TechTips from Chef Antoine

Tech Support

Behind every great chef is a team of people who act as invisible helpers.Not many chefs know how to repair a food processor or change hats and act as waitress or grocer. So too, technical support is vital to the realization of your creation! Establish a good relationship with your tech team. Our own district Help Desk is located at You can also report problems at SLCC by dialing 5113. The website also has links to other sites for online information. Check there first!

How To Get ONLINE Technical Help

The Internet is chock full of sites that can help you out in a pinch. Live chat, message boards and FAQs abound. Sorting through all the informationcan be like drinking from a firehose, however. Try these sites when youcannot get through to your local Help Desk.

Bonus Tip: You can do a power search in most search engines bysearching on Help + "subjectname". Check out your search enginesadvanced options.

  • ZDNet-
  • Ziff-Davis Publishers' site has tips and techniques as well as Help Forums at Also check out the "How To" section at
  • C/Net- tips and techniques on computer related problems.
  • Tech Net Free help for technical questions in a variety of subject areas
  • Techni-Help- Advertising pays the bills at this site, full of free answers on all types of computer related issues.
  • Deja News- find newsgroup postings on almost any topic, including computer help
  • Mr. Fixit- Windows related help only. Sorry Mac Users.
  • HelpMeNow- e-mail your question and you can usually get an answer within 24 hours from a computer nerd
  • America Online Helpdesk- 72 hour turnaround help for you subscribers out there.
  • Visit the Macworld Daily Tips Archive: one of the best resources out there!
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    Questions to answer: Have I read the manual? Did I read the FAQ? Arethe cables hooked up properly? If the answer is yes, then call for help.For your own benefit and edification, it is good to try these first. Another big question is: where do your sudents go for help?


    Taste Test: Know where to go for help- what is the response time? check this out with your HelpDesk and then educate yourself. A good solution may be to require students to go to their ISP for their tech support.

    Tip One: Where do I put this tip? Image Usage Rights- Never make an assumption when dealing with found images, media or content. Understand Internet and copyright law. You can find extensive writings on the subject at

    Tip Two: Putting media on the web-The technology fot embedding media on the web is still in flux. RealAudio is the first audio streaming technology that really works- BUT the end user will have to have their plug-in and you will have to use a proprietary encoder to author the files and aRealServer to serve them up. Real Audio'swebsite has the details.

    Tip Three: Animations on the web. Use GifBuilderfor the Mac or Gif ConstructionSet for the PC to build multi-block GIF files that animate in your browserwithout a plug-in. If you use Shockwave, be sure to keep the filesizes under 100k or use streaming Shockwave instead (built with later versions of Director and Authorware). Macromedia Flash is a must have if you intend to do much with animation. These require plug-ins, though you can put together simple animations in Director and save as a Java applet now. By the way, you can't use an animated gif as a background image. There are plug and play javascripts and java applets that can help with simple animations as well.

    Tip Four: You can distribute sets of bookmarks in several ways.The easiest is to create a simple html document by using the Save As command from the file menu while within the Bookmark window in your browser. You can publish this on the web, attach it to an email as a textfile, or even distribute it via a floppy disk. You can also import such files into your current bookmark file instead of typing urls in until yourhead hurts.

    Tip Five: The files you see with the .zip (PC) or .hqx (MAC) extension have been compressed with a file compression utility- you need either WinZip or pkunzip to decode them. Get a programlike Stuffit or pkzip to compress largefiles for easier transport over the net.

    Tip Six: Quicktime movies must be"flattened" before they can be viewed from the web. This changes the Mac resource fork so they can be read by all platforms. Premiere has a flattening feature or you can get FlattenMoov from the web. make your movies small in pixels (160x120 or less) and infilesize. Low fps rates help too. Always work from a high quality original. Warn your audience about incoming filesize, type and player requirements in advance. Realize that many end users still do not have boxes that can play audioor video.

    Tip Seven: If you are considering including non streaming audio and video clips on your site, remember that they will be downloaded- so adhere strictly to an 8 dot 3 naming convention.

    Tip Eight: Remember that you'll need your webmaster's help with setting up interactive forms, server extensions and/or mime types. These must be set for serving up media that require plug in technologies.

    Tip Nine: Pre-Chew Charlie says NEVER recompress an already compressed movie or sound file! A faux pas, I gay-ron-tee!





    Questions or Comments? Contact:Anthony Foster - Senior Instructional Designer

    St. LouisCommunity College - Florissant Valley