When the ACMS Help Desk hears that a computer is not working in a lab, who do they call? None other than Erick Cassani, Principle Electronic Technician. As a member of the Hardware Technical Services team, it is Erick’s job to handle hardware-related issues for computers in ACMS-managed labs across UC San Diego.
With over 1,900 computers in 110 computer labs throughout campus, Erick has plenty to keep him busy. “Let’s say your computer needs a part or it’s having issues that [are] not software related,” Erick said when describing his job duties, “They call us and we’ll check it.” Erick often interacts with students and faculty when he is out in the field fixing computers, helping them on the spot. “Most [issues] are simple stuff like connectivity issues, but there’s about 30% you find that you’ve got to tell the professor or the students, ‘I’ve got to take this machine out and bring it to the shop so I can work on it, order a part or two.’” Erick always finds it highly satisfying to complete repairs and get computers back into tip top condition.
Erick and Hardware Technical Services use the summer, when there are less students on campus, to do complete upgrades to some of the labs on campus. The process is so intensive that it takes three days of nonstop work by Erick and the team to complete a full computer lab upgrade. Over the course a summer the Hardware Technical Services team will upgrade three or four labs.
Erick also helps solve hardware issues in the ACMS computer room, which houses servers for ACMS, the GoVirtual computing lab, and supports other departments on campus. This summer Erick will be helping to migrate all the servers in the computer room from one physical network to another, as part of an upgrade of the network switches.
A 16 year veteran of UC San Diego, Erick worked at The Library before joining ACMS. When describing why he was drawn to working at UC San Diego, Erick said, “It’s a beautiful campus and I like the people that work here, the community. It feels like almost family.” Two of Erick’s favorite movies of all time are A Christmas Story, which Erick watches at least twice every year, and the classic World War II flick Kelly’s Heroes. What might surprise people if they pop in on Erick while he is in the middle of repairing a computer is the classical music—most often the compositions of Chopin—that he plays while he works.
The next time you encounter a hardware issue with a computer in one of the ACMS labs, just drop firstname.lastname@example.org a note and Erick and the Hardware Technical Services team will get everything cleared up as soon as possible. Keep up all the excellent work Erick!
ACMS Aces is a series of articles that highlights the dedicated employees of Academic Computing & Media Services at UC San Diego. Keep checking back to find out more about the people behind the magic at ACMS!