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Berkeley Parents Network > Reviews > House & Garden > Computer Consultants


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2010 - 2013 Recommendations


Computer Consultant for medium size office

Oct 2010

I work for a medium sized office that really needs an IT person/computer consultant to check our whole T1/intranet/computers and guide us in ways to improve it. Our internet intermittently runs deathly slow (times out when we're trying to do something, hangs up on ''finding the server'' etc). We've replaced the router, upgraded to T1s, etc but it still keeps happening at different times and it's really frustrating. People feel like they can't get they're work done. We've had the same IT person for the last ten years who is great with small problems (upgrading memory, etc) but seems at a loss as to how to address bigger issues like this. We really need someone who gets the big picture and can help up fix these problems for good. Thanks! Cynthia


I highly recommend Rob Gross for your office computer needs. I found a recommendation for Rob from Berkeley Parents Network about 5 years ago. I initially called him when I had a computer crisis at the same time as an important work deadline and he willingly helped me solve my problem quickly, working nights and the weekend to recover my data and get me back on track. Once things stabilized he helped me figure out what to buy for a new system and I have used him ever since for my small office IT needs. He remotely services my computer on a periodic basis to ensure best performance and cleaning up files so my system runs as fast as possible. Although I work independently, I understand he also does a lot of work for bigger offices. He has also advised some of my medium- sized clients who have had questions and helped me network into their servers. Here's his contact: Rob Gross eSoft Ltd. 510-338-0101 rgross@esoftltd.com jeannie
I highly recommend Gil Calvillo. His email is gcalvillo1@comcast.net. He has helped our business with many IT issues and is reasonable. ANON
We used Computer Courage for a move and small office networking. They were prompt, knowledgeable and reasonably priced. Call to compare - their number is (510) 525-2226. kyle
I highly recommend Yaron Rosenthal for your office IT requirements. You can reach him at: 510.677.5816 or yaron@57works.com Lisa
Hello there, I can highly recommend Thomas Grey of Computer Projects. He really has an excellent handle on the very ''big picture'' issues your office is facing. He does IT support for a couple of individuals I know, but he also works for a couple of small law firms I know, where they have several computers, servers, internet issues, etc. He has excellent references that he can provide for you to check as well. You can reach him at (707) 332-5568 or tgrey95@yahoo.com. Don't let the 707 area code worry you-- Thomas is located in Berkeley and has clients all around the Bay Area. Kimberley
Mark Rosen and InfoGate in Oakland are a real find for any computer issues. They are a small firm that handles huge corporations as well as home based businesses, and everything in between. Mark Rosen, the owner, is a genius at his craft, and is also a genius in hiring techs to support him. I've used him for years now and have finally calmed down about all things computer. He can be reached at (510) 808-0370, or at mark@info-gate.com. They can also set up a remote access system that is easy and safe so you don't have to wait so long for small issues to be resolved. Plus, there is no charge for calls under 15 minutes! Julie
I'm on the Board of Directors of The Stride Center - a nonprofit that provides computer training to disadvantaged & low income adults. They have a computer service also called ReliaTech. They offer computer support for small to medium sized businesses and they also sell refurbished computers. Good Luck! http://reliatech.org/ http://www.stridecenter.org/ Debbie L.
I can highly recommend Yaron Rosenthal - who is a computer and IT consultant. He is extremely knowledgeable, very pleasant to work with, and I know he can do a good job for you - as he has done for me. Call Yaron at 652-4101 or email him: shakalim@pacbell.net David
I have a wonderful computer person, Michael Mack, michael.macintoshguru@gmail.com , who helps me with my Mac in my home office, but I think he also knows PCs and bigger systems. I also just heard about someone who took care of computer systems for Oakland schools until his job was eliminated through budget cuts. He comes highly recommended by someone I really trust. His name is Conan Neutron (really!) at conan@neutron-x.com Anon
Jonathan Wishnev is the best computer specialist I know. He's knowledgeable, young, energetic, green, committed to helping his clients get the right help even if he can't provide it (he refers if necessary). I've used him and referred him to others, and he specializes in working with small businesses. He's simply top notch.(510) 747-8324 Pat
I couldn't more strongly recommend Vital Networks as a computer consultant for a small to medium business. My company had worked with many IT consultants over the years and none were as tech savvy AND able to translate that to regular/non-tech language. They are personable and good communicators as well as extremely capable of solving and more importantly PREVENTING computer problems (a rare combination!) They worked with us to maintain and upgrade an old network system and then to finally come up with more modern solutions for 'cloud computing'. They know the solutions that are out there and can help direct your company in the right direction. Our monthly fee to Vital Networks was the best money our company ever spent. (i'm no longer running that business-thus the use of the past tense-but oh, the days i wish i could just pick up the phone and call them!!) They have grown over the years and now of offices in a number of cities....the guys in the East Bay office are amazing. www.vitalnetworks.com or call them at (510) 545-4428. Lisa
I want to recommend Rob Gross to you. He is incredibly responsive, friendly, and competent. Your computer issues are his bread and butter although he often does smaller jobs for people from the Parents Network out of the kindness of his heart. In my case, he 1. set up a wired home network 2. saved all my family pictures when my computer died an ugly death. I have never known anyone to respond so quickly to a request for services. He works quickly and efficiently, with an eye toward saving the client unecessary expense and on top of it all, he has a great sense of humor. You can contact Rob at: Rob Gross eSoft Ltd. 510-338-0101 rgross@esoftltd.com Kate
I can recommend Rob Gross. His consulting business is called ''eSoft Ltd.'' and the phone number is 510-338-0101. My neighbors and I have used his services for our home offices. He both knows what he's doing and is easy to talk to. home office professional
We have had the best results with upgrading our computer system for our office with Jonathan Wishnev of Wishnev Consulting. Jonathan has not only upgraded and installed new software, and set up new computers, networked and backed up but he was able to get the old machines to move significantly faster and now we are all more productive. He is fast, diligent, courteous and skillful. I highly recommend that you give him a shout. he calls himself a computer relationship therapist for a reason. good luck. (510) 747-8324 jonathan@wishnevconsulting.com Laura

2007 - 2009 Recommendations


Where can I get my laptop repaired?

