Who I Am

Andy in Blue - uncharacteristically wearing a suit...My name is Andy Anderson, and I’ve been a computer professional for over 29 years. My formal education includes a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science, and several additional courses in system administration and computer security.

On a less formal note, I literally lived through the personal computer revolution – from the Radio Shack TRS-80 and the Commodore VIC-20 and Commodore-64, through the Apple IIe, the original IBM PC, then the XT and AT, and on to the generic Windows-based computers of today. I’ve built computers from bare components and upgraded computers with new hard drives, more memory, video adapters, network cards, etc. I’ve installed, configured, and used every major version of Windows since Windows/386, as well as some other, less well-known operating systems such as Linux and FreeBSD. I’m even experienced with Intel-based Macs with OS-X!

More importantly, I’ve helped many clients solve their current problems and avoid, to the extent possible, future problems. Most people just want to use their computers to do a specific task and then go about the rest of their daily life. Computers should make life simpler and easier, not more complex. And computers should wait for people, not the other way around!

What I will do

  • design cost-effective solutions that can grow with your needs while avoiding foreseeable problems
  • make an honest effort to correct problems without resorting to a full system wipe-and-restore
  • eradicate known viruses, worms, and trojans using state-of-the-art techniques and software
  • check hard drived for known spyware and remove any that is found
  • update your operating system to the latest available patch level
  • test main memory (RAM) with leading, industry-recognized procedures
  • correct common configuration problems
  • perform standard maintenance on your hard drive
  • if a complete system restore is necessary, I will try to save your data files before proceeding

What I will not do

  • I will not install pirated software of any kind
  • I will not keep copies of any of your files without your knowledge and consent
  • I will not view the contents of any files except as may be necessary to diagnose and correct system problems
  • I will not use or divulge to anyone any sensitive information that I discover in the course of my work
  • I will not add any software or files to your computer without your knowledge and consent

Why “Small Forest Computing Services?”

Some people have asked, “why the name Small Forest Computing Services?” Well, the Computing Services part is pretty straightforward – I provide many computer- and computing-related services to clients, both individuals and small businesses. I suspect, however, that what people really want to know is why “Small Forest?”

The explanation is a bit arcane, and goes like this: I work primarily with computers and networks running Microsoft operating systems (Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows Server 2011 SBS Essentials). Microsoft’s solution to provide centrally managed authentication of users to access network resources is called Active Directory. Each Active Directory must contain at least one root domain and may contain many sub-domains to form a tree structure (even a domain with only the root is still called a “tree”). A collection of related but autonomous Active Directory domain trees is called a “forest.” Because I work with small churches and businesses I’m almost always working with forests that contain only one domain tree, which would, of course, be a small forest.

However, if you find that explanation to be less than totally satisfying, please select your favorite from the following alternates:

  • The Yellow Wood explanation. I’ve long been a fan of the Robert Frost poem “The Road Not Taken.” In case you’re not familiar with the poem, it begins “Two roads diverged in a yellow wood…” The speaker goes on to explain that he chose the one less traveled, a metaphor for making somewhat unconventional decisions in the forest of life. The forest of my life is filled with “roads not taken,” but as it is also filled with a merciful God, loving wife, close-knit family, and wonderful friends, it is happy and satisfying. But because my needs are simple, and because I tend to prefer quality to quantity in friendships, it is a somewhat small forest…
  • The Pooh explanation. I really like Winnie the Pooh, along with his friends Christopher Robin, Owl, Eeyore, Tigger, Piglet, and others. And everyone knows that they live near the Hundred Acre Wood, which would certainly qualify as a small forest…
  • The Bonsai explanation. I really like the art of Bonsai – the art of raising and maintaining miniature versions of trees. If you were really good at it, and had a lot of them, you’d have (you guessed it) a small forest…