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April 14, 2017

Meet Raymond Ly

As Coordinator, Desktop Systems, Raymond Ly is one of the talented HelpDesk staff team members who rescues WNET employees from all computer problems great and small. “I fix the computers,” he quips. “Okay, so it’s a little bit more complicated than that, but that’s what it basically boils down to. Whether your issue is an unusually slow computer, a misbehaving Outlook, or something as simple as an Adobe Flash update, I’m here to help get it working! I’m also in charge of handling the company’s conference room reservations.” Read on to learn about Raymond’s favorite public media memories, his life outside the office as a self-professed film, video game, and comic book nerd, and more.

What is your background, and how did you land at WNET?

Raymond Ly

Raymond Ly

I’ve always been interested in computers and how they worked. You would think I’d have chosen a major related to that field, but I ended up spending two years at Long Island University as a Pharmacy major. I convinced myself that it was something I wanted to do as a career, but by the second year, I realized that I did it just to appease my Mom. So I transferred to CUNY’s New York City College of Technology and switched my major to Computer Engineering Technology. Four years later, I got my Bachelor’s degree but I had a lot of trouble looking for work after I graduated. I’m quite amazed I didn’t go insane! To retain my sanity, I became an IT volunteer at an acting school in Manhattan. A chance encounter with a representative from Workforce Opportunity Services at the CUNY job fair led me to WNET. The rest, as they say, is history.

When your computer freezes, do you curse it like the rest of us, or are you above such undignified behavior since you’re an IT professional?

Depending on the severity, a computer issue can be a minor annoyance or incredibly frustrating. Fortunately, I don’t encounter many problems with my own computer at home. The last time I got a headache from a computer issue was when my video card died while I was playing The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. My screen suddenly became corrupted and then there was no output. Reinstalling the drivers did not help, but I was planning on upgrading anyway, so I popped in an older video card to tide me over and ordered a new video card. Unfortunately, the video card was stolen and I was out $500, which proved to be more annoying than the actual computer problem.

For our Media with Impact campaign, we’ve been asking viewers to share stories describing how THIRTEEN has influenced their life. How has THIRTEEN (or the PBS station of your childhood) inspired you?

I remember watching Sesame Street on PBS when I was a kid. I also used to get a kick out of seeing the Neighborhood Trolley on Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. (I was obsessed with trains as a kid.) Finally, there was The Magic School Bus, although I must confess I actually watched this on FOX, in-between the Transformers series, Beast Wars, and whatever version of Power Rangers that was airing at the time.

Where do you live, and what are some of your favorite places in your neighborhood?

I live near Bay Parkway in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. To be honest, I don’t really find the neighborhood all that interesting. My favorite place, Midtown Comics, isn’t even in Brooklyn, it’s in Manhattan. Midtown Comics is the largest comic book store in the U.S., and I’m there every Wednesday (or sometimes Friday) to pick up my books.

What book are you currently reading?

Currently, I’m reading Anna Kendrick’s memoir Scrappy Little Nobody. I’ve been a big fan of Anna since her Twilight days, and if I see her face on a movie poster, I automatically have to watch it — although she didn’t have much screen-time in her last film, The Hollars, much to my disappointment. I finally had a chance to meet her when she came to NYC for her book tour. While our encounter was very brief and I failed to say anything coherent besides “Hello,” it’s one of my highlights of my year. The book is very funny, filled with many “TMI” moments, and you can hear her voice as you read it.

Do you have a special interest or hobby outside of work? If so, tell us about it!

I’m a huge film, video game, and comic book nerd. I go to the movies at least two to three times a week. In 2016, I saw over 120 films, and what’s great is that I see almost all my films for free, before they’re officially released — and sometimes I even get to attend the occasional red carpet premiere. How did I get so lucky? I used to run a film review blog. I recently switched to Letterboxd, and you can find my profile here.

As for video games, I play primarily on the PC (keyboard-and-mouse forever!), but I also own a PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. I enjoy games with big, epic stories that have a role-playing and/or open-world element, such as Mass Effect and Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.

Finally, comic books have a special place in my heart as they were how I learned to read. I still remember the first comic book my Mom brought me. It was 1992, I was four-years-old, and the comic was Superman #74. I remember this because in the very next issue Superman gets killed by the monstrous villain Doomsday — and that’s how a lifelong comic book reader was born. Since comics are somewhat expensive nowadays (the $3.99s quickly add up), I generally stick to Spider-Man titles. One day, I hope to share my love of comics with my future son or daughter.

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