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Interview Mike Meyers - Total Seminars

Discussion in 'Articles, Reviews and Interviews' started by SimonV, Nov 22, 2006.

  1. SimonV

    SimonV Petabyte Poster Administrator

    CertForums Interviews Mike Meyers
    Mike Meyers (Technical Writer)

    This interview was previously posted around two years ago and was pulled from a database crash earlier this year.

    CertForums.co.uk had an amazing opportunity to interview Mike Meyers the president and co-founder of Total Seminars, LLC. Mike has written numerous computer certification books, including the best-selling All-in-One A+ Certification Exam Guide and Mike is the series editor and namesake of the Mike Meyers’ Certification Passport series of certification books published by McGraw-Hill/Osborne.

    Here is a copy of the interview, enjoy :D

    First of all CertForums.co.uk would like to thank you for agreeing to let us bombard you with questions. We realise you are a very busy person, and to take a little time out to answer some questions for the forum community is truly a noble undertaking.

    Can you tell us a little bit about yourself your family and home life?

    I live in Houston Texas with Alison, my gorgeous and sexy wife of twenty years (twenty years married, not twenty years old) and my beautiful, talented daughter Emily who is 15 going on 30. We live in a big old house in the bohemian, urban centre of town and I'm probably the only person in six city blocks who owns a cowboy hat or listens to country and western music. I recently traded in my Ford F250 4x4 pickup truck for a silver and black mini-cooper S. I'm short, fat, bald, pale and happier than anyone ever has a right to be. I've attached a picture of myself to this email so you can put a face to my words.

    When did you first become interested in Computers?

    Ooof - do I have to answer that? Well, I will say that I was recently at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in Washington D. C. to see the "Information Age: People, Information & Society" exhibit. They had all kinds of cool old computers, from the original ENIAC up to the first Macintosh. I noticed an IBM 360 computer with a mannequin sitting at the keyboard. The mannequin was wearing a leisure suit, exactly like the one I used to wear when I sat in front of the old IBM 360 at my university.

    What is a typical day for you?

    Work day: Get up a 5AM. Work out for 1 1/2 hours. At my desk by 8:30AM. All non-productive work (email, phone calls) done by 9AM. Write ceaselessly until 7-8PM. Go home. Sleep. Rinse and Repeat.

    What's the hardest part of your job?

    Writing. Writing is incredibly hard. It sucks. I always swear my current book project will be my last.

    What's the most rewarding part of your job?

    Writing. Writing is incredibly rewarding. The moment I finish one book I immediately start another.

    What advice do you have for people just starting out on the road to gaining certification?

    Certification is a path, not a goal. Never stop going for new certifications. As techs we have to stay on top of technology and certs are our primary method to show what we know to others. Techs who stop getting certified are losing skills, losing interest or even worse, going into management!

    What would you say has been the most significant technological advance in the time since you first wrote the A+ study guide, and possibly more importantly, what do you predict as being the most significant area in which you see computer technology progressing in the near future?

    Easy. Plug and Play. Jesus, it was awful back in the old days! Manually setting I/O addresses and IRQs was a mindless waste of mental energy. PnP enabled us to concentrate on far more important technical problems.

    Technology that's progressing? Hmm.
    Serialized I/O. We've already got USB, Firewire and SATA. When PCI Express hits the street late this year were going to see a big, big jump in overall system processing performance. Now if we could just get rid of mechanical mass storage. I want a 150GB flash drive!

    Oh! Don't forget Bluetooth! I think Bluetooth is less than two years away from exploding as the hot technology. Bluetooth is already all over the place - it's just waiting for that killer app. Heck, I already use it to sync my phone, iPAQ and PC. In two years you'll walk up to a soda machine, press a few buttons on you PDA, and get your Diet Coke. It's going to happen soon.

    If you were in the IT field today, starting out, what field would you move into? What field excites you the most and why?

    Linux Linux Linux. In particular, 1st level Linux support. The world is dying for Linux gurus. Linux is starting to appear on "regular people's" desktops and it won't be long before we'll be sitting together in a pub, hefting a pint and laughing about the days when you used to PAY for an operating system. Our kids are going to tease us mercilessly about Windows.

    What are your views on artificial intelligence? It's not far off when the day will come when a machine will be able to totally emulate a human in thought, reasoning and logical deductions.

    What an interesting question! Has someone been reading The Age of Spiritual Machines? (If any of you haven't, read it!) I think a machine that will pass the Turning test is still a long way off. However, I think we'll see some great leaps in making computers look and act like we do in limited, very defined capacities. I wouldn't want to be a cabbie, bank teller, tollbooth operator or a movie star in about ten years.

