Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 22nd Sep 2010 17:58 UTC
Apple As I was casually browsing around today, I came across this blog post. It's about the recently released VLC media player for the iPad, which you can use to play just about any video under the sun on your iPad. The blog post is a complaint about a bit of help text that's not properly rendered inside the application - annoying, but no dealbreaker. Until I actually read the text - this is how you're supposed to get content on your iPad?
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On top of that, help desks are a stupid concept to begin with. You can't help people operate a highly visual medium with just your own voice. It's idiotic. Sit down next to the same person, and it'll be easy as pie. Basic human psychology.

And don't get me started on remote assistance. It's a curse, as it doesn't teach anyone anything.

I don't agree with that last point. Remote support can be of immense benefit, both to those providing & those receiving support. Immediacy is the big one - I've lost count of the number of times that I've been able to fix a problem in 5 minutes, when it would have taken 30-60 minutes if I'd done the same thing on-site (if you include travel time, etc).

Onsite support isn't always possible, and remote support software is usually the best way to get around the limitations of telephone support that you mentioned. By and large, if someone can't provide effective support via something like VNC, they're probably not going to be much (if any) more effective onsite.

As for it not "teach[ing] anyone anything", education isn't the purpose of technical support (remote or onsite). If someone comes to you for training, then they probably have both a desire and a willingness to learn - that's usually not the case with technical support (at least IME). That said, the same tools used for remote support can be just as effective for doing training remotely.

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