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The Busiest Time of Year...for Tech Support

Boot Camp feature for Wednesday, December 26, 2001

It's the busiest time of year... for tech support. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. With new computers and high tech toys of all kinds in so many households... this is the time of year when people who answer those tech support help lines go a little bit crazy. There are those legendary questions from new computer owners who mistake the mouse for a foot pedal... .or the CD ROM drawer for a coffee cup holder. This year, both Microsoft and Nintendo have ramped up for an onslaught of calls from new game console owners. Microsoft's John O'Rourke says you can never predict what you'll hear on the help lines...

"There's always interesting questions with people wanting to know what is Bill Gates up to right now or something that is unrelated to the Xbox. But pretty much all of the questions have to do about... how do I get this thing hooked up quickly."

Microsoft is staffing its Xbox help lines around the clock through January 1st. At Nintendo, the expanded help line hours run from 5am to 9pm Pacific... and game play counselor David Young says if calls come in from parents seeking help... he'll ask to speak with one of the kids...

"Let's put little Johnny on because he knows what's going on. In general, though, people seem to be a little bit more adaptive at using audio-video cable which is how video games all connect these days. That's the way it's been done for the past five years since we started with the Nintendo 64. So people are getting better and better at it."

One thing that is almost always the case... grown ups have a lot more trouble than kids figuring out how to play the games.