Oct 2009

I reviewed old messages but didn't find any posting on computer repair. Is it true that people have to go either to Best Buy or Compuusa or something to repair their computer? Or buy a new computer? My Laptop died suddenly and few people, including Best Buy told us my hard desk died and needed a new one. Best Buy says it will cost more than $350 to repair it. Of course, that makes me think i should get a new laptop then. But really? I looked around for computer repair service but it doesn't exist. Does anyone know if there is such a service called computer repair? or do we only have Best Buy? can't afford new pc


Try Area Computer and Service Center at 915 University Avenue in Berkeley. I had a broken laptop and was quoted an outrageous amount at Best Buy. My brother recommended this place and he fixed my computer for a fraction of the price Best Buy was charging. The number is 510-843-0388 anon
Computer repair at Best Buy is a scam especially when it comes to hard drive repair. (Just do a Google search and you will find tons of complaints.) There geek guys are not trained to do repairs, they are just trained to up-sell customers new equipment. The Geeks who do know how to fix computers (especially hard drives) are threatened with being fired it they do the simple repairs that do not make Best Buy a huge profit. There are blog posts from Geek Squad guys telling customers how sorry they are for having to lie to customers telling them their hard drive is beyond repair so they will buy a new computer.

There's an association for IT Professionals in the Bay Area called Pacific IT Professionals, http://www.pacitpros.org I would contact them for a referral. Anon


I recommend you at least call Info-Gate, Mark Rosen, for a consultation. I trust them completely with all of my computer issues and they have saved me tons in repair costs by noticing something small. Phone is (510) 808-0370, and they work all over the Bay Area. Email is mrosen@info-gate.com. He owns the company and has a terrific staff. Julie
There are SCADS of repair folks there. Here are some. I've used the first (and would use them again), would have no qualms using the next two (the first guy was just a little more convenient for me to get to), and had the fourth recommended to me when I posted a similar question last spring:
1.  Authorized Computer Repair
    (510) 786-7103
    oncallcomputerguy@gmail.com
    www.authorizedcomputers.com
    (did a great job switching a new laptop from Vista to XP and
    then getting an old one working after it stopped booting)

2,  Berkeley Students Computer Service
    (510) 495-6333
    info@bscs.us
    http://bscs.us/
    (smart students / know what they're doing)

3.  Computer Courage
    adam@computercourage.com
    (510) 525-2226
    http://www.computercourage.com

4.  Infogate
    (510) 808-0370
    mrosen@info-gate.com
    http://www.info-gate.com/
    (may be more business-oriented but you can always ask)
Norm
I have used LMi.net for computer repair. They are our Internet Service Provider, but they also do computer repair. They are good at virus removal as well as general computer tune-ups. I recommend them for Internet service as well as computer repair. Frizzo
I had a really great experience with: My Computer Guy, 1501 Eastshore Hwy, Berkeley, CA 94710, Phone: (510) 524-9221. He fixes hardware problems, really knowledgeable, will tell you if cost of repair is worth it. Will find used parts at less cost on E-Bay or other places if he can. I hope it's not too rude to say that like some engineer-types, he can be a little hard to communicate with, he's not greatest at the social niceties, but his work was excellent, reasonably priced, and he saved me from having to buy a new laptop with a practical repair that was elegant in its simplicity (disconnected something that was interfering with entire computer, and since I never used it, it did no harm to just disconnect, and much cheaper than trying to actually fully replace).
There are lots of small computer repair businesses around. Ask friends and co-workers if they recommend anyone. Jonathan at Authorized Computer Repair in Berkeley fixed some hardware problems with my PC laptop, and I would call them back in a heartbeat if I had another problem. You can reach them at 510- 786-7103. Andi
We've taken our computers to Leon, who owns/runs Domino Computers, on Adeline, for years. We've sent lots of friends and family to him, too. His number is 653-6286. anon
Give Jonathan Wishnev a call. He's great to work with- knowledgeable, trustworthy and super friendly. He's incredible with all sorts of Mac & PC repairs. He'll come to your house or office and even does remote support. (So weird to see the cursor moving on someone else's command) His know-how is responsible for keeping countless Bay Area computers out of landfills. Jonathan Wishnev: (510)747-8324 Email:info@wishnevconsulting.com
JoAnne
Sept 2009: Looking for Home Computer Consultant

I'm looking for someone who can help trouble-shoot my wireless connection, issues with efficient operation and help advise me on best software solutions. Thanks! Belinda in Albany


I've used the Affordable Computer guy in Montclair. 339 316 0074. Not sure how far he travels, but he was cheap and good. He talks a lot! Anon
Jason Webster of MacAssistant is great! He is extremely knowledgeable and easy to understand. He has helped us for years and is great with all kinds of audio and video solutions for Macs. His number is (415) 987-1280. Jen F.
I highly recommend Ron Huppert of rhSystems. He's worked wonders for me and my family soloving a wide range of computer problems including pc troubleshooting, wireless networking problems, and general questions about what products to purchase. (He recently saved the contents on my 83 year old fathers's hard drive that had crashed.) He's knowledgable, reliable and reasonably priced. He even does house calls. I can't say enough about him. Ron uppert: 510-593-6318 ron@rhsoftware.com Dana
We recently called Becky Waring (becky@waring.org) to help clean out old PCs, upgrade a Mac, connect printers, and solve a seemingly intractable printer problem. Becky went to MIT, is extremely knowledgeable, tenacious and competent, and will really take the time to solve the problem. In one instance, Becky used her own time to devise a solution without charging us for it. I definitely plan to have her help us in the future. Amrita
Aug 2009: Virus and network problems

