IT department are pretty grateful for some stability this week too having dealt with some unwelcome and significant network issues last week and a campus power cut.

As part of our fresh semester start we’re trying to focus a bit more on communicating information to you through all the channels we have available, and hopefully learn a bit about how we can best engage with staff and students, but also to raise a general awareness of our services and the value we add to ensure stability and a high degree of availability. This week the IT Helpdesk are featuring in the winter edition of RGU Nexus magazine, and in particular you’ll meet the helpdesk and learn a bit about the sheer scale of support they are involved in.

It’s a standing joke that technical helpdesks will ask you “switch it off and back on again” to fix the problem or, as cynics would suggest, make you(r problem) go away. The TV series the IT Crowd took it to new levels with their repeated “have you tried turning it off and on again” turning it into a catchphrase…

It’s not just a standing joke though, there is some science behind this approach. We really aren’t trying to make you go away with the least effort on our part. A large percentage of errors are quite genuinely resolved by rebooting computers, and if not then it can generate errors that are more meaningful to technicians to help with diagnosis, or eliminate causes.

When a PC restarts it’s really just making a fresh start. It clears out any old data or processes and makes fresh connections to its resources and its network, restarts essential background processes and does it in a set logical sequence to ensure optimum performance.

Most importantly for a helpdesk call, if there are any hung processes these will be stopped and started a fresh too, and your PC will more than likely be running better with any “glitch” you had encountered, more than likely have gone.

So like all of us, a reboot is sometimes the best course of action. With the start of a new semester and a relatively new year, you’d do no harm trying a wee reboot from time to time, for your health and that of your electronics.

If it doesn’t work, then you can always call the Helpdesk but unless it’s a technology induced headache, don’t expect them to fix your health troubles too…. … they’re good, but not that good!

ITHelpdesk

email: ithelpdesk@rgu.ac.uk

telephone: +44 1224 26 2777

 

 

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