The staff at Gillware are what set our lab apart and allow us to solve the most complex data recovery cases at the best prices. They also make us more fun. Here’s what our summer intern Nicole Long found out about Andy Grosvold for our ninth employee profile . . .
Andy Grosvold was a cartographer who now helps Gillware customers navigate their way to a successful data recovery. It seems like it was in the cards for him to come to Gillware – he got to know Gillware Vice President Tyler Gill by playing poker. Now Andy’s topography covers quality assurance, managing customer service and project management. He uses some of his mapmaking experience to help us with graphic design and layouts, but so far he hasn’t found a good way to take advantage of his pilot’s license.
Gillware Blog: You must have impressed Tyler with your poker playing.
Andy: I’d like to think so, though playing against someone who’s played in the World Series of Poker tends bring the best out of me.
Gillware Blog: Before you joined Gillware, you brought a dead hard drive to a poker game with Tyler, and your data was successfully recovered. Was that part of the pot?
No, but the recovery worked out really well. It was nice to be out of the dog house with my wife once we had the baby pictures back in hand!
Gillware Blog: You’re from Eau Claire, home of the Cray Supercomputer inventor, the Dear Abby columnist, and Hammerin’ Hank Aaron, among many others. Tell me something about growing up in Eau Claire.
Andy: Some of the best Texas BBQ can be found at a restaurant I worked my way through college at (Mike’s Smokehouse).
Eau Claire is also a test market for new products. We were some of the first to “experience” Crystal Pepsi (clear cola) and Surge.
Gillware Blog: Do you play Kubb?
Andy: Never heard of it, so no. I consulted Google and found it’s similar in some ways to ladder ball and some bean-bag toss types of games we like to play when we’re spending time up north. I’ll have to give it a try.
Gillware Blog: Wikipedia makes Kubb seem like a big deal in Eau Claire. It’s where they host the championship. But you do geocache. What are some tips for hiding a good cache?
Andy: Geocaching is kind of like a high tech scavenger hunt. We use a GPS to find containers with small toys and trinkets that others have hidden outside. I like to place my geocaches in locations that are not located in what appears to be the most obvious spot.
Gillware Blog: You have a pilot’s license. How did that come about?
Andy: I’ve always had a fascination for flight. My parents however, were scared to death at the thought of it. My first flight was in a small helicopter at an airshow, second was in a Hot-Air balloon when I graduated high-school, and third was on my favorite airliner a 757 from Orlando to Milwaukee in 1997. It wasn’t until a year later traveling overseas to Egypt that the aviation bug hit me full-on when en-route I was invited to the cockpit of a British Airways 777 (you could still do that pre 9/11). The Captain was from Fond du Lac and we chatted for about 15 minutes. I decided then and there that I wanted to be a pilot!
Gillware Blog: When you’re in the air, which helps you more: your experience with GPS units from Geocaching, or you familiarity with the landscape from cartography?
Andy: Definitely the landscape. Pilots use what we call “pilotage” or “dead reckoning” for navigation, which is basically using visual landmarks along with aviation sectional charts and a magnetic compass. I love using both methods. It’s more the way older pilots navigated before the advent of modern navigation systems including GPS plus you don’t need batteries. Water towers are a dead giveaway whenever you aren’t sure of your exact location, though you’ll need a good set of binoculars to avoid flying below the minimum floor of 500 feet over populated areas. GPS units are great backup though and can help you out when you’re in a pinch.
Gillware Blog: What do you think makes a good pilot?
Andy: Someone who has the ability to multitask and stay ahead of any given situation. It also helps to be able to handle less than ideal situations in a calm manner because you never know what the airplane, other pilots, or the weather will throw your way. You really can’t just “pull over” like you do on the highway.
Gillware Blog: When your hard drive crashed, do you think it was pilot error?
Andy: Most definitely! At the time, I didn’t back anything up! When our 8-year-old computer finally took a power nap we called a local computer shop and they helped us troubleshoot over the phone. It didn’t sound promising, so I called Tyler. Gillware recovered all the photos we had of our first years of marriage and that of our first born. Crisis averted! Now I use Gillware Online Backup.