MyHelpdesk.com offers online tech support

Computer users frustrated with fruitless searches for information to help them with software or hardware problems may find relief at a new Web site that includes resource directories for commonly used products.

MyHelpdesk.com officially launched today and offers free help to computer users seeking information, including easy access to telephone numbers for tech support from various vendors. While giving a demonstration of the site, company officials said last week that it is aimed at making it easier for home and small-business computer users to find help at one spot.

The site offers lists of hardware products, including peripherals and software applications. Users check off the products of interest to them and the Web site sets up a personalised help desk. Users click on the product that is giving them problems or for which they are seeking information and automatically receive a list of Web resource options that might assist them, as well as links to the specific vendor's Web site.

A search engine at MyHelpdesk.com lets users check, for instance, Microsoft Excel and then go to the search bar and type in "charting". The search function will know that the user wants information about charting in Excel and will display only links to Web sites with relevant information. Other search engines do not have that capability and so users must type in more than just a single word and even then might find the list of "hits" isn't what was sought, said Eric Bulock, director of product marketing for MyHelpdesk.com.

The free service will provide updated directories, which are built by a staff of researchers who work at MyHelpdesk.com, a start-up founded last year.

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Nancy Weil

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