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Mason County News
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Being the Nerd On Call
Wednesday, May 11, 2011 • Posted May 11, 2011

At the News office, as with most businesses around Mason, job descriptions are somewhat fluid. Though my title is Editor, I also pick up the mail, do deposits, pay bills, update subscriptions, run the labels, do billing,,,, well, you get the idea.All of us in small towns are accustomed to doing many jobs in our daily lives. Even if you have a job that is limited in its range of duties, you usually have a second "job" when you finish the first, tending to cattle, fixing fences, working on vehicles, etc. As has been said, each of us have our talents, and we use them as they are called upon for service.I'm the nerd! I have more electronic devices than anyone should possess. I not only have them, I know how to use them, how to modify them, and how to make them all work together. These are holdover skills from my previous life as a technology person, and I've found them useful in my current endeavors.Around our office, I keep all of the computers running and tuned up, as it were. Our programs that we use to turn out the newspaper have rather specific technical requirements, so the computers and the network have to accommodate those needs. I spend a great deal of time making sure that everything remains in working order, and that we're able to do our jobs as efficiently as we can.And then there are my other technical calls. Our sister newspapers call whenever they have any computer-related problems. That's not usually an issue; but, they frequently don't notice those problems until they're trying to put out the newspaper, which happens on the same day I'm doing the same thing. We're usually able to find a way to keep them limping along until they get their papers completed, then I travel to those offices to get them going at full speed once I have time.Of course, those offices are in San Saba, Llano, Horseshoe Bay, Johnson City and Blanco. The Blanco newspaper has their own technology person on staff now, so I've been able to cross them off my itinerary, for the most part. The others, however, still seem to have problems with remembering to renew their virus software on time, avoiding downloading any strange new programs, and moving computers around and wondering why they no longer work!And, of course I help out my family and friends. Everything from cell phones to laptops to televisions to computers,,,, I'm the "go to guy" to get everything hooked up and running. I actually enjoy these calls a lot more than the ones related to work, as I don't have to travel as far, I'm in a more relaxed setting, and I may even have a drink while I'm working!In the past couple of months, I've fixed problems with XM Radio, hooked up a couple of internet connected televisions, moved cell phone information over to a new device, set up a couple of iPads and a Blackberry Playbook, and worked on more PCs than I can actually remember.We all have our talents. I'm a lousy plumber, a horrible electrician, and only a so-so cowboy. But, I have friends that do all of those things well. Life has been kind and put us all together so that, blending our talents, we find ways to help one another and accomplish the tasks presented to us.I had someone tell me once that they wished they could do the things I do with computers and electronics. I reminded them that they can do so many things that I cannot do, and wished I could, and those things balance out in the greater scheme of things.But, if you need a nerd.... I'm always ready!It’s all just my opinion.

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