Requesting Support

The primary means of contact with System Support is via email. Wherever possible, all problems, questions or requests should be sent to ss@cse.unsw.edu.au, 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.

Policy issues

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.

  • Ask your supervisor (if you have one)

    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.

  • Send mail from your CSE account wherever possible

    Requests that have security implications (such as 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...)

Provide enough information

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:

  • Your CSE username (and alternate contact details, if it's an email-related problem)
  • Exactly what you were trying to achieve
  • Which machine you are/were using
  • Exactly what commands or actions you performed
  • What you expected to happen
  • What actually happened
  • The (preferably exact) text of any error messages you encountered
  • Any steps you've taken to try and isolate/identify the problem, and any conclusions you've reached

If you can include the contents of your terminal session where you encountered the problem, so much the better.