Help! One of our computers has a virus and one is off network and our computer support guy is out of the country. We are looking for someone who can help us with our small business network at home located in Alamda. Someone who is quick when he is working and reliable. Pam


Jonathan Wishnev (510) 747-8324 www.wishnevconsulting.com is the man you are looking for anon
I have a great computer consultant for my small business. His name is Rob Gross (338-0101, rgross@esoftltd.com). He is smart, talented and really personable Happy small business owner
June 2009: Someone to uninstall Vista

Bought a new Dell laptop. Had to accept Vista. Would rather have XP Pro and I have a legal copy from a defunct computer. Need someone who can install XP Pro as the operating system and find the drivers for the other stuff. Feel free to contact me directly. Norm


http://www.tech-buddies.net/ Came highly recommended by others that have used them so I called and these guys are GREAT!! And VERY reasonably priced. Having a little one of my own it's often hard to find the time to get things done let alone take a heavy computer somewhere. These guys came to ME and fixed everything within an hour and took care of other issues and answered all of my questions...and I know my questions were silly. I felt very safe when they were in my home. Call them...you won't be disappointed. Melissa
Original poster here. Had a couple of tips (thanks), but wanted to let the community know about a super company in town: Authorized PC Repair, conveniently located in new digs at Virginia and MLK Way. Replaced my Vista O/S with XP Pro quickly, accurately, and at a reasonable price. Just left a malfunctioning Inspiron with them for diagnosis and repair. Contact Jonathan Santeramo at 786-7103 or oncallcomputerguy@gmail.com Norm
April 2009: Help our computer is kaputs

Help our computer 's USB Ports are all frozen or dead , just not working , not the keyboard, not the mouse, nothing is getting through to the computer and on to the screen. Has anyone ever had this problem? We have a dell . Does someone out there work on pc or can recommend a good repair man. Repair man scares me i hate to spend more money on the repairs then the computers worth. Please let us know if you have had this problem to , asap we need the computer for work . thanks so much jenn


Our Dell also went kaput a couple of years ago, following a cross-country move. I did a hasty internet search and found Carl Nussbaum, of Nussbaum Computer Repair (carlnuss@yahoo.com, (510) 540-8347, 2618 College Ave, Berkeley). For ~$120 (way cheaper than buying a new one), he quickly repaired our poor PC, saving most of our files, and reinstalled MS Office Suite. He's very friendly, and I would absolutely recommend his services. BTW, our Dell is still working, and it has been over two years since he repaired it! Brook
I can't recommend this guy highly enough - George Tsai, 510-307- 9878. I'm not sure he would want me to give out his cell and that's what he usually answers, but leave a message on that land line & he'll get back. He has been repairing my computers & dealing with viruses, hackers, firewalls, networks, updates, cloning, etc. for my business for over 10 years. He is reasonable, does not nit-pick on fees, takes responsibility and comes back without charge if the problem persists (it usually doesn't). Security threats constantly morph and he's on top of it. He has large co. clients with giant, multi-location networks, and he also works with the little people like me. He's a little brash but he's a genius and he's fair. I know nothing, but it sounds like either a security issue or maybe your equipment is obsolete. Anyway, tell him I sent you and good luck. Sandy
Jan 2009: Wanted-Computer Techie in Walnut Creek

I need computer tech help in Walnut Creek. Can you recommend someone who makes house calls, is reasonably priced, and who can talk to an elderly person in non-tech speak? Thanks! Computer Idiot


I've been using Info-Gate for several years now and am thrilled at the service and care I've received. My elderly mother has used them as well. Mark Rosen is the owner, and has a wonderful staff that makes house calls. His office is in Oakland, but I've never been there as the techs always come to me! Call him at (510) 808-0370. He lives in Pleasant HIll, I think, so has an affinity for the East Bay. email is mrosen@info-gate.com Julie G
I have a guy I can recommend. His name is Bryan, and he specializes in 'tweaking' computers that have become slow. He also does diagnosis and repair of other computer problems, as well as installation and setup of new computers. He also does training on internet, email and windows updates. He can recommend and install software to keep your computer tuned, and show you how to use it. He's worked on my computer as well as my sister's and my parents', and we can all recommend him. He doesn't work on Macs or network problems, so he charges a lot less than others, like Geeksquad. He's in WC, but makes housecalls throughout the Bay Area. He can be reached at 925-285-1507. Good luck with your PC.
Definitely call CyberDoc, they came to my home office and quickly dealt with my computer issues, they are very nice, knowlegeable and accessible. I also felt their pricing was fair and affordable. If you have internet access they can then help you remotely which means that any future problems you have can be solved in minutes. Contact Sebastian Stuart at 510-492-9237 and their website is www.cyberdoc.biz. Catherine
Nov 2008: Computer savvy person to help artist

I am an artist with little skills in the computer world. I am seeking someone who can help me to prepare professional presentations of my work. I know there are many out there who do this type of thing, but I am at a lost of where to find them. I do not want to do this over the phone, or online, I am the type who wants to sit down with a person and explain exactly what I want. I am open to photoshop, graphic designers, etc. I cannot pay more than $25.00 per hour and am willing to work with students, someone seeking some easy work on the side, ect. I will expect to see examples. Any direction appreciated.


