Showing posts with label remote tech help. Show all posts
Showing posts with label remote tech help. Show all posts

Monday, March 23, 2020

A Solution to Zoom "Not Responding" on Windows 10

On Friday morning I started having problems with every Zoom meeting that I tried to launch or join on my Windows 10 computer resulting in the annoying "application not responding" message. I didn't have the same problem on my Mac.

Based on the response to a Tweet that I posted, I wasn't the only one with the problem of the Zoom Windows 10 client freezing. To fix the problem I tried all of the usual tricks of restarting my computer, uninstalling and reinstalling the Zoom desktop client, and disabling every application that I thought might be creating a conflict. I even made sure that the driver for my graphics card was updated. None of those things fixed the problem. Finally, late this afternoon there was an update from Zoom that fixed the problem.

Zoom's notes about the update simply state "minor bug fixes." I'd say it's more than a minor bug fix. I know that Zoom's employees are probably working double-time in the current climate so I'm glad that they were able to release an update rather quickly. The lesson in this for all of us to make sure we have a second option getting things done. I used Google Hangouts today when Zoom wouldn't cooperate for a meeting I had scheduled.

While we're on the topic of Zoom, here's my tutorial on how to host a meeting with it.


Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Try These 6 Things When a Website Doesn't Work as Expected

In the last week I've fielded a half-dozen emails from readers who were experiencing problems with web tools not working as they expected. This seems like a good time to revisit six things that you should check when a website doesn't work as you expected it to work.

1. Is your browser updated? This isn't as common as it used to be, but in some instances of a site not working properly the cause can be traced to using an outdated version of a web browser. If you're using an older version of a browser, not only will some sites not work correctly, you are also opening yourself up to more potential security threats.

2. Do you have cookies enabled? Many websites require cookies in order to offer you the best possible experience. Explania and Common Craft offer good explanations of how cookies work.


3. Are you using a pop-up blocker? It is not uncommon for a website to use a pop-up window for account log-ins. If the pop-up is blocked, you won't be able to log-in.

4. Are you using the site on a tablet/ iPad/ phone? While it would be great if every site was optimized for tablets, that is not the case.

5. Have you checked your spam folder? If you sent a help request to the help desk/ site administrators, they may have replied and had their messages flagged by your spam filter. I've experienced this more than once when using a school district email address.

6. Last, but not least, in the words of The IT Crowd, "have you tried turning it off and on again?" Or logging out and logging back in? It's amazing how often that can fix a problem.


Disclosure: For years I have had an in-kind business relationship with Common Craft.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Try Using Google+ Hangouts for Providing Tech Help Remotely

This afternoon I read a short article on Life Hacker about adding a remote desktop application to Google+ Hangouts. The article suggested that you could use the application to fix someone's computer for him or her. I would prefer to take the "teach a man to fish" approach and use Google+ Hangouts to walk someone through the process of fixing a problem. To do this all you would need to do is start a Hangout or join a Hangout then have the person you're helping turn on the screenshare option. It will take more time to fix someone's computer problem this way, but if you teach them how to do it then you might not have to do it again. You may also give the person you're helping the confidence to try to troubleshoot their own problems in the future.

If you haven't tried Google+ Hangouts, the video below provides a comprehensive guide to getting started.

Monday, March 18, 2013

5 Free Tools for Providing Remote Tech Help

If you're the "techy" person in your school but you're not in the IT department sometimes your colleagues come to you with their tech help questions before heading to the IT folks. Sometimes those questions come over the phone and you find yourself trying to explain where to click next or struggling to understand the problem the other person is trying to explain. That's when it's handy to have a screen sharing tool readily available. Here are five that are quick and easy to use.

Quick Screen Share is a free screen sharing service from the makers of Screencast-o-matic. To use Quick Screen Cast just go to their website, select share your screen, and enter your name. Quick Screen Share will then provide you with a URL to share with the person with whom you are screen sharing. When that person opens the link you he or she will be able to see your screen. Quick Screen Share doesn't require you to install anything (assuming you have Java installed) or require you to register for the service.

If Chrome is your browser of choice, the Chrome Remote Desktop is a great screen sharing tool. Using the Chrome Remote Desktop App you can grant access to your computer to another person who also has the Chrome Remote Desktop App installed. If you want to share your desktop just click "share now" and Chrome Remote Desktop will generate an access code to give to the person who will access your computer. To access and control another person's computer you just need to enter the access code that they provide to you.

Screen Leap is a free screen sharing service that I've seen endorsed by a number of speakers at ed tech conferences this winter. To share your screen using Screen Leap just visit the site, click "share your screen," enable the Java applet, and send the sharing code to the person you want to view your screen. The person receiving your invitation code will be able to see your screen when you have Screen Leap activated.

Join.me is a service offered by Log Me In. Join.me allows Mac and Windows users to quickly share their screens with each other and work together. To use Join.me you do need to download the Join.me client. Once you've downloaded the client you can start sharing your screen with anyone you like. Just give your nine digit access number to your collaborators to give them access to your screen and to converse with you.

Screenhero is a screen sharing service that offers the option for both parties (the sharer and the sharee) to use their mice to control an application. For example, I can share my screen with you and allow you to move things on my screen. Likewise, I can move things around on your screen. By sharing our screens through Screenhero any desktop application becomes a collaborative application.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Screenhero Makes Almost Any Application Collaborative

Screenhero is a new screen sharing service that offers something that I don't recall seeing in any of the other screen sharing services I've tried over the years. Screenhero offers the option for both parties (the sharer and the sharee) to use their mice to control an application. For example, I can share my screen with you and allow you to move things on my screen. Likewise, I can move things around on your screen. By sharing our screens through Screenhero any desktop application becomes a collaborative application. Watch the one minute video below to see how Screenhero works.

Applications for Education
The free version of Screenhero allows you to share your screen with one other person at a time. My first thought when looking at Screenhero is that it could be great for providing tech help remotely. I also think that Screenhero could be a good tool for students to use when they're using an application like Garage Band that is not collaborative for a collaborative project. By sharing their screens through Screenhero both students will be able to access and work on the same files.

H/T to Lifehacker