I figured I would get this started by posting a résumé of sorts. My name is (obviously) Clay Levering and I am here as both a tech enthusiast and what I imagine as some type of “ultimate geek.” But sometimes it takes a lot to really understand what that means about people – I mean everyone has that one person they know that does tech stuff – but I’m the person THOSE people come ask questions: Seriously. So this is my résumé so to speak. You can do with it what you’d like, but all you really need to know is that I’m going to be able to answer your question, just as simple as that.
I started using a computer when I was four. FOUR. My dad picked up a Commodore 64 and showed me around a bit. He started that whole phase for me.
When I was about 9, pops got some kind of huge bonus and went ape on a tiger direct ad – 486dx 25mhz with Turbo to 33mhz + laser printer (that STILL works, thankyouverymuch). I think this thing had a whopping 256mb of hard drive space and 4mb ram (which we upgraded to the tune of 300$+ a year later to 8mb). I remember this as my first true experiment computer. This involved learning about drivers (format C: means you get to figure out mouse drivers, back in the day!), learning the difference between memory and hard drive capacity, learning about relative speeds (when the old-school Intel / AMD wars began), that freezing your hard drive will not make your computer any faster (I’m SERIOUS!), the concept of just how slow a 2400 baud modem was, and of course that GOD was AOL 3.0 the best or what, people?
The third computer was a Compaq (WOAH!) 180mhz Intel Celeron that stemmed the beginning of all things in my life tech – this was the laptop I learned about so many things on, I learned about graphics cards, their differences, the differences in mobile chips and desktop chipsets. This was the “Stepping stone” computer to my first REAL computer.
The first REAL computer was a HP Pentium III 733 Coppermine with 1gb ram and 100gb hard drive. This thing was BITCHIN. This brought on the gaming days, where I played Counter-Strike beta 4 -> 7.2, TFC, Q3, Tribes, Tribes 2, Diablo, Diablo 2, Warcraft 1 / 2, etc. This was the machine where I got my feet wet, I reformatted, reinstalled, redrivered, built IRC clients, coded, this was IT for me. Finally, this computer passed away when I left to the service (US Navy).
In the Navy I had two negligible computers and a third/fourth that changed the way I do business. I finally built my first computer with a little help from a friend (ShuttleX with AMD 2600+). This machine served me well, but when I got shipped to Japan, it couldn’t come – so it served my best friend Derek much better for the next few years. We casually called her the “beast” because I really did make her awesome, and missed her when I left. The second computer was a purchase “just because”. It was a Sony VAIO laptop that had what I affectionally called the “Oh-Shit Button” which was basically the whole bottom left corner of the device. I think there was a short in the electrical system after it got dropped (the Navy is not kind to electronics, FYI) that, if pressure above a certain level was applied would trigger and insta-bluescreen. Additionally, this was the first time I ran across true video card issues (no active cell shading available on the mobile graphics card meant no City of Heroes).
The other two computers purchased were my first Mac’s. One a hand-me-down G4 Laptop and one a dual 2.0 ghz G5 PowerMac. These introduced me to what I’d be doing in tech from that point forward: Mastering the user experience, in all aspects that I could.
I got out of the service and went to work for Fry’s – building PCs regularly and getting intimately familiar with the systems that I worked with from the software to the hardware.
Finally, I got a job at Sonos. Here I learned about the networking world and more importantly got to take part in a large majority of highly technical installations from the ground up. This required a full “Systems” understanding of computing and networking to get a grasp on what was happening. Deep-diving system specifics and truly working to find complex answers. Within a year and a half I was promoted to Tier 2 support for the “Really Big Questions” and I regularly liase with movie stars and tech celebrities about their networks and computers.
At the same time, I realized the versatility of Social Media, and while running @ClayLevering as a personal twitter found most of my conversations dealing with tech stuff (and WoW, let’s be honest). I developed the Customer Support side of Social Media through Sonos with @SonosSupport and it’s been a great program for our company.
So there you have it, my tech résumé. If you have questions, you should ask – I promise, there will be no disappointment in your answer.