Since Tom usually conducts these Q&A's, I've stepped in as guest editor to give everyone a look at this forum's most prolific poster, information czar and all-around ambassador. If the questions seem odd, blame it on my inexperience and lack of formal interview training. That and the fact that I know Tom is a good sport...
You opened your first PowWeb account in April of 2002, but didn't become a member of the forum until December - what took you so long? I mean, what brought you here and what keeps you coming back?
I blame misinformation - I didn't know it existed! PowWeb was my first real host (before was AOL, Geocities, my college server) and I was trying to figure out a couple things (custom error pages and a perl whois script). Somehow stumbled on the forums. What keeps me coming back? That's an easy one - I'm obsessed! I truly enjoy helping others. This forum helped me in the beginning and it's my way of giving back.
Are you active in any other forums?
Actually, no. With all the time I spend here, I *really* wouldn't have free time if there were more. There are a couple I do frequent, but I'm a lurker at those.
As well as working evenings here in chat and support, you also have a day job - is it computer/IT related?
Indeed it is. I'm the Director of Information Technology for a business here in Lubbock.
We're 90% Apple in this company; only myself, the COO, the CEO, and the Director of Finance use Windows PCs. The CEO, COO, and I all have PowerBooks as well. We have eMacs and Mac Minis for the rest of the staff. I was the one who got to charge the new eMacs on my corporate AMEX; let me tell you, that was fun. It was the second largest IT purchase this company has done since inception in 1996.
Among my job duties: admin 3Com NBX 100 IP phone system; Cisco routers, firewalls, and switches; 3Com switches; HP switches; corporate database developer (along with the COO); web developer; end-user support; etc. We will soon be delving into serving data on our web site from our internal corporate database, so that's going to be an extremely fun and rewarding project.
In two years you went from client, to forum moderator to employee - now that you get a daily peek behind the curtain, so to speak, has your opinion of PowWeb changed? Would you agree that the glamour and excitement is almost too much to bear at times?
Yes and no. My opinion has definitely changed about being a support rep - it's not as easy as some may think. I have a higher respect for that type of job as a direct result of this job. My opinion has not changed about PowWeb itself. I always knew they ran an efficient ship, but know I see it from the other side. Sure, there's room for improvement in some areas. Any company that feels that there's nowhere to improve is fooling themselves and they'll be left high-and-dry before they know it. What's different here is that management not only knows it, it's that they are actively pursuing ways to improve. There are great things in store for this company, and I'm honored to be a part of it.
What do you see yourself doing ten years from now?
Reaching 20,000 post count? Seriously though...in ten years I will be living a happy life with my wife, hopefully healthy kids, and dogs. Everything else is trivial in the grand scheme of things. So in ten years the only change from the present day is the addition of kids.
As well as being a penultimate geek and a refined Southern gentleman, will you finally admit now, for the record, that you are also a musician? Do you still play?
I fully admit it - I'm a musician. I took guitar lessons back when I was ten, but I broke my guitar and my parents refused to buy me another one. So needless to say I didn't get too far with that. Then in seventh grade I was exposed to the band world and it changed my life completely. Yes, I was/am a band geek. And I'm damn proud of it. All the way through college I was a member of the marching band and concert bands. I met my wife in my college marching band. All of my groomsmen and ushers in my wedding (besides my brother-in-law and cousin) I met in band.
If money was no object and you could travel anywhere in the world for the next month, where would you wind up spending the most time?
If I weren't afraid of heights, I'd go to Germany. Both of my parents' families have roots in Germany. My wife has been and wants to go back some day. But since I am afraid of heights, it's a toss-up between California and Las Vegas. I want to go to California to visit the Apple campus and, of course, PowWeb. My wife and I went to Vegas on our honeymoon and I went for my 21st birthday with my father. Since you added the 'money was no object', my wife and I would have a great time.
There is a rumor going around that you employ a full time staff in New Delhi to monitor this forum and respond to posts using your name. While I'm not usually one to put much stock into gossip and innuendo, it is my duty to ask - is it true?
I can neither confirm nor deny these allegations brought forth against me. Of course it's not true.
In the 10 or 15 minutes a week that you actually stop working, what do you do to unwind?
I enjoy playing tennis, racquetball, basketball, and volleyball. Plus, like most guys my age, I have a PlayStation 2 that relieves a lot of stress. Besides that, I spend time with my wife and our four year old cocker spaniel. And web design, of course.
We know what a t-bone is, but we're not clear on the "kkt" suffix tagged to your username here. Care to enlighten us?
You may know what a t-bone is, but it's probably not the same as the meaning from my username. "tbone" is short for trombone, one of the instruments I played in high school. "kkt" is some sort of nickname from high school as well, but I don't remember what it means. I guess I'm getting old.
If you could only eat one kind of food every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Starburst Jelly Beans.
Any closing comments, advice or ominous warnings for the world-at-large?
Comments - Thanks to PowWeb for providing an incredible product. Thanks to PowWeb also for allowing me to become a moderator and now staff. This forum is an incredible meshpot of knowledge and assistance. Thanks to everyone who has helped make it what it is.
Advice - As profound as it sounds, don't do anything without putting 110% into it. You can only get out of something what you're willing to put in.
Warnings - look out for 10,000. Ha!