Any and all jobs have a few tools of the trade that are essential to the successful completion of your tasks. So, too, with IT support. Whether in the office or out working with a client, I usually have a few tools with me, such as:
- Screw drivers
- This set from DealExtreme has served me very well, and covers all my basic needs
- Kelly clamps
- I’ve picked up a couple of kelly clamps, one straight, and one rounded. They are practical for picking up small stuff, as well as getting some leverage to remove parts from computers.
- Loopback jack
- A loopback jack is handy for when you need to troubleshoot network.
- Voltage tester
- This handy voltage tester is simple to use, and lets you find out whether there’s any power present before starting work
- Network tester
- This simple network tester lets you quickly and simply ascertain whether a network cable is broken
- USB to SATA/IDE adapter
- This USB to SATA/IDE adapter has saved data for my clients more than once, when their computers have been on the fritz, I’ve hooked the harddrive up to my own laptop, and extracted data
- A computer
- Bringing a laptop computer has allowed me in the past to reference documentation, as well as helping me extract data from hard drives to back up for a user
- External harddrive
- I usually bring a 250 GB harddrive so that I can extract data using the USB to SATA/IDE adapter and a computer.
- Pen and paper
- I always carry a journalist pad and a pen. I make sure to note most steps I take on the way while taking them, so that I can retrace what I have done. It’s also good to be able to document what you have done when asked.
In the end, we’re only ever able to be as good at our jobs as our preparation and experience allows us to be. By assembling a small kit like the one I’ve outlined above, you’re that much more prepared to do a good job, whenever you need to.