In this age of computer technology, no one is more valued and welcomed than good IT. IT stands for “Information Technolog,” but we all know someone who fixes downed computers.
They are heroes in demand and can certainly achieve lucrative careers by bringing entire offices or just individuals back online.
One of the busiest ITs in this space is Kelly Horne. A young computer repairman based in Person County divides his time between his day job and numerous home visits to fix “down” computers.
“I was born and raised in Roxboro, Person County. I attended Person High and graduated in 2015. That’s where I discovered computers and my love for computers began.
There was a teacher, Doug Roberson, who taught a technology class in high school. He made learning technology so much fun that I wanted to get into this field.
“I ended up going to Piedmont Community College and taking an associate course in applied sciences with a specialization in IT,” Horn said over the phone last week.
“I graduated from PCC in May 2018 and eventually got a full-time job with the Parson County government. It allowed us to build on the knowledge we already had. I pretty much chose the path I took to learn technology,” adds Horne.
Although self-taught, he drew valuable knowledge from his Person County colleagues and broadened his understanding of computers. If it weren’t for his fellow county officials, Horn wonders where he would be and what he’d be doing.
The Parson County government has contracted with the City of Roxboro to provide the city’s IT services, and Horn spends his time working with both.
“Every day is a new adventure. When I wake up in the morning and get to work, I have a specific list of things to do. But it only takes up 5% of my day. We try to come up with solutions to problems that arise, or help other technicians with ongoing work,” he explains.
In the IT world, there’s something called a “Group Policy Object” that tells a computer what it can and can’t do. It also controls what can and cannot be accessed. This is just a very basic definition. Group Policy is much more than an IT department can understand.
“Earlier today, we had two machines that decided to run a program that should have been disabled. It took several hours to prevent the program from running again. Usually machines in Group Policy have , if it is actively interacting with the network or BRAIN, it will not communicate with BRAIN as it is supposed to, and can cause many problems down the road if the machine is unable to retrieve Group Policy correctly.”
Once the machine is shut down, there is no way to turn it back on unless someone presses the power button on the top of the device. If there is another way, Horn is unaware of it.
But if the machine is asleep, but it’s already on, there is a potential program that wakes the machine up and runs that program or code or whatever it needs to do. There is a possibility. While your machine is asleep, it can be woken up by a malicious person looking to steal your information. Remotely, there are many changes, both good and bad, to the settings that can be made to a machine put to sleep.
“In research, I don’t say I know everything. Especially in my department, there are a lot of people who are smarter than me and who have been doing this job much longer than I have.
But one of the things I was told early on was: Just because you don’t know the answer to something doesn’t mean it hasn’t been found and posted by someone else. ”
When Horn first started working, he was very worried. If someone calls and the computer isn’t working right, one of the things he’s worried about is that if he goes to the machine and starts working on it, it’s going to break even more. That’s what it means.
“The director at the time pulled me over to his side and said, ‘Look, I understand you’re nervous. But one thing you should know about the world of IT is that there is nothing that cannot be fixed when it comes to hardware, software and programs.”
He went on to say: Of course, you’re running out of machines, but you can replace parts and hardware. increase. But it can be fixed. ”
If any part of the software gets corrupted, depending on whether you have a good backup of the software, you can restore to an earlier point, or possibly just uninstall and reinstall from scratch.
“When it comes to computer parts, there is always a shortage of technical parts. I was severely short on graphics cards because I was trying to, and the easiest way to buy crypto was to get a big graphics card that draws a lot of power and can handle a lot of different things. ”
So there was a shortage, and what was available cost more than ten times the original price of a standard graphics card. People were buying them up and trying to make exorbitant profits.
“I don’t want to say it’s settled because it’s still happening and will always happen no matter what the technology is. It always is, there is always supply and demand. Someone goes out and buys as much stuff as they can and sells it for a huge profit just because there aren’t many things out there.Because people are desperate to get equipment , there is always the ‘too expensive’ side of the IT world,” says Horne.
As for recommendations about which computers to buy for reliability and value, Horne says clients come to him and say, “I have a son or daughter and I want a laptop to take to school. I want to buy a
The first thing Horne always asks is what programs, or exactly what, do you use with this laptop? Will they be using Microsoft Office or will they be installing programs provided by the school? There are many variables in choosing a laptop, but if it’s a basic laptop for Microsoft Office like Word documents, Excel, or Power Point, HP or Lenovo are recommended.
“Lenovo has a very good product. It’s smooth and easy to use. A lot of people say, ‘What’s the difference between a Mac and a Windows laptop? I think it’s the hardware.'” there are a lot of Mac and Window computers may use the same hardware, but working with a Mac is more difficult. If you can bring me a standard laptop, I can take it apart, clean all the parts, put everything back together, and make it better than it was originally. ”
But if people bring him a Mac and say “the hard drive is full” or “one of the fans inside is broken”, there’s no good way to get inside that laptop and fix it. he knows. Apple products are difficult for Horn to tackle. He doesn’t claim that they are difficult for everyone, but they are especially difficult for him.
About hacking: “Usually when people fall victim to cyber activity, I call it ‘hacking’, but that’s a broader term. Cybercriminal activity involves more than people realize. These activities include people stealing your information on the web. Hacking is when someone breaks into your device like I would if I hacked your computer to steal your information. But for example, I’m not very good at it, but I’m good at building websites. You can create malicious websites like Walmart. Then visit the fake website, choose an item or two, and enter your credit card information. Then I, the criminal, get all that information. I was then able to turn around and go shopping using the information you provided me. ”
In general, the best way to prevent hacking is to stay aware of what individuals do on the Internet. Cybercriminals and hackers are getting smarter and more sophisticated and there is no good way to prevent this. According to Horne, the effectiveness of cybercriminals has increased exponentially over the past two years.
Young IT pros are encouraged to constantly monitor what is being clicked, make sure websites are filled with information, and get a good security program, install it, and keep it up to date. doing.
“There are things a person can do. When that person sits down and thinks of all the ways they need to protect themselves on the internet, it’s better to just take the computer out of the house and never use it again. It can be very overwhelming, but that’s why I’m here,” Horne finally laughs.
Kelly Horn and his wife Tanya live in Roxboro with their 1-year-old daughter Lily. He can be reached at his computer service, Horns, which covers Parson and Caswell counties.