Meet a Microsoft MVP: Justin Vendette


Please meet Justin Vendette, a newly-awarded (October 2014) Windows-Expert Consumer MVP. Let’s get to know Justin a little better and find out why he was deserving of the Microsoft MVP award for his past year’s online activities.

 1. Justin, please tell us a little about yourself.

My life began in New Jersey (Go Jets!) where after a few years I made my way to the wonderful state of Wisconsin. Over the past eight years of being a residence here, I have really come to enjoy the quiet suburb and people that live here; although the winters can be harsh.

When it comes to education, it was a helpful kick starter in getting me into the technology field. Back in high school I took a website programming class where I learned the basics of HTML and CSS. I absolutely loved the class and it was somewhat of a gateway to learn about computers. Thanks to that class, I ended up working alongside a school teacher and friend to create a brand new high school website that they now use today. After I graduated from high school, I continued the path of computers into a University of Wisconsin college to achieve my Computer Science degree.

Back in June, one day after my birthday, I began working for a technology service company. Their role is unique as they offer full IT support to large businesses around the country. As I am still working there, I have come to enjoy the atmosphere and the people I work with. Likewise, there is a large amount of knowledge to be learned through my role of building computers, assisting a co-workers, troubleshooting Windows and software, and much more.

2. Since you are young, I am assuming you grew up with technology and the Internet as a part of your life. If so, tell us about some of your earliest devices.

My first computer was one of those blue 1998 Macintosh iMac computers that became quickly popular. I remember the see through back panel, matching color keyboard, and basic inputs it had for the early internet. I can still recall the basic gray colors of the monitor and the spinning icon within Netscape to represent the internet had not crashed. Afterwards, my computer developed into a custom built Windows machine that my Dad provided me. Running an early edition of Windows XP Plus! it was a major improvement over the Macintosh.

My devices then transition into getting my very first laptop, a Toshiba Satellite A120. Again, running Windows XP, this laptop provided me with a gateway into the technology universe. I remember altering the operating system to better suit my liking or finding tweaks to fix certain issues. However, the laptop was somewhat short lived due to the limiting Intel Celeron processor it had. I replaced the Toshiba with a purchase of a Dell Inspiron 17R laptop and for the time, it was a monster of a machine with the brand new Core i5 processor and 4GB of memory.

Fast forward to today and you’ll find that my original devices have been much improved. I have built a brand new desktop for myself, followed by a Dell Inspiron 7000 laptop for day-to-day operation, an Asus VivoTab Smart Windows 8 tablet, and finally a Samsung Galaxy S3. All my old technology is long gone, but I still hold on to a Palm IIIx handheld device.

Something that I have been fortunate about is the fact that I have been born into an era that is rich of new technology. Growing up cell phones were rare, the internet was uncommon, and computers were used for basic tasks, whereas now you can’t go anywhere without using a computer.

3. How did you come to be awarded as an MVP? Tell us your thoughts when you received the email!

During my time on Tech Support Forum, I noticed that many of the users would receive this “Microsoft MVP” award. Curious about the award, I conducted a little research, but was provided with only the details from the Microsoft MVP homepage.

Knowing it was a long shot, I thought that I would nominate myself for this award, wondering if I could receive it. After a while of not hearing anything about the award in my email, I left it at that; it should be noted that I did not know the awards were given every three months.

Skip forward to May of 2014 and a friend of mine on the forum, John Griffith (jcgriff2), asked me if I was interested in being nominated for the Microsoft MVP award. Excited that he would make such an effort, I said I would be grateful to him for such a thing. We tried for the July 2014 award, but I did not receive any emails. Attempting once more for the October edition, John and I asked other MVPs such as Rayda (2xg), Bruce (Wrench97), and Patrick Barker, if they could assist in helping me receive this outstanding award.

Morning of October 1st 2014, I opened my email and was greeted with the Congratulations email from Microsoft. I had become a Microsoft MVP! I was filled with excitement and told my family about this outstanding achievement. I quickly filled out the forums, created my account, and was proud to be a new Microsoft MVP. I thanked all that helped me throughout the process and feel outstanding every morning seeing my new MVP trophy.

4. Where do you spend most of your time online and what areas of Windows technology particularly interest you?

The largest amount of my online time is spent over at Tech Support Forum. Being my home forum since 2010, I am a proud member of three teams, Windows, Hardware, and Articles team. Likewise, I am a global moderator where I assist where needed. I enjoy every minute of TSF, so much so that not an hour goes by where I am not checking in on the forum. Another achievement of TSF is my large collection of articles, blogs, and product reviews. Haven written and published over 150 articles, blogs, and reviews thousands of readers have read my pages and thousands have been helped by them. Likewise, I would alongside popular technology companies like Amazon, AMD, Beyerdynamic, ESET, HP, Kingston, Logitech, Noctua, Paragon-Software, RAVPower, Turtle Beach, Samsung, and more!

Next, I am a member of the MVP forum, Sysnative. Here, I socialize with other Microsoft MVPs, assist with any website issues, and help forum members that need assistance with their computer related issues.

Finally, my online support continues over on the Microsoft Community Answers forum. There, thousands of posts are created daily and I assist where I can. I mostly stay and assist within the Windows and Internet Explorer sub forums.

When it comes to what Windows technology interests me, you could say the whole thing! I have always been a Windows user who has learned the insides and outs of the Windows environment. I have used and worked on Windows XP machines all the way up to Windows 8 and soon to be Windows 10. It always comes to a surprise to some users when I state that Internet Explorer is my main and default browser. My response is always the same though: “The internet is designed for Internet Explorer, so why use anything else? Internet Explorer is the most used browser in the world.”

5. Finally, what do you enjoy doing when you are offline?

A lot of my time offline is around family or doing some fun activities.  The truth is that I never really go “offline” as my phone is a computer away from home that allows me to open applications, watch a video, or check in on Facebook.

I spend a lot of time outside when I can, but the winters here in Wisconsin limit that outside time to only the summer time. When indoors, I enjoy the atmosphere of our family office and all of us in the room doing our own thing.

Thanks Justin!