This time, we have an interview with one of our very own Trusted Tech staffers on Geeks to Go! Troy has a lot of knowledge regarding hardware and we wanted to know a little bit more about him. (I still remember the day he helped me with my very own rig. Enjoy!
Your screen name on Geeks to Go is ‘Troy’. What is your real name and how did you come up with the name?
My real name is Troy, believe it or not. It’s not very imaginative I know! Nothing related to the Greek city, the Trojan horse, and all that (and not related to trojan infections either). Originally I signed up under a different name because Troy had already been taken. However it had only been used once to register and login, never posted, and so the admin team was kind enough to let me steal it.
Could you tell us a little about yourself?
What you like to do in your free time, for example. I can tell you a lot about me actually. I am a husband to my lovely wife of about 6.5 years so far and father to three children; ages 4.5 months (girl), 20 months (boy), and 3.5 years (boy). Any parent who has three children (or more) will tell you that’s where the spare time goes! (And if you “only” have one or two, well trust me… that was the easy bit). And I do enjoy it, going for adventure walks in the backyard and getting beat up on the loungeroom floor. Not much better boys like to do than romp about and show off those big muscles. Being a boy myself, I just join in with them and my wife laughs at us.
But I get up to a little mischief in between, such as taking the boys grocery shopping (and some food actually makes it back home to the fridge). I enjoy the rainforest more than the beach (but usually we end up at the beach more often). I love hitting the go kart track, but sadly this is an expensive sport and it is only a few times per year. I like a good action movie. And I enjoy the odd bit of game on my PC, mostly car racing games but I also really enjoyed (er, enjoy?) Oblivion. Also I do like hotted up cars and utes of course, in typical bloke style.
Your profile shows you are most active in the “System Building and Upgrading”. Are you such a hardware geek?
“Most Active” I am guessing this is a relative term. Sadly I am hardly active here anymore, definitely not as much as I’d like. But with my family as above, I need to concentrate my time and energy where I am working and earning income to support them. I still login a few times a week though, usually. The problem is that I really like it to be perfect, and therefore helping out takes such a long time (like ahem, Mr Artellos, remember receiving some assistance to choose the parts for YOUR build??!! If only you knew what time of morning it was when I crawled into bed! And well yes, I enjoyed it). Especially threads like “System Building and Upgrading”, I can easily spend minimum half an hour (usually much more) researching parts to recommend – finding the best part for the best price. Then taking the time to format the post so it looks really nice. Then to have the OP come back and say “oh but I prefer AMD instead of Intel” or something like that which throws all my hard work out the window! So it really takes a lot of time and that’s why I have not helped out much at all, lately. But yes, I am such a hardware geek. There is a basic model that all computers must follow. Get them set up right and they will work. If a computer is not working, strip it back and build it up to the model. Usually that’s when they start working for me (perhaps swapping a faulty part out along the way). I really enjoy hardware, I mean it’s great. Did I mention I hate pulling laptops apart? If it’s not RAM or HDD in a laptop, I don’t want to know about it please – I can do it, I just don’t enjoy it. Desktops and servers all the way!
Where did you learn your skills?
Everything I have learnt has been self taught. The theory side of things, I definitely can attribute much of it to Geeks to Go. There is so much knowledge on these forums, it’s incredible. The more you read about it and keep seeing the same topics mentioned over and over, the more it just really sinks in. Some things I had never tried before, learnt the theory from here, then when it came time I was like “Oh actually I know how to do this!” and so I just did it.
I am now certified, I did a course and got my A+ from CompTIA (employer requirement). But I breezed through the course and took 15 minutes to do the 90-minute exam (for both exams, and got 93% both times for those that care). And I know I got some wrong on purpose, because I disagreed with the questions. The way they were worded, I argued and proved the instructor wrong during the course. Funnily enough he agreed with me, and when it came time to do the exam, I just couldn’t put down the wrong answer because that’s what they wanted me to say… Also the instructor, he took my business card, and he’s called me a few times to ask some questions or get me to do a job for him! In fact there are quite a few people I have met along my journey in life, they get in touch with me every now and again, just wanting to pick my brain over a certain issue they are having.
What is your most memorable event that you’ve had with Geeks to Go?
Oh man… I have to pick just one? Probably the time I built my first Socket 775 machine, as it uses the LGA instead of PGA. (Basically, pins on the motherboard and contact pads on the processor – when prior it had been pins on the processor and just an easy slot to fit it in on the motherboard). I sat the processor in place, closed the surrounding cover and went to secure the latch. But it felt too hard, different from anything I had ever done before. I freaked a bit, opened it back up and pulled the processor out, inspecting very carefully for any damage, bent pins, anything. It all looked perfect.
So I hopped online (as you do) and went searching through the active list, and found Blair (our founder/administrator) was online! I quickly shot him off a PM. Then I waited, waited, waited, I was sweating and the suspense was killing me. Realisation set in, I mean seriously, this guy is in another country, another time zone, around the other side of the world – and I’m waiting for him (and him alone) to answer me! I refreshed the page and my heart fell when I saw he was no longer online. What to do?
I left everything as it was and took a breather. I had a drink of water but couldn’t calm my nerves at all. Very soon I was back, refreshed the page again and he had responded! Blair – at that moment, you were my hero. You might not remember it, but thanks for that. Anyway, basically he said yes, it does feel a bit firm, just keep pushing carefully and firmly, and close it up. And of course, it was all good.
Are there any last wise words that you would like to share with the readers?
Do whatever it is you need to do to get the job done. Be honest with yourself – don’t ever say the wrong thing just because you know others want you to say it. Be careful. Be firm. Take a breather. And don’t be afraid to ask for help. And one last one that comes to mind, absolutely everyone who has ever or will ever participate in a forum should read this. ScHwErV posted it up a long time ago (I’m remembering hard but I’m sure it wasn’t directed at me at the time!), so I clicky’d and read the whole thing, it helped immensely.
Finally, Australia really is a great country for your next holiday.