I think I know the perfect person for you! His name is Richard Tsuei. He's an artist himself, but is also very knowledgeable about all things digital. He's helped me buy computers, set up systems, taught me software etc...I'm sure he'll be able to help you! You can reach him at 408-772-5698 or by email at richard_tsuei@yahoo.com
Andrea
Nov 2008: Computer Expert (mac/pc) 4 housecall

I am trying to find a person who can come to the house and re-jig my computer system(s) Mac and PC so everything runs well, networks and prints. I think I'm running on one cylinder right now and I have a V8. Berkeley Area.


I suggest you call Blair Collins at 510-444-4344 to see if he'd be able to help. Or you can email him at blairbc@hotmail.com. He is Microsoft Certified and loves Macs. And he's totally honest. Judy
Nov 2008: computer technician to help with disk problem

Hi, I've checked the archives, but would like current recommendations for a trusted computer service repair person. We've never gotten in the habit of backing up the computer hard disk-drive. Once the drive became full, we installed a second drive and a friend copied everything over to the new larger drive. The problem being the digital photos (our wedding, babies, etc) somehow aren't fully readable (we used Adobe Photoshop for storage). The images seem to be there, but when you click to open a file, a different image displays. And now the kicker, the new disk-drive won't boot up. I fear we've permanently lost our photos and other miscellaneous files. I'd like to find someone to get the drive working, but more importantly to recover the photos and files. Thanks.


I highly recommend Sebastian Stuart with CyberDoc. He and the other technicians in the company are knowleable, friendly and very responsive. I was having some computer problems, probematic firewall, decreasing computer performance and I needed help fine-tuning my small office network. They came and did all of that for a reasonable price. They also set up a program that enables them to troubleshoot and fix my computers from a distance which is amazing! I call them and we initiate a online session where CyberDoc gains access to my computer and they go about fixing the problem remotely. They returned my call promptly and I had some printer issues that they fixed in a matter of minutes. You can contact Sebastian at 510-452-9237 - ext 101. If you want further information, please contact me at 510-569-7246 or email. Tell Sebastian that Catherine sent you.
Oct 2008: service and repair home computers

Can someone recommend an individual who can do PC service and repair for home office computers? I would like to find someone who can come to our home periodically and service our computers, make recommendations about appropriate software, virus prevention, and call in case of urgent problems. The postings on BPN are somewhat outdated, so would like current recommendations. Need computer help


We use Ludovic Ibarra of Homeputer. 415-652-2068. Ludovic is very helpful, affordable and never makes you feel dumb. Juliette
Feb 2008: Affordable computer person needed

Computer person needed to get my computer to work faster and stop freezing on me. Zeze


Hi, I can't recommend Dean Bradley highly enough. She helped me when my hard drive crashed. She does really great work and is very reasonably priced. Her number 510-531-9631. Good luck! Marie
I wanted to offer my recommendation for a fantastic computer consulting company here in Berkeley. Computer Courage, ran by Adam Schwartz is wonderful. Our company had gone through 5 computer techs in 2 years... I finally buckled down and started doing phone interviews with several computer techs in the area. Using BPN as a resource, I found Adam and his company Computer Courage. A young dynamic professional who has a crew that is both highly knowledgeable, professional and personable. We are very pleased, excited and confident to have Adam and his team as our computer techs. I highly recommend them for your business and/or home. Feel free to contact me for a reference. Adam Schwartz Contact info is: adam@computercourage.com www.computercourage.com 510-525-2226 A satisfied customer
June 2007: Computer (PC) repair

I have a desktop computer (originally custom-built) which is a bit old (Windows 2000 Pro), but has a lot of data on it and is attached to many peripherals (scanner, printers, Network, etc.). It has recently been showing signs of ''age'' with unexplained dropping out of USB connections, temporary loss of sound capabilities, etc., and I am looking for someone who will come to my Home Office (El Sobrante) to check the machine out; fix it; or consider installation of a totally new machine, but with preservation of the data on the old machine. I am of ''intermediate'' computer savvy but will not attempt to ''open up the box'', and need someone who will help me to get fully up and running again. I prefer someone with a ''track record'' (who has been in business for a while). Please contact me via e-mail and give your phone number, as I would like to speak with you in person. Many thanks, Bob Fink Robert


A great computor PC repair and assistance person is Dean Bradley at 531-9631. She has helped me with my two computors. Good luck! Karen
Oct 2007: Mac/PC comupter consultant needed

I have a small design business and I am looking for a computer consultant that has experience in networking and servicing BOTH Macs and PCs. We are moving into a new office space and I need someone to help set up our computers and network. After that I will need some general maintenance. Any recommendations would be appreciated!


Rob Gross has been an amazing computer consultant for my small business for many years. We have an office that has both Macs and PCs, and he has been a wonderful coordinator and trouble shooter who has always kept us up and running perfectly. He is at 338-0101. Small business owner
I enthusiastically recommend Yaron Rosenthal of 57 Works (510-677-5816) for your business computer needs. I admit, Yaron is a close friend who has rescued my home computer on numerous occasions. However, as a solo law practitioner, I would not trust my computer to anyone else. Yaron is exceptionally skilled, trustworthy, and committed to his craft. Ariel

2004 - 2006 Recommendations


Someone to set up home office wireless network

Oct 2006

Hi, Looking for a computer consultant to set up our home office - wireless network - and help de-bug a few glitches. We used GeekSquad a year ago and were disappointed. I'd also like to find someone who could teach us a thing or two so that we are more self-sufficient in the future. Noticed some postings from 2003 & 2004 but for folks in e-bay area. Looking for someone in San Francisco who is reasonable. Thank you Anon


I want to recommend Rob Gross (510-338-0101, rgross[at]esoftltd.com). I have a small business and he has been my technology consultant for many years. Here are the things I especially like about him: 1. He is very intelligent, clear and articulate. If I have a problem, he tries to see if he can tell me how to fix it (good to be educated), or if he can fix it remotely (and therefore, reduce the amount of time I need to be off my computer) 2. He is interested in empowering his clients to do what they can by themselves. 3. He sets up systems (backup, spyware removal, etc) that keep my computers functioning optimally I recommend him highly!
June 2006: Computer overhaul recommendation?

