Computer Rich started as a hobby in 2001 after purchasing my first computer from Home Shopping Network for about $2,000. It came with the Microsoft Windows ME Millennium Edition operating system. Now, I am the type of person who wants to know everything about everything; so, I started exploring my new PC, going to places you’re not supposed to go and doing things you’re not supposed to do. Consequently, I screwed the thing up six ways from Sunday; meaning, I voided the warranty so I had to figure out how to fix it. Thus, I ended up helping my friends with their computers when they had problems.
In April 2004, I moved to a small adult travel trailer park in Tampa, FL. I bought some surplus PCs off craigslist, refurbished them and sold them to residents in the park. I also bought a top of the line Belkin “N1” wireless router and allowed residents of the park to connect to my network for $10 a month, which more than paid for my high-speed internet from Bright House Networks.
I also began to tutor residents who never had a PC before. At this time, it was just a hobby for me as I had a good retail management job. In fact, I had been in
retail sales and management off and on, for a good 30 years. Convenience stores become unstable at the start of the big recession. Some companies went bankrupt, while others sold out or were purchased by other companies. As it turns out, I was laid off five of the last six jobs and I was sick of it!
The last time I got laid off in April 2009, I said “enough is enough!” I applied for and received a $5,000 “Back to Work Florida” grant, courtesy of PresidentObama’s stimulus package and I went back to school to earn the CompTIA A+ and Network+ certification you see to your right.
In September of 2009, I moved to Brevard County directly after receiving my A+ and Network+ certifications, just in time for NASA to lay off 8,000 rocket scientists. I realized securing a computer position here was probably not going to happen anytime soon. I had to have an income, so I went back on craigslist.com and with the last $200 out of my last unemployment check, I began to buy out companies that were liquidating their inventory at the depth of the recession. Whatever in the world made me think that I could do something they could not never even entered my mind. I just knew that if I got my hands on this equipment I could do something with it, so I refurbished the most viable PCs and place them back on craigslist and within 24 hours I more than doubled my money and plenty of parts and PCs left over. I said to myself, “I guess I’m in business.”
This of course, morphed into computer repair and through word of mouth, I developed a pretty good base of satisfied customers, due to my award winning personality (insert smile here) and exceptional customer service. Nearly all my residential business are referrals from my happy clientele.
In the meantime, I began posting my IT related resume on monster.com and I now work with several IT staffing agencies, representing Dell, HP, IBM and Sony as an Independent Certified Technician. Assignments can include everything from a simple printer repair to complete equipment refreshes. I secured a 7-week assignment at Symantec in Lake Mary, substituting for the resident IT Tech while he was out for surgery.
I had a similar experience with Chase Mortgage (who sold to WingSpan). Some of my other clients include USPS, Hilton Hotels, Philips Electronics, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, AT&T and Best Buy, just to name a few. Yes, believe it or not, I installed the Geek Squad’s server and all the register touch screens and point of sale pin pads! Just to be fair, the equipment is under contract and they don’t have authorization to service the equipment. Still, I can’t help but to chuckle each time I go there.
I joined the Melbourne Regional Chamber of East Central Florida on April 25, 2014. I was later asked to represent the Chamber as an Ambassador and was ultimately elected to the Board of Directors.
Since joining the Chamber, my business has grown as I developed strong relationships with Chamber members. I am now the “go to guy” for computer repair and malware removal for residents and small businesses in Brevard County.
Computer Rich is here to serve all your computer needs. Please call: 321-482-4567