    How soon will it be before computing turns a corner and becomescybernetics, similar to the sci-fi stuff we see in films?

    Cybernetics is (are?) here now. Computing turns a new corner every day. We're just too blasé to sit back and groove on it. Remember waaay back in the early 90's when you needed a map to know where you were? Remember in 1995 when you had to go to the library to research anything? Remember back in 1999 when the bad guys in your computer games didnt duck behind trees when you shot at them? Dude, our lives are a huge SCI-FI novel every day.

    I'd be happy if they'd just get my Roomba http://www.roomba-vacuum-online.com to stop trying to vacuum my trousers.

    What is your viewpoint on the Trusted Computing idea of hardware based security controlled by someone else?

    I think Trusted Computing is a fantastic idea: for Microsoft. I am a gun-toting libertarian and may be the last person on earth to believe in self-reliance and rugged individualism. Just the thought of trusted computing gets me angry. OK, think logically on this: show me one example of any hardware-based security that has had any success in the electronics world. Ever. Answer? None.

    Besides, free software is going to make the whole idea moot soon. If I were Bill Gates, I'd start overpricing my software in a last-ditch cash flow orgy before the party ended! Oh wait! He IS doing that. Never mind.

    What role can you see if any Linux playing in commercial computing in the future?

    It's here. It's now. Get on board or get left behind. I can buy an average desktop PC here in the U.S. for roughly $500. Should I then be expected to pay $149 for the operating system and another $200 for a productivity suite when high-quality, free alternatives are already out there? Linux is Microsoft's death knell and I'm having a great time watching Bill Gates try to figure out what to do about it. Trusted Computing. Ha!

    Do you think there will ever be a day where we get on top of the constant security threats from viruses, spyware, etc?

    What spyware? What viruses? Oh, you must use Windows.

    Seriously? Not anytime soon. Of course, if Microsoft released their source code so smart third parties located these problems before the bad guys did....

    Is anyone reading this unclear where I stand on Linux? ;)

    What do you do for fun when not around computers?

    I'm around computers quite a bit and really enjoy playing with them. I really don't consider the research that I do with computers and networks as "work". This Saturday my friends and I will be playing with some new 802.11 booster antennas to see how well they improve signal quality. THAT is fun (although my wife my not agree).

    When I do step away from the keyboard, I party pretty hard. I play African drum gigs, mostly for belly dancers. I also play my bodhran. I like to hunt ducks and geese in the fall and fish in the summer. I go to Burningman www.burningman.com in Nevada every year and get groovy. I scuba dive (just got back from Belize), I take trips to Las Vegas and pretend I'm Frank Sinatra.

    At home I play FPS games. I played Half-Life and its many mods for years but my current favourite is Unreal Tournament 2004. I'm really looking forward to Everquest 2 when it comes out. I enjoy a good pint: Fuller's ESB, Spaten Optimater and of course Guinness.

    I guess my favourite extracurricular is my participation in the SCA (www.sca.org). I dress in medieval armour, build siege weapons, and shoot people with my crossbow. At the end of the day, we sing, drink and drum all night and do it again the next day. Here are some pics of my friends and me playing.

    What does the future hold for Mike Meyers?

    My new book, Zen and the Art of PC Troubleshooting, will be out by December. Basically a primer on how to take control over where you work, make more money and become a hero to your co-workers. Brace for impact.

    I'm hoping to be in London late this summer. Where should we meet? I'll be the one in the cowboy hat holding the pint!'
    Certifications: MOS Master 2003, CompTIA A+, MCSA:M, MCSE
    WIP: Keeping CF Alive...
  2. csx

    csx Megabyte Poster

    Thats a good read, thanks!

    Any one have any ideas where to find this book? i can't seem to find it on Amazon and since this was posted 2 years ago surely it should be out? Would make a good read i feel. :)
    Certifications: A+, Network+, 70-271 & 70-272, CCENT, VCP5-DCV and CCNA
    WIP: Citrix
  3. Weemez

    Weemez Kilobyte Poster

    I cant find it anywhere! :eek:
    Certifications: HNC Computing A+ N+ ICND1
    WIP: ICND2
  4. Bluerinse
    Honorary Member

    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

    That's a real gem - thanks for resurrecting it Si 8)
    Certifications: C&G Electronics - MCSA (W2K) MCSE (W2K)

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