3.794 supporting the humanists, cont. (30)

Willard McCarty (MCCARTY@vm.epas.utoronto.ca)
Tue, 28 Nov 89 23:14:53 EST

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 3, No. 794. Tuesday, 28 Nov 1989.

Date: Tue, 28 Nov 89 10:46:10 CST
From: Norman Hinton <SSUBIT12@UIUCVMD>
Subject: Computer support: how not to do it

There are probably as many ways to handle computer support as there are
institutions and people. But don't do what we do. Here, all computing
is under the aegis of the folks in that bane of contemporary existence,
Management Information Systems, and the "academic support" person is of
that tribe, with no academic background.

The result: nothing can be done without forms that have to be signed
off by 3 or 4 bureaucrats. It took me over a year to get a Bitnet
signon because I had to convince several officials that I had some
need to get on the system. The support people will talk you through
some problems on the phone, but they never will send printed materials
(manuals, etc.) or even Xeroxes: it might cut down their statistics
for "help given". They know nothing at all about academic work of any
kind, and simply throw up their hands if asked any questions that
seem to them to involve subject matters. A group of us have formed a
quite unofficial support network of our own using campus E-Mail to try
to solve ordinary everyday problems rather than ask the MIS gurus.