Can anyone recommend a person or business who can overhaul our son's laptop computer. It is full of viruses and ''bugs'' so he needs it made ''like new'' before he goes off to UC Santa Cruz in the fall (as a freshman). I took it to a place on Bancroft near the Cal campus and they did not do a satisfactory job. Computer Challenged


We had a similar problem with my son's laptop last fall and used BBC Computer Specialist at 510-325-5522. We got their name from a previous recommendation on the Parents Network and I strongly second that recommendation. They came and picked up the computer, kept it for a day or two and retured it problem free, after rebuilding the hard drive. Cost was $100 Dianna
In response to the person who needs someone to overhaul a computer: I have had very good experience with Andy Spalaris. He does computer work for UC Berkeley, but also does private consulting. He will come to your house or, if it's a laptop, you can let him take the computer to his house to work on it. His number is 848-0432.
Yaron Rosenthal, a BPN member, is a fantastic computer repair person. His rates are reasonable and he comes to you, so you don't need to drop the computer off to be fixed. His email: shakalim[at]pacbell.net Phone: 510 677-5816 Melanie
For several years now, I have used a great computer tech named Paul Paz y Mino for work like this. He has done several computers for me, with a total overhaul including reinstalling the operating system and all the software to make it really clean. He also checks it over and suggests easy things to make it run better like more memory or a faster drive, then tells you exactly what you need and the absolute cheapest place to buy it. His rates are very reasonable. I recently bought two used computers for my business that were a real steal (a business liquidation) and Paul got them up to speed for me. He's also a really nice guy! You can reach Paul at ppaz[at]igc.org anne
I strongly recommend Berkeley computer consultant Max Weinryb (848-8996). He has done numerous projects for me, my husband, and many friends including dealing with hardware and software problems, installing upgrades, adding memory, replacing fans, eliminating viruses, and setting up networks. Excellent skills, completely reliable, and a nice guy. For most projects, he guarantees his work: If he doesn't solve your problem, he doesn't charge you. He has always solved our problems -- fast -- and his rates are low. Judy
Feb 2006: Computer help: 1. Wireless network setup; 2. Something "fishy" running on PC?


Hi - I'm looking for recent recommendations for a computer geek-type service to come and 1. install a wireless network (this may include setting up one of the computers which is still in the box, printer, etc.), and 2. advising about/fixing the "???" that constantly (CONSTANTLY!) runs on the older/current PC. Something is running in the background which I can neither find, nor stop. Not sure if I have a virus, spyware, or ??? The web site recommendations are all older, and I'm seeking recent recommendations/reviews/advice/names, etc. Thanks! Need geek service!


Try Steve at Berkeley Backup: 510.848.5990 and www.bbackup.com. The business consists of Steve and his son Jesse (no experience w/ son). Have taken my hard drive to his house/office for diagnosis and he has made a house call to resolve internet connection problem w/ my daughter's computer (and dispensed lots of advice along the way). He also networked my husband's office (4 - 5 computers). Steve knows what he is doing, is efficient, a nice guy, and for the personal computer problems, charged -- I think -- $40/hr.
satisfied customer
I would recommend: Yaron Rosenthal, 57 Works, Computer Consulting - (510)677-5816 - www.57works.com. Yaron works on both PC's and Mac's. His speciallty is back-up systems, but he does all the other stuff too. Reasonable rates. He is a member of the Berkeley Parents Network. Melanie

Upgrade server for small business

Dec 2005

I have a small business (5 people) in San Francisco. We are looking for a consultant or small consulting firm to help us upgrade our computer network with a new server and updated software. I'd also like someone who can give us security recommendations. I'd prefer someone Microsoft certified. Does anyone have a recommendation for an individual or small consulting firm that does this type of work? Thank You, Cynthia


I would like to recommend the Computer Company that my Law Firm uses. We are very satisfied with their knowledge, as well as their prompt response to all our various needs whether small or large. We are a small Law Firm that needed to update all of our computers as well as invest in a server. We basically needed to update all of our computer environment. I can not recommend them enough. The owner is very involved and a great guy to do business with. The business is called The Wizards of OzTechs, and they are located in Walnut Creek (I think they travel all over the Bay Area). Their phone number is (925) 280-7400 anon
I highly recommend PHW Consulting Services. Paul Wilson has offered computer and networking support to individuals and companies alike for over ten years. He is professional, courteous, Microsoft certified, and thorough. He pays attention to details and asks questions without assuming he knows your situation from the moment he walks in the door.

He has assisted our company for the last five years in networking, upgrading systems and software, remote access and online demands, and the general cleanup and emergency situations that can pop up in that span of time. He has also helped many individuals and companies in the Bay Area and is a ''Computer Guru'' for many folks in an on going capacity.

Your situation sounds right up his alley. He has a lot of experience in security and network upgrades. I'd definitely call him to discuss your situation.

PHW Consulting Services
Paul Wilson
Tel: 510-524-2119
or phwilson[at]msn.com
Good luck! karenv
Nov 2005

Here's a recommendation for a remarkable computer consultant. His name is Rob Gross, and you can reach him at 338-0101. One of my favorite things about him is that he will come to your house or business, fix your computer, and tell you what you need to do in terms of ongoing hardware and software protection and safety. He is competant, reliable and amazingly personable. Need to use it, don't want to fix it!


