Tips from the Techies

BDDPhotosBenSchool is back in session and it’s busier than ever around campus. Personally, I would callit a good busy. It’s always a pleasant feeling when the university is over run with people. With everyone returning to campus, the Technology Help Desk (formerly known as ASK5000) is experiencing the usual back-to-school rush. To help you out, some of the help desk guys and I are going to give you some tech tips and basic advice to help keep your laptops and gadgets working.

I’m a senior in the computer engineering program with a minor in mathematics and computer science. I’ve been using and fixing computers since I was a small child. Most parents will tell their kids not to play with electronics because they are worried the child would break something. Me? I just waited until my parents left the house to do my tinkering.

The best tech advice I can give to anyone is this: know what you are installing onto your computer. When going through the install process, you’ll be given the chance to verify that you are indeed installing what you thought you downloaded. Take a minute to actually read what you are agreeing to by clicking “Install.”

I do not mean read the pages and pages of end-user agreements or any of that legal

I mean read what add-ons you are installing and ask yourself if you’re getting any “bloatware” (useless programs). Make sure the installation isn’t asking to change your default programs. I absolutely hate it when I do a Java update and all of a sudden there is an new, useless toolbar on my internet browser.

You can prevent these things from happening by reading what you are installing and unchecking the stuff you don’t want.

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I asked some of the workers at the Technology Help Desk what advice they had.
Here’s what they had to say:

Jacob Erickson


What’s your major?

Information technology management.

Best tech advice?

Back up often and turn it off every night. And if you have a problem, turn it off and on again.

How long have you worked at the Help Desk?

A year and a half.

Do you have a favorite technology?

I’ve dabbled a little in Pebble programming, which I think is pretty fun.

If you had a spirit animal what would it be?

Red Panda.


What’s your favorite season?

Winter, because snow is awesome, and so is ice hockey and ice fishing.


Tanner Vass

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How long have you worked at the Technology Help Desk?

Two years.

What’s your major?

Information technology management.

What’s your best tech advice?

Try turning it on and off again. Number two is; just google it.

What’s your favorite technology?

Smart phones, I just like the fact that I have an information portal in my pocket at all times.

What’s your spirit animal?

I used to have this decided, but now I can’t even remember any more, so I’m going to have to say Buffalo.

Chase Christensen


How long have you worked at the Technology Help Desk?

I’ve worked here 4 years, I think – ever since I was a sophomore.

What’s your major?

Game design and development with a computer science concentration, and a applied language minor. (He speaks French)

Top tech advice?

Back up everything all the time. People don’t back things up and then they are surprised that things break. But we live in a universe where things wear and tear, you may have noticed that your car gets rustier the longer you drive it. Same idea with your computer; time and age do affect it and we don’t know when it could break.

Favorite technology, what do you say?

Since Tanner went the selfish route I’m going to say the pacemaker. The EKG is also a good one. But if we talk in general, I would say the Internet is a good technology. If you look at how quickly we can learn now, like, if you look at the amount of technology inventioned since the internet came out… It’s cool.

What’s your favorite Season?

I like winter, I guess. I don’t know it’s hard. I think the appeal of the Midwest is that there are more than one season.

Well that’s all I got, if you can think of any other questions you want to answer?

Think of questions for me to interview myself? Isn’t that kind of your job?

Well yes.


Logan Graham

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How long have you worked at the Technology help desk?

Since my freshmen year here at Stout, three years total.

What’s your major?

Psychology with a minor in cognitive neuroscience.

Top tech advice?

Google things before you decide to ask; you can learn so much by Googling your questions. Otherwise, don’t install sketchy programs or go to sketchy sites.

If you had a favorite technology what would it be?

I like PC’s. Being able to connect to the Internet is awesome. You have so much information at your fingertips.

If you had a spirit animal what would it be? You don’t have to explain it.

let me search internally real quick….. *Long pause* *Logan whispers* There are over 9000.. *normal volume* Vegeta? I don’t know maybe a monkey. My curiosity gets the better of me sometimes.


Do you have a favorite season?

Anything that’s not winter.

Ben Nelson


How long have you worked at the Technology Help Desk? 

Almost a year and a half now.

What’s your major?

ICT (Information and communications technologies) with an emphasis on computer networking.

What is your number one tech advice you would give someone who is not technology inclined?

Google and YouTube everything first. There is always a how-to on the Internet. There is always documentation. Don’t go to your people before you do any research.

Do you have favorite technology?

Ignoring phones because I’m guessing everyone will say phone, I like Bluetooth headsets. They are really nice especially if you’re working out.

So… do you lift weights often?

No. Very lazy.

What is your favorite season?

Definitely summer. Got to go scuba diving.

You scuba dive?


That’s cool.

I know.

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