Browse Prior Art Database

Help Desk Access over LAN

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000015678D
Original Publication Date: 2002-Jun-11
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-20
Document File: 3 page(s) / 61K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Help Desk Access over LAN Help Desk Access over LAN This article describes a method to access through a Local Area Network the services of a "help desk" by a user of a failed PC without the need for a telephone. This article also describes a method for the user to access a database on a server on the Local Area Network when his or her PC is not operational. This is accomplished by the use of a service processor that is attached to the PCI bus of the PC.

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This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 52% of the total text.

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Help Desk Access over LAN Help Desk Access over LAN

This article describes a method to access through a Local Area Network the services of a "help desk" by a user of a failed PC without the need for a telephone. This article also describes a method for the user to access a database on a server on the Local Area Network when his or her PC is not operational. This is accomplished by the use of a service processor that is attached to the PCI bus of the PC.

This service processor has some unique qualities. It contains the following features: a Local Area Network interface, a PCI bus interface, a memory interface and an audio codec interface. This processor contains the necessary memory translation and protection hardware such that it can run an operating system capable of multitasking and multi-threading. Such operating system software allows the service processor to concurrently operate a LAN interface and an audio interface while performing the ncessary logic functions to also interrogate a database on the server. This database is customized to assist the user in fixing problems. Other applications that can run on the service processor are: Speech recognition to allow the user to better interact with the database on the server and internet protocol (IP) based telephony. This feature allows the user to communicate with a live help desk person or a virtual help desk person to attempt to fix any problems that might exist. The software running on the service processor runs independently of the software running on the host PC (if it is running at all). This software can also perform the function of monitoring the software on the host PC to insure it is still running and not stopped. It can signal the host PC to reset itself if required.

Today in the large enterprise environment if a user's PC fails (either hardware or software) he/she must call the "help desk" to receive instructions on how to fix the PC. This article describes a method whereby the user can get help desk "support" through the facilities of a low cost service processor installed in the PC. This service processor has several features which allow for unique services to be provided by the help desk. These unique services may be less costly to provide than the traditional help desk and on site service models that are commonly in use today.

From the diagram below it can be seen that the service processor has several interfaces. These interfaces allow it to interface to the network, the PC and the user:

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LAN Connection

The service processor may either be placed on a PCI (or in the future, a 3GIO) adapter or on the PC motherboard. The processor can act as a PCI (or 3GIO) peripheral. The processor contains a LAN interface, an au...