Oct 2005

I'd like to recommend Steve Abbitt of MOJO-IT for computer repair and servicing. He has helped me twice this year, once with a complete disaster, and once with some minor problems. I work from home and don't have IT support; I'm sleeping much better knowing that I can call Steve if my computer crashes. He's fast, friendly, reasonably priced, knowledgeable, and soothing when you're on the edge of hysteria. Call Mojo-IT at 510-849-1095.
Valerie


Network my printer to a mac and a pc

May 2005

I am trying to create a small computer network between a mac and a pc, and 1 printer. I need help! Can anyone recommend a reasonable computer consultant that can deal with 2 platforms? Thanks.


Rob Gross, 338-0101, has been an incredible computer resource. He is smart, a great problem solver, and is very easy to work with. He is both Mac and PC savvy, and works with home and business systems. I recommend him highly.
I have worked with a consultant at a company called 57 Works. His name is Yaron Rosenthal, and he can be reached at 510.677.5816. He is flexible in all ways and will work with you until everything is fully working. He has worked on both Macs and PCs for many years and is very familiar with both. I can't recommend him highly enough. Good luck. Laurel
I use Cheshire Computing. April Wofford makes house calls. Recently, I had a memory upgrade and she noticed that my computer was running a little slow so she suggested a spa treatment while I'm on vacation (take it in to get to the bottom of things). Anyway, she's funny, a pleasure to be around and takes care of business. Her phone is 510-315-0547 Her email is april [at]cheshirecomputing..net Rebecca
May 2005

Re: Computer Virus -- HELLLLP!!!

I'm so sorry about your computer virus! It stinks that people are out there ruining the internet for those of us who get great value from it. I have a good person to recommend to help you reclaim control over your computer. His name is Paul Paz y Mino. He has done great work for me and my computers both at home and in my office. You can reach Paul at 510-773-4635 or ppaz AT igc.org. Anne


I would like to highly recommend Michael Dang for any computer work or advice. I can not say enough good things about Micheal. He is bright, knowledgeable, honest, extremely hard- working, and a pleasure to work with. He is the type of person that goes way out of his way to help people, even if it means inconveniencing himself. He is a UC Berkeley graduate and lives in the East Bay. He can be reached at 510-875-5568 or feel free to email me for more info. Rebecca
We have a good friend who runs his own business helping folks with their personal computers. He's very reasonable and can probably help you get rid of the virus/worm you describe. Email Rob Love at rob AT anywherepcrepair.com Laura
March 2005: someone to clean up our computer?

Our Windows XP computer is rife with pop-ups, arcane error messages, and possibly spyware. It works OK, but not as efficiently as we'd like, particularly since we have a 15-year- old (and sometimes her friends) roaming around on it. The BPN computer consultant postings are a little old; can anyone recommend a consultant who'd come over to our house in central Berkeley for an hour or two, do some clean-up, and make some recommendations? Some idea of his/her hourly rate would be nice as well. Melanie


I highly recommend Terry Leake. He is a computer specialist who will come to your house and do whatever it takes to get your computer humming again. He is wonderful to work with, has great integrity and I think charges around $75 an hour. His number is 877-861-4344. priscilla
I would like to highly recommend Michael Dang for any computer work or advice. I can not say enough good things about Micheal. He is bright, knowledgeable, honest, extremely hard- working, and a pleasure to work with. He is the type of person that goes way out of his way to help people, even if it means inconveniencing himself. He is a UC Berkeley graduate and lives in the East Bay. He can be reached at 510-875-5568 or feel free to email me for more info. Rebecca
Jan 2005

I am looking for current recommendations for someone to help me set up a new home computer (PC), including transferring files etc, from my old computer. Someone who is skilled, reliable and charges reasonable rates. Thanks for your help. Chris


We used Geek Squad (1-888-GeekSquad) to set-up Tivo and a wireless network on our home computers. They were great - very professional and thorough. I don't know if they charge reasonable rates as we didn't really shop around (we paid a flat rate of $ 159.00 for each set-up). From your post, you might do well by hiring a computer saavy high schooler if you just need set-up and file transfers. Good Luck ! - Rachael
June 2004

Help! I need someone to fix my computer, which has gone bonkers. I have a 3.5-year-old Dell that I 've never had any problems with. But now I am constantly getting messages I cannot understand and, being a technophobe, I just ignore them and plow ahead. Lately I have trouble shutting down or rebooting (is that the word?). I was keeping track of the various error messages; now I have given up. I need a computer repair person to come to my home. I don't do anything with my computer other than check email, draft the occasional document for work and download (upload?) digital photos. I checked the recommendations; the most recent is from May 2002. Does anyone have any current recommendations? I did find one person whose rate was $100/hour. Is that the going rate? What should I expect? I need this person to 1) fix what is ailing my computer and 2) do any maintenance stuff I should've been doing all along. Thanks! Not a techie


$100/hr for PC diagnostics and repair sounds steep. You should be able to find qualified help for half that cost. That $100/hr rate may include a premium for making a house call and you will surely find a better rate at a shop if you take the computer in yourself.
Ludovic Ibarra 415-652-2068-he's in Alameda. He has been very helpful to me both at home and at my non-profit where he keeps my machines humming away. I am not sure of his rates exactly though I know they are competitive but a good tech won't be really cheap. Good luck Juliette
I'd like to recommend BBC Computer Specialists (510-325-5522). We had a problem with our PC that Dell's lousy Customer Service couldn't help us fix. Based on a yellow pages listing, we called BBC. Charley Plock, one of the cofounders, picked up the computer within hours, did the appropriate first-step troubleshooting and recovering, and dropped it off. Unfortunately, the problem recurred. Again, Charley picked up the computer, determined that the hard drive needed to be replaced, helped get one within 24 hours from Dell, and had the computer back in our hands within one business day after receiving the hard drive. We didn't have to drive anywhere and the total bill was only $100. Charley was pleasant and professional, and responsive to questions that we phoned in during and after the repair. Rebecca
April 2004

