As you may or may not be aware I used to be a computer guy. And by that I mean it was my job for the better part of seven and a half years to know computers inside and out. To be able to troubleshoot issues over the phone with little old library ladies, go to a business and pull apart the computer that held all their accounting data and stick it back to together again, to find solutions to problems on the fly.
It was fantastic work I thought. Especially my time at Computer Installations Plus. I got to work with Damion, now the proprietor of H.I.T.S. (check him out!) and we were a great team. Not only was work fun, but it was engaging and entertaining. We watched cartoons at lunch, be joked about stuff while building computers in the office, we got to do day road trips hours away from the office and work on stuff.
It seems like so long ago now, and I guess, 2009 is quite a while ago. In February it will be four years since I was a paid computer guy. It seems though that once you have done that kind of thing for a living it never seems to leave you alone very much. I have fixed friends computers and the computer at Shamrock and usually get called upon to do my thing whenever there is an issue with the computer, or sending files or whatever both here and for the KCCS site in Apsley. I kind of like it, it keeps those skills from getting too dull.
Sometimes it's a bit daunting to have the reputation as the computer guy though. People expect that you can do anything and fix any issue. Even with devices and hardware not meant to work together. We have ipads at work, and I hate them. They are not as functional as they need to be for what we use them for and we are constantly having to find work arounds or substitutions. For example I took some pictures with my phone the other day, a Galaxy SIII, and we wanted those pictures on the ipad to do some documentation with. No problem right? Just put the pictures on an SD card with pictures from one of our other cameras and stick the card in the adaptor and load them on, right? Nope, the ipad won't read my pictures! What's up with that? On one hand I have no control over the fact that apple makes a product that accepts some pictures and not others, on the other I feel bad that I can't make it work when it's something so ridiculously simple!
So instead I used a handy little program called dropbox and sent the pictures from my phone to the computer in the office the documentation got done that way, and then yesterday morning I converted that Publisher document to a PDF and shared it via dropbox to our Supervisor at home so it could get printed in colour. Workarounds and thinking laterally are all par for the course as a computer guy.
I think these skills have transferred well to my life as a Early Childhood Educator, thinking laterally and all that. And really how many daycares can say they have on site tech-support? It works out pretty well. I wish I got a little bit more input on some of the things we buy, but maybe in a few years that might happen (laser printer over inkjet anyone?).