About Me

I have been intrigued by computers at a young age, back when a Commodore 64 was the computer to have - color graphics vs. my Dad's TRS-80. Discs instead of tapes. You get the idea. Of course my interest was purely what I could do with a computer in the gaming world at first. I can't remember the name of the Commodore game I would beg Ms. McMillan to let me stay after to play, but I believe it had a farmer in it (no, not Oregon trail) or something. Fast forward to learning basic in jr. high, using a Franklin (Apple II clone) and finally the beginnings of a PC in high school.

On to college I convinced my parents to help me get a 386 PC for a couple thousand bucks, and from there I was my tech support. There was no Ethernet connection in the dorms at the time, just dial-up, bulletin boards and these weird all-text sites where people traded information, help and game walk-thrus.

Ever since I've done my own tech support and had developed a knack of solving problems quickly and with an ability to also explain what was the issue and resolution in terms everyone could understand.

I received my degree in Management Information Systems in 2001, worked for AOL in their billing and then personnel departments, and then really begun my IT career at the University of Wyoming in late 2003 in their Telecom department. Not quite "tech support" but I learned the in's and out's of most things telecom related, and got to apply my computer know-how there thanks to a very trusting supervisor who gave me enough room to learn, make mistakes and explore additional opportunities.

I had then moved back to AZ in 2006 and joined the Telecom department at the University of Arizona doing much of the same work I did at Wyoming. Then things started happening quickly. The software package UA was using I had used for 3 1/2 years at UW, so I immediately had that much more experience than everyone else. Problems arose and I fixed them. My supervisor who hired me left as well as a few others, and I was asked to step up and take on a partial support role. We were expected to do more with the program and they really needed someone to take on a database cleaning, reconciling and validation project, and I then took on that role with a job title. Then all of UA's IT job titles were re-done and I got yet another job title change and a bit more responsibility. Finally, after expressing interest in further growth, I was encouraged to apply for the job I currently have - working with WNC (Workgroup and Network Consulting) within UITS, supporting several departments on campus.

Our group doesn't do any hardware repair, as it was decided it would be better in the long run to instead purchase warranties, however we do handle a large variety of tasks ranging from simple set-up and configuration issues and password changes to real complex situations such as planning for and performing an entire IT support takeover of a department.

To stay abreast of changes and to at least keep my toe in the hardware pool, I do support people of all walks of life outside of my '8-5' job. I also have built my own computer not necessarily to save money, but to have a computer customized to what I want it to be. It also gives me the ability to work through issues others may have. One of my favorite things I've done a couple times is to find someone with a failing video card, to pull the card out, remove the fan and heatsink, clean it and apply new thermal paste, put everything back together - and not hear of any issues for months to come.

I do dabble in website design, but with so many options out there for design & hosting and so many available support options, it's usually done at a last resort for a family member or friend who needs help getting something started.

My latest endeavor is to start a help column in my hometown newspaper, the Ajo Copper News. I still have a fondness for my hometown, and I know computer help in locations like Ajo can be difficult to come by. I hope to not step on any local support personnel's toes, but instead provide some kind of guidance to a question one may be hesitant to ask.

I've always believed that if I can do nothing else, at least I can offer to help.

Thank you,


Ahh - but why the name RedShirt? When I first really got into online PC gaming (Battlefield 1942), I had a pretty slow computer and wasn't very good, so I usually was the first to die and die often - reminiscent of those poor actors in the original Star Trek series - "red shirts." Although more of a Star Wars fan, I enjoy both camps and the nickname stuck.