Help - both my home and office computers are having problems. My home computer has a virus that shuts the computer down just minutes after I turn it on, and the office computer keeps freezing. Does anyone have a good recommendation for someone who can fix computer problems like these? (They are both PCs)


I'm not sure if you are willing to take your computers to someone, or if you hoped to have someone come to you, but if you're willing to take them somewhere, I highly recommend Leon, who runs Domino Computers on Adeline in Berkeley (3360 Adeline, near Alcatraz). We've taken our computers to him for years and have sent lots of friends and family members to him. He can diagnose and fix anything. Their phone number is 653-6287. Patty
From your description, it sounds like you have the RPC bug, which came out back in November. You can remove it using a tool from the Symantec website. If you're not a computer person, you should definitely keep virus software up to date and automatic updates for both it and Windows enabled. Don't cancel out of it when it pops up... You need for it to be keeping track of it.
We have been working with Bill Hetzel and he's GREAT. He set up a new computer for us and networked it with our laptop. To me he seems a computer genious! Can answer any question, easy to reach, can talk you through stuff on the phone and has a pretty flexible schedule. His number is 632-5670. Tell him Marissa referred you. Marissa
Call Ludovic Ibarra at 415-652-2068. He's in Alameda. He's our tech guy for my small non-profit and he aso does home computer set ups. He's fabulous! Juliette

2003 & Earlier


May 2003

We have a growing family with several children, each of whom will be getting their own computer and sharing a DSL line. My husband and I also want to have home offices. We're looking for help from a computer network consultant, preferably from a reputable outfit that has commercial accounts - we've had some bad luck with the dependability and expertise of some less professional people. If they are good, I might be able to refer them to work at my office in San Francisco as well. Thanks for your responses. Dianne


Hi, I can strongly recommend Bill Hetzel, who has his own company, Hetzelogic. He worked at my previous place of employment with a consulting company, and now handles all my home computer needs as well. He can be reached at 510-632-5670, or william_hetzel at yahoo.com. Very laid back, reasonably priced, professional, and responsible. Good luck! kelly
Do I have the guy for you. Ludoivc Ibarra who is an independent contractor and not attached to a big operation BUT who is very dependable, works hard and doesn't charge an arm and a leg has worked for me both in my home and in my office. He has also worked for other colleagues who have all been happy with his work. Give him a call and see for yourself 415-652-2068. Juliette
I wanted to recommend a computer consultant, Rob Gross at Esoft, 338-0101. He is bright, capable, and terrific at sorting out what people really need in a computer system. He usually works with larger companies, but enjoys doing family and home-office situations too.
Dianne, The Alameda Computer School sets up in-home networks. We charge a rate of $35 an hour for our services plus the cost of the materials. If you are interested email us at networks at alamedacomputers.com or give us a call at (510) 749- 3668.
John Carruthers
We love Bay Office Computing. Dan Bodner is the owner and my firm uses him for all their computer needs. I don't think they do a lot of residential work, but they go to all of our partner’s homes and help them with their computers and their home networks and everybody is delighted. We used to use a larger company and were very dissatisfied and also suspected we were getting ripped-off. Bay Office Computing is a smaller firm ­ I think Dan actually founded the company a couple years ago after quitting a larger consulting firm. Technically they can do it all and they are very talented, very fair, easy and pleasant to work with, and always know how to make things work or suggest the best most cost effective solutions. They’re also much more responsive than other consultants we used to struggle with. Their number is 510-272-0001 and Dan is at extension 44. His email is dan at BayOC.com. Good luck. Nancy
We would be completely up a creek, tech-wise, if it were not for our magnificent computer consultant, Rob Gross. (He can be reached at 510-338-0101 or rgross at esoftltd.com)

Over the past many years, he has bailed us out numerous times, patiently explained things to us, help us transfer data to new computers, pointed out that our computer had come unplugged without laughing at us (!), and overall been an invaluable fount of knowledge, expertise and know-how. We don't know how other people with computers survive without having someone like this to call.

He works with clients both in their homes and at their businesses. He's set up and maintained a system for a close friend in his business, and I know my friend also considers Rob an invaluable resource. Susan


We have been helped many times by a computer consultant named Ray Marshall (The Computer Doctor). He charges extremely reasonable rates and is helpful and pleasant to work with. His background is extensive in both hardware and software, so he's able to handle either situation to really find out what's wrong! His number in Oakland is: 836-1572 Mary
I would like to chime in that we've also been using Bay Office Computing at our law firm and for home offices of the attorneys and have been very pleased. Dan Bodner and company do it all and do it well. Dan will take very good care of you.
May 2002

I'm asking for current recommendations for someone who can work on my computer--I'm not sure what are hardware or software problems. I'm reasonably computer literate but the recent problems are beyond my scope and I don't want to spend time figuring it out. Would like current recommendations/experiences with someone who comes to your house and 'tunes up' the computer, including installing a new hard drive and more memory. Thanks in advance. Kathy

I am looking for someone to help clean off our hard drive and organize our PC computer. I have seen all the past recommendations, but they all seem out of date. Any rec's are appreciated. Thanks! Jennifer


For computer repair at home or at the office, I would recommend Mojo-IT in Berkeley. 510-849-1095

www.mojo-it.com/mojo.html They do software/hardware integration, installation, troubleshooting, Hardware replacement,(cards, hard drives, memory etc) internet setups and many other services.

