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Re: [Computerbank] frustrated help supporter

On Wed, Jan 09, 2002 at 03:37:39AM +1100, Bruce McCubbery wrote:
> How many help supporters do we have across Australia?
Not sure, but in SA we have Dale, Romana, and myself for the unix based
stuff, with a few others helping out with basic unix and hardware.

> Do you share the answers you find that work?

We try to get together and talk about issues. For instance, Grant put me
onto iceWM which works well as a low end window manager for our low
powered systems.

> How good does a help supporter have to be?

Depends, there is a need for people with general computer skills,
hardware skills, unix user level skills and unix trouble shooting

> Can't the level of the question be handled by a Computerbank volunteer of
> that level?

Not sure, you are a computerbank volunteer, lets see if you can help me
with this:
"The Internet isn't working"

> How might this filtering of those providing help occur?
> If the questions asked on the proposed pre-kindergarten level list can be
> answered (on the list) by anyone who thinks they know the answer, then
> there's no reason for them to be tested before they start answering
> queries.

No way. The answers need to be correct.

> (And remembering you DESPERATELY need the help) Any mistakes some
> helper makes can then be fixed on the list, and everyone learns. 

If they get it wrong, the users will not be able to read the list- they
may not even have a file system left.

> Helpers
> will learn to stick to answering only what they are very sure of for
> starters. Why answer on the list? Because others on it will have the same
> question in their minds or will have asked it before but not fully
> understood the answer then.

This is fine, providing that the peole answering have a clue.

> Doing as much as we can via the proposed "total clots" (aka. dummies) list
> means many things are possible all at the same time, can you see some of
> them? Start with the fact clients can ask a question at any time on any day.

Come into #computerbank on openprojects and ask. There is usually a
selection of very cluey people in there willing to help. Or ask a
question to this list, a new one whatever, but don't take the answer for
granted unless you know that the person you are talking to knows the

> What about those not able to be online? 

> That's to my mind a totally separate issue, the more I think about it. And
> the more we get clients online right away the SO MUCH BETTER OFF we will be.

True, but that brings on it's own issues. 

Shaun Branden, email:  shaun@pcuse.com    It's a damn poor mind
icq: 10469563, homepage: www.pcuse.com    that can only think of
public key www.pcuse.com/shaun/key.txt    one way to spell a word
Computerbank SA:  www.linunix.com/cbsa    -- Andrew Jackson
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