The News Courier in Athens, Alabama


August 21, 2013

Ardmore grad wins national award

'A bright future'


Computer basics

Graham, who built his desktop personal computer from scratch with his father and said the hardware of a computer is much less complicated than the software, said he eventually would like to upgrade to a Mac computer.

“The basics for buying a computer are that you want to make sure it has enough RAM (computer data storage) and to make sure it has a fairly powerful processor. And with a computer, everything works as a whole so if you don’t have good parts working together, you end up with a bottleneck (in terms of computer speed),” he said. “If you’re only using a computer for straight word processing, you can get away with a lower-end computer if you’re not trying to put a lot of stuff on it.

“I would recommend a MacBook because they work flawlessly and they’re just beautiful. I’ve never had any problems with those when I’ve used them, and I wish I had one.”

Tech upbringing

Graham grew up in a computer-centric family — his six-member household has five desktops, four tablets and two laptops, plus an assortment of computer parts. He said he is majoring in electrical engineering because he is ready to try something new after tinkering with computers for more than a dozen years.

“My major is a lot different from computers. Everyone wants me to go into computer engineering but computers have kind of lost their luster,” said Graham, who will be attending the University of Alabama-Huntsville this fall on a partial scholarship.

James, Graham’s instructor for three years, has advised eight national winners in his more than 27 years of teaching either electronics technology or computer maintenance. Six of his CTC students have placed in the top three nationally, including two gold medalists.

“The national SkillsUSA competition draws first-place winners from all over the U.S. in their respective vocations, and they’re essentially they’re the best of the best, with usually about 40 to 50 in each category,” James said. “We’ve been blessed. Ryan just did what was asked of him, and he worked hard to get ready for the competitions. He has a bright future if he takes advantage of his abilities.”


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