Category: Tech support

  • PowerShell: “Some or all identity references could not be translated”

    For a whole host of reasons we use scripts to create access controlled file shares, and to create the Active Directory groups that control access to them. Not only is it easier than doing it manually, it also ensures that the group is created in the correct place, that permissions are set correctly, and that […]

  • Top 15 Excel shortcuts

    As I’ve described elsewhere, I use Excel a fair amount. To this end, keyboard shortcuts are very useful. Here are some I find to be very useful:

  • Outlook: Problems opening and organizing calendars

    On a relatively regular basis, I find my days packed with appointments, reminders, and meetings. At other times, I need to organize a meeting, or talk to a colleague, and need to check their availability. For these reasons, and others, I’m an active user of digital calendars. Anything that happens during the work day is […]

  • Excel: Allow dividing formulas to fail gracefully

    I’m sure I’m not alone in having had this happen: I was using Excel to make some quick calculations, and got #DIV/0!-errors for some rows because one of the fields I’d been dividing by was empty. Sometimes you don’t have all the information you need for every single row, but you still want to have […]

  • Use browser profiles for more efficient operations

    One of the complicating factors of my job is that I need to use the same tools, with different user credentials, often at the same time. For example, most of the companies I and my colleagues support use services that have some sort of integration with Microsoft Azure. As a result, I need to log […]

  • Hide recipients in Outlook meeting bookings

    Like so many of you, I arrange a fair number of meetings for various purposes. Among these are the ones I arrange for the members of my union local in my capacity as its head. Now, EU – and thus also Norwegian – data protection law clearly categorizes union membership as one of the numerous […]

  • Free text search in ADUC

    A critical component to successfully closing a lot of the tickets I handle at work is the ability to search for – and find – Active Directory User, Computer, and Group objects. In about eight of ten instances, I’m able to do so using the standard search types (searching for Users, Contacts, and Groups or […]

  • A further metric for support

    I have previously written about key metrics for support departments – and I stand by everything I said then. I have, however, come to the conclusion that another metric should be placed under consideration. A quick recap, however, of the metrics I proposed then, as well as what they are intended to measure:

  • Better documented tickets are better support

    Last week, I wrote about the added value that derives from writing longer answers when it comes to giving support. This week’s post is a corollary to that; writing more detailed tickets when sending them on through the tiers is also better support.

  • Longer answers are better support

    When working tech support, it is often tempting to give short answers to a ticket, in order to get on to the next ticket. This tendency is particularly problematic when responding in the negative to a request. Though understandable, we should fight this tendency. I have three specific reasons why it’s important, but I would […]

  • OneNote: Change backup behavior

    Over the past few years, we’ve had sporadic calls from our users who complain that their drives are filling up. One of the reasons for this is that OneNote has filled them with backups of their notebooks. As it turns out, this can readily be set in the OneNote options. Here’s how: