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In order for communities to survive and thrive in a world full of
technology, they need to build a new model of tech support. This model
should focus on democratizing technology - on disseminating, copying
and distributing tech knowledge among everyday computer users.
This model may start with a central location to help users with their
computers, but cannot end with that single source of
knowledge. Communities must develop a "critical mass" of tech
knowledge among community members in order to control their own lives
in a technology-dependent world.
The IMC Computer Help Desk is up to this challenge. The
Urbana-Champaign community has had a deficit of realistic personal
computer support options since Prairienet faded away.
When a user calls, emails or walks in to the IMC Computer Help Desk
they will not be talked down to or misled. Further, the IMC Computer
Help Desk will not perform any repair or maintenance for
anyone. Instead, the support technicians at the Help Desk will help
users solve their own problems. The Help Desk can help fix almost any
problem, hardware or software, regardless of platform - as long as the
user of the system is willing to learn how to maintain their own
Since the mission of the Help Desk is to distribute personal computer
knowledge among the community, we don't just fix broken computers. Any
user that has any question about how to complete a task with their
computer can discuss their problem in the friendly, open environment
at the Help Desk. We encourage users of all skill levels to take
advantage of the human knowledgebase in the staff of the Help Desk.
Expert users are invited to come to Help Desk support hours to help
other users, or simply to discuss ideas and projects with people
interested in learning about technology.
The ultimate goal of tech knowledge distribution is to resist the
harmful culture of fear, uncertainty and doubt that certain technology
companies promote among users. To do this, knowledge distribution
organizations must replace it with a culture that promotes
cooperation, collaboration and knowledge sharing among users. Only
when tech knowledge distribution centers like the IMC Computer Help
Desk begin driving this transition will people in the Urbana-Champaign
community control their tech media.
The IMC Computer Help Desk holds open hours every Thursday from 7:00pm
to 9:00pm at the Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center. Call us at
(217) 689-1462. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.