Andy Trask has always had a love affair with computers, and now he’s helping people in Mansfield fix them with . He said it began in high school when the math department got their first computer lab; two whole computers.
“I first got on a computer in my freshman year in high school 1976,” he said. “It was unheard of back then two computers. It was part of my algebra class the last two weeks and they took us down to the computer lab. To make a long story short, I never came out.”
Since then, Trask has been working steadily away in the computer industry. He says, despite recent trends towards Macs, he has and always be a PC man.
After two years of college for computers, working mainly in the mainframes field, he left to work for Leading Edge Hardware out of Canton.
“In college, I could see what was going on [in PC versus mainframes] and it wasn’t what I was learning. The bottom line was the schools were in a tough time at that point. They had made major investments in old computer systems.”
Trask worked for Alloy Computers for most of the 1980s after Leading Edge, and then worked in tech support for Microcom in the 1990s.
“They were a big behind the scenes player at the dial up Web,” he said. “Sprint was their biggest customer … There’s a good chance that when you were dialing up you were talking to a Microcom modem on the other end.”
After that, and some work for a Y2K compliance company, Trask and another business partner of his started a technical support company in 2001 that went to people’s houses and actually saw the computers they were helping to fix. The idea was a far cry from today’s Best Buys and Mac Geniuses.
“The idea came from the fact that I’d get a call from my father in law every few weeks about his computer,” he said. “He was constantly destroying it. So I’d walk him through reinstalling windows or whatever. During one of these conversations I had a revelation.”
The company, , still runs out of Burlington. Trask said he still has a part-owner stake in the company, though since March 2012 he has not worked there. Trask is now a one-man operation working in Mansfield. His business, Stickynote, works out of his house and deals mainly with Mansfield.
“I’m thinking of shrinking my territory to direct contact towns,” he said. “It’s funny because I kind of went into it thinking I would create this regional company, like Geek House calls. What I found as I’ve gotten more involved is there are plenty of customers here in Mansfield.”
Trask said most of his customers find out about him through his physical advertising. He said he uses actual sticky notes with his company information on them and puts them everywhere in town.