It is hard to believe that twenty years ago I received my first break in computers and got a job with Thriftway Lumber out of Owensboro KY. Yet that is how my professional life with PC’s and PC repair really started. At the time I was a web programmer (before WYSIWYG editors) way back in the days of notepad. FrontPage was just coming out, and most everything was hand wrote then verified by checking your code against the browsers themselves.
I had always been good with upgrading a PC / or performing user and or super user task to that point but I had never really been a technician. I was and am very technically minded and quite frequently get reminded of this when I have that social awkwardness that is very common within techs across the world. The most common variant is the glazed eye look during talking about my day or week at work. Most people can not relate to why I would do the job I do considering the risk that come along with servers, data, networks, and very expensive equipment.
The Neat little Package answer is this : I love it. I always have, and really it was my first love. The larger answer is not a lot of people around these days care to take the time to learn what I have over those twenty years. Hardware and Troubleshooting can be very demanding. One would think it is as simple as just replacing a bad component, but what caused that component to do what it did, is it a repeatable offence just waiting to happen, or is it instead bad software settings or possibly but rarely a virus.
That oddly enough is what brought me into the Hardware and Troubleshooting areas then allowed me to branch into Networks / Routers QOS / and on and on. One fateful Tuesday morning Thriftway was struck by the CIH Virus. Before the employees understood what was happening they had restarted three quarters of the very important computers in the building killing them all. The CIH Virus was a two phase virus, one part effecting in windows, another on the motherboard. On the date of April 26th it triggered in 99 for us, and half of Owensboro got smashed by it.
I loaded our now dead Computers up and took them to Advanced Systems Inc. Which at the time was the Premier Computer shop in Owensboro. I had never seen so many computers lined up to be demolished and replaced. Then people didn’t really understand what had happened or how to prevent again, the same thing from happening on a local level. Nearly 250 computers I estimate were there that day, so I jokingly said to the owner, “Looks like you need another tech.” He told me to have my resume in his hand within 20 minutes and I’d have the job. Well I got the job regardless of living at the time 18 miles out of town. I was dedicated to that pursuit. Ten years I spent at that place. Experienced the good and the bad of a small company with one controller. I watched the ship go down as it were even though the employees and myself begged for changes that could have saved the entire thing. I have always suspected he had just burned out and wanted to move on.
Before the place closed I posted my two weeks and went somewhere else though. It started out well enough, and was full of good intent, but I had noticed some of the same things happening that was going on before the other place closed tried to bring it to the owners attention, then was fired so I now have my own.
If after twenty years I haven’t burned out surely I’ll stick around for another twenty, quite honestly it has been very interesting watching tech rise and fall, operating systems, and subs of those become popular and then recede. Same with hardware, and devices floating around offices even today.
One thing is for sure though, Opening my own business so I could ensure that my name has Quality work behind it has been the best thing I have done in my life for those people around me and my Clients.
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