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A Bizymoms' Exclusive Interview with Harry Husted

1. How did your career as a writer begin?

I actually started writing at age 5. It was a very short poem I wrote for my mother. She could see I had the gift of writing even at that age. Through the years I continued to write poems, songs, articles, and short stories. It wasn't until January of 2005 that I officially
began my career as a full time writer, when I retired from working in the IT field for some 14 years.

2. How did you gain expertise on computer repair?

I started out as an electronic technician. I operated an electronic repair shop for many years. When microprocessors came out in the mid-eighties, I had to sink or swim, considering most of my customers were buying these new appliances. What made it worse was the fact that the manufacturers were creating warranties for the appliances
they sold. So when the appliance broke down, the customer would get it fixed for free.
I had no choice. I went to school to learn computer repair and that got me started in the IT field. It didn't take me long to start repairing computers. As I worked on computers,
I read every book, magazine, and course on computers, including repair and programming, just so I would learn how a computer worked. This knowledge helped me out extensively. I applied what I knew and soon after, I got my certification in computer repair.

3. What are the main mistakes people make that are harmful to their computers?

Shutting off the computer incorrectly. The older computers, those built in the eighties and earlier, were made so you had to shut the computer off manually. People got use to it. When Windows was developed, the spectrum changed. Now, to shut down the computer, a new procedure had to be learned. People in general don't like change, so when change was made, people would get confused and inadvertently shut off their computers by the power switch. This caused the most damage to the computer, because it would cause the hard drive to crash sooner than expected. Another mistake is not having a computer virus protector on their system. This would create problems for them, considering when they got email or logged on the Internet, they would get a virus or two on their systems, and this would cause a lot of problems for them in both time and money.

4. How did you make the switch in your careers from electronic repair to computer repair? Was it easy? Did the knowledge of electronics helped you as a computer technician?

I answered this in a previous question, so basically to summarize, I saw the change in the way appliances were being manufactured. I started losing customers. So I went to trade school first to get a basic knowledge of computers. So I took a course in computer programming first. I was told that learning programming would teach me how the computer works and does its job. When I learned programming, this actually helped me to better understand the computer and how it functioned. This knowledge helped me in the future because by knowing how logic circuits worked, I could read instruments, and know what signals were present on chips. So when a computer wasn't working correctly, I could take an oscilloscope (an electronic device used to measure electronic signals and display these signals in wave patterns), and check the wave pattern coming out of the processor chip. If the signal was not present, I knew I had a bad processor. After I took computer programming, I followed that with college, where I continued my studies in computer subjects.

The transition wasn't hard. I already had the instruments. I just needed to switch from thinking electronically, to combining electronics to logic at the same time. Having worked as an electronic technician really helped because it gave me a basis for being able to work on anything electronic, even computers. Remember, even though computers think logically, they still use electricity to function.

5. Tell us a bit about your experience teaching computer repair online? Do you consider it successful? How do you give your students >the practical exposure that they usually receive in an ordinary classroom?

I first started teaching computer repair in classrooms. I saw how popular it was becoming, so I figured why limit myself to just local students. I therefore undertook the challenge of creating a way for students to learn without being in the classroom. I realized the Internet was the biggest thing since sliced bread, so I took advantage of it. I created a book that I published and sold it in bookstores and online. My book sales really started taking off after about a year. I then created a course around that book. You see the book was written in the format of a classroom text book. It had chapters with assignments and quizzes that followed each chapter. This way the student could read the chapter, take part in the exercises to enhance his/her learning, and do the quizzes. My computer repair course helped the student by not only working with the book, but also by providing additional material to help reinforce what the book was teaching them. The idea of a computer repair course coupled with a workbook really took off. Today, I have thousands of students who took my course through various colleges and universities around the world. I get a number of new students signing up each week. Again, the book was created as a classroom on its own. But with the advent of the Internet, the student can read over the material in the book, lookup references to the material and get the latest updates that come out. Between the exercises in the book, and online interaction with me, they really learn the art of computer repair.

6. What kind of advice can you give women in business when seeking a computer technician ?

When choosing a computer technician, make sure the person has certifications. Don't just ask if they have them, request to see them. Then contact the certifier to make sure the certifications are legitimate. Anyone can create a fake certification. Next, ask for references. If the CT is working for a company, call the company and ask questions about the person sent. You do have a right to know who is working on your computer. Check the reputation of the company that hired the CT and make sure the company is legit. Many businesses were taken in by unscrupulous computer repair companies, by being overcharged and having their equipment not working when it was returned, only to hire another company to repair the computer again, which meant more money paid out. Educate yourself and learn about your computer, at least the basics, so you will better understand what the technician is doing. Don't be afraid to call the BBB or Consumer protection hotline about a company if you suspect them in any way.

7. What do you think about software piracy?

It is illegal. Many people who have done it do get caught. It takes time, but a number of outfits have committed piracy in the past and paid for it. They are now in prison. Also, think about it this way. If you created something from your talents and hard work, you would want to get every dime in royalties that are due you, right?

8. What are the renown network security equipments for SME?

The company that works with SMEs mainly is Cisco, considering they have the best network equipment that works best for SMEs and their environment. Cisco focuses on applications that work quickly, provide security, and a stable network infrastructure. The type of equipment they provide include multifunction routers that handle wireless, telephony, and integrated messaging, while providing security while using these devices. They also design equipment that provides overall better end-user response time and reduces bandwidth usage. By reducing bandwidth, it helps speed up the network. One such product you may have heard about is the Cisco 2600 Integrated Services Router. This router adds embedded security processing to it, along with more memory, and better memory utilization.

Another company that has directed their products to SMEs is SafeNet. SafeNet realizes that SMEs have tight security considerations so they developed the SafeXcel-5150 security processor. This processor is the first security processor that was built for fast Ethernet bandwidth.

9. Can we rely on hardware network security equipment, when it comes to network security?

If you buy the equipment from a reliable company like Cisco. You get what you pay for. Check out the company and their reputation. That will give you an idea as to whether the products they sell are any good or not. Cisco has been around for years and continue to be profitable. They have a reputation that is second to none. They guarantee every piece of hardware and software they create. If there should be a problem, they have patches that can resolve it quickly. So if you buy your network security equipment from them, you are assured of reliability.

10 What is your overall idea about Unified Thread Management?

Honestly, if it works go with it. I understand that UTM is just a package of products that help curb antiviruses, spyware, and help stop intrusion into a computer. It replaces or upgrades the traditional firewall appliance security system. Having a software program to stop these events from occurring is vital for any company, large or small, and even individuals. As far as I am concerned, Norton Antivirus programs are great UTMs in that they are designed to stop viruses, spyware, adware, and hacker intrusion with better results. I have Norton on all my machines (I have three of them), and I never have received a virus, spyware, or been attacked by anyone since installing the software. And I have had the software on my computer for 5 years.

11. What are your future goals?

In what respect. My immedaite goal is to update my computer repair book, which I am doing now. Beyond that, if it relates to computers, I am in the planning stage to create a website where people can go to for help with their computer, get tips on computer repair, and anything computer related.

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