Sometimes, things break. When they do, it's nice to have someone to call.
Tstaff maintains a problem resolution system. Each day, a member of the technical staff responds to all system problems. That person is responsible for resolving each problem, or forwarding it to someone who can.
To contact the designated problem person, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Submitting a Problem Ticket
When sending an email to problem, please include the following information. This will greatly aid us in fixing your problem quickly and completely. (If it's an urgent situation, please call the tstaff cell phone which is available during University business hours - 401-316-2334)
- The name of the machine
- The OS of the machine which has the problem (e.g. Windows 7,Linux)
- The software packages being used (e.g. Firefox, Office 2010,OpenVPN)
- Is the problem transient or repeatable?
- If possible, specific steps to reproduce the problem
Tstaff also hosts and maintains an instance of discourse at forum.cs.brown.edu accessible to anyone with a brown login.
Some features and resources available through forum:
- FAQs run by tstaff and sunlab consultants for common issues faced.
- Announcements and updates from tstaff
- People can post about any questions they have or issues they encounter
- Members of the community can post and respond to each other to share information
Forum exists as a space for the cs community to talk to each other and connect online. For more information on how to use the site and what the different categories/terms mean, the discourse staff put together an extensive guide on getting used to the site. Additional questions can also be directed to tstaff via emailing problem or posting on discourse.
Some software is supported by tstaff, and some isn't. See software support page for an explanation of which software is and isn't supported.
Users with software problems should first try to resolve their problems with the man pages provided with the operating system or specific software package, or with the hardcopy documentation.
If the problem cannot be resolved by this approach, send mail to problem. A tstaff person will either answer and deal with the problem or forward it to the appropriate people for resolution.
For help with unsupported software (see section Unsupported Software) ask the owner of the program.
Some hardware is supported by tstaff, and some isn't. The few remaining Suns, all tstaff-built PCs (MaxBuilt) running Windows or Linux, all networking (see the "self-managed" network), and the printers (see printers) are supported by tstaff.
If the problem is a hardware problem (ie. frozen workstation, jammed printer, etc.) send mail to email@example.com. Users are not to attempt hardware repairs themselves.
For help with unsupported hardware, contact the machine's administrator.