Computer User’s Bill of Rights

…first draft
A friend asked the other day, what are “reasonable expectations” for ordinary computer users in an organization, (not just just non-profits) and wondered if it might make sense to work out this out on paper to use both as guidelines for computer support personel, as well as the users themselves. In general, my thought is that the computer should become like the telephone; a reliable piece of hardware that can be interchanged with another model if there are problems.

  1. I should be able to arrive at work each day, turn on my computer, and expect it to function the same today as it did yesterday
  2. I should have the following basic applications available: Electronic mail, word-processing, web browsing
  3. I should have a reliable internet connection which is always turned on, or readily available via modem.
  4. I should expect reasonable protection against security breaches and computer viruses.
  5. I should be able to store my data in some kind fashion so that it can be recovered if the computer fails.
  6. I should have written or web-based help tools that would give directions for solving computer problems.

This is a short list. I added and then removed things like minimal hardware requirements (17″ screen, Pentium 200 or faster, 64 megabits of RAM), because the needs and capabilities of each organization are so different. Is a staff member better off without any computer if they can’t have a 17″ screen?

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