Sometimes, the best way to solve a problem is to find out if anybody else has had the problem. Internet search engines, Internet forums, mailing lists, and CD-ROM knowledge bases are excellent ways to extend your troubleshooting efforts. Technical support should be saved as a last resort; if you approach tech support with a documented reproducible problem, you’re much more likely to be treated with respect. Brush-offs, such as finger-pointing, can be combated with good notes and a reproduction of the problem without the component that the vendor is pointing its finger at. Working knowledge of diagnostic gear, such as network analyzers, can really help to gather data that ends the finger-pointing game as well.