System Support is a small team of sysadmins and support staff, a subset of the Computing Support Group here at CSE.
As many SS staff work part-time, the staff on duty at any given time will vary, but our current crew consists of:
We focus on two major roles: Day-to-day monitoring and maintenance of the CSE computing infrastructure, and providing technical support for staff and postgraduate students.
We also provide support for undergraduate students, but only in cases where the CSE Helpdesk has escalated the call to us.
We handle any and all problems with CSE computing services, and also allocate print/internet quota, create and configure accounts/classes/groups, restore backups, manage the mail subsystem, build and configure new machines, and do pretty much anything else that needs doing in this general field.
Requests mailed to SS are placed on a mail queue, and should be answered within a day or so (though not necessarily in the order that they are received). Mails that are not answered in a short time are flagged for attention, and are guaranteed not to fall through the cracks.
Opening Hours: System Support operates from 9am - 5pm on weekdays. For assistance outside of these hours, please refer to the emergencies section.
With all of the maintenance and support tasks we are responsible for, there are some tasks that we must give extremely low priority. Such tasks include:
This is not to say that we won't take a quick look at pretty much anyting that comes our way (except outright help with assignments, etc. for obvious reasons), but just an acknowledgement that we cannot devote serious amounts of time to problems that lie outside of our domain.
The primary means of contact with System Support is via email. Wherever possible, all problems, questions or requests should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org, so that they can be tracked and replied to in a timely manner.
Alternatively, urgent matters (or situations where email is not possible) can be dealt with over the phone, on extension 54199, or external phone (02) 9385 4199. You will likely be asked to forward any relevant details or even just a summary of the issue by email anyway, where possible.
When neither of the above is possible, you can visit the SS area in room K17-111, situated behind the lifts on the first floor of the K17 building (take the right-hand hallway as you face the lifts).
Once again, however, we stress that due to the high probability that we'll be fixing urgent problems at any given time, we cannot always provide prompt attention to phone calls or in-person visits, so email really is your best option in all cases.
A situation may be considered an emergency if it concerns many members of the school or stands to impede the work of several students. Before calling for assistance out of hours please consider that there is a cost to the school for every call out.
After hours assistance is generally provided between 5pm and 9pm weekdays and between 9am and 5pm during weekends all year.
Out of hours contact can be made via a pager service or e-mail to csg-alert. e-mail to csg-alert is preferred as it allows the user to provide more detail and provides SS with a written record of the problem in case the phone message is lost in transit.
Both the school and the Computing Support Group have a number of policies in place regarding requests sent to SS, and proactively complying with these policies will result in faster, more efficient results for you.
Requests for resources (such as print/IP/disk quota) or for new accounts or classes, addition to groups, or other privileges, must generally be endorsed by your supervisor or lecturer, where applicable. (If you are a lecturer or supervisor yourself, then you needn't worry about this, of course.) Don't send or CC these requests to SS, as we will only bounce them back stating that we need endorsement. Instead, mail them to your supervisor, and ask them to forward the mail to us with their approval.
Requests that have security implications (such as registering wireless MACs to your account, requesting CD keys for software, resetting your password, etc.) must be sent either from your account on a CSG-maintained machine, or using SMTP authentication. Basically, if sending the mail didn't require the use of your password at any stage, then we can't be sure the request is actually from you and not an imposter, and so we can't carry it out. (this is actually a GOOD thing...)
One of the most common causes of "email tag" in our daily routine is insufficient information as to the nature of the problem. Please ensure that wherever possible you always provide as much relevant information as you can, such as:
If you can include the contents of your Xterm session where you encountered the problem, so much the better.