I have used them myself and would recommend them. Same day appointments at your home or office. Good rates and friendly non-attitude service! Christopher


Wonderful computer repair company: FTF, Inc. They are very friendly, responsive, and affordable and make house calls. 510-748-9382. Ask for Matt. Susan
2000

I'm hoping to hire someone with software management skills who can help clean up a hodge-podge hard drive and teach me how to maintain it better. I have a 4-year-old PC with Windows 95 OS. It came with a bunch of software, much of which we don't use, and we've installed more. Recent software additions have started to affect unrelated programs, for example, upgrading NetScape resulted in problems shutting the computer down. I don't think this is due to a virus, but results from my limited software-management skills. Recently I bought a computer program for my academic work that that operates best using virtual memory. I'm afraid to use it because of what I might mess up. I hope you know someone who can help me reorganize my machine!


Lael
--I know of a very good person who will work in people's home, named Paul. I'm not sure of his going rate these days, but you can contact him at: paul at teknights.com He networked the entire head office of the clothing company that I used to work for, but then he also helped a friend of mine set-up her personal computer at home, so he is definitely well versed. Good luck!
Myriam If you are on campus you might check out the Computer Assistance Program. They have a web site at: http://www-oms.berkeley.edu/cap/what.html. They have a staff of undergraduates that have some computer experience and are often quite skilled.
I've seen several calls for computer help on the list recently so I thought I would try to start a response thread on how to hire someone and have the best chance of success. I'm sure there are other computer professionals on the list who can add to this. Consider whether taking the computer to a store might not make the most sense. The advantages include having a reputation, clear policies (not necessarily good, just clear), presumably some measure of training and oversight, better recourse in the event of a problem. It's unlikely that you would be ripped off at a brick and mortar store. The disadvantages are that you have to schlep the computer, some problems can only be solved in situ, the best computer techs are not working for $8/hour at CompUSA.

If you decide to find someone to visit your house to look at your computer, here are some suggestions for what to do:

1. Have a written list of your issues and the resolutions that you would like to see. Make a checklist that will be used at the end of the tech's visit to agree upon what has been completed. You should run through a standard list of checks beyond the work that was done to make sure the machine still functions properly. While the tech is still there, you should include in your check the following frequent problems (ideally you would do these checks before the tech starts, also - that way everyone agrees that they used to work):

Can you still print (Number one problem after the tech leaves)? Does the modem still work? Connection to the internet? Zip drive still working? If on a PC, does it have its old drive letter? CD ROM drive still working? If on a PC, same drive letter? Screensaver setting still the same? Does "mission-critical" software still launch? Has the screen resolution or color depth been changed? If so you should check any programs that might rely on those settings (mostly games, but also some high end graphics programs).

2. Know how much you want to spend. Have your prospective employee look over your list and give you an estimate. Some people may not be willing to give you a firm amount (the situation is often difficult to discern without sitting at the console). I think that's okay, but they should be able to give you a rough guess of the time involved. Certainly after they examine the machine they should be able to give you an accurate measure of how long it will take.

3. Get references.

4. Backup your machine before your techie arrives or pay the tech to do it. It cannot be stressed enough. You must backup the files you cannot afford to lose.

5. Have everything about your computer, hardware and software, out and available including all manuals, the registration numbers and/or cd keys. There's no sense in paying the tech to wait for you to find stuff. As an aside, do not ask the tech to install pirated software.

6. Offer the tech a glass of water. Often they like chocolate, too.

7. Clean and organize the area the tech will be working in before she arrives.

I hope this helps get the ball rolling and we can generate a thorough list regarding hiring a tech to work on your home computer. Scott


I don't know anyone that could come to your house but I do know of a Mac message board online that has a moderator there to answer Mac related questions. If your connection is as slow as you say it is, it may be difficult to reach the board though. Brian Forte is the moderator's name and he may be able to give you some insight into your problem, if you can get there. You can find the message board at:

http://f5.dejanews.com/frameset/frameset.cgi?channel=cc&forum=mac

There is also a list of all other computer related message boards with moderators and members that are willing and able to help you work through just about any computer problem. The full list of message boards can be found at http://www.messageboards.com. I hope that helps.

Wendy


From: John

I can't recommend Rob Bradshaw highly enough! He does Mac and Windows, and is very good - software and hardware configuration, installation, troubleshooting... He used to be a Software QA Engineer, and then went out on his own so that he could work more directly with people. Give hime a call and tell him I (John Tangney) sent you.

Almost all his clients are private individuals with computers at home, some of them in a home office situation. He has also worked at Head Royce in a computer support role, and one of his clients is the new Chabot Observatory.

Rob's is very people oriented. His first priority is making sure that the client gets what s/he needs in a timely and cost-effective fashion. He is NOT ego-bound!

Rob and I worked together at two separate companies over the years, he in a QA role, and I in a Software Engineerin role. If you know the way that goes, you'll appreciate it when I say that the stereotypically adversarial relationship between Engineering and QA was greately softened, largely due to Rob's efforts. He would do things like bring in cookies for all the engineers to make the bug reports more palatable!

Rob's number: (925) 256-5673 (pager)

The company name is Paper Machete.


From: Bonnie

Try Peter Golitzen. His e-mail address is golitzen at ifn.net. He lives in El Cerrito and has done just this type of thing for individuals and businesses. Peter is the husband of my office mate.


1999

Does anyone know the reasonable and quick computer repair shop? I bought a second hand computer, but it doesn't recognize CD drive. It is just a minor repair... Miyoko


I highly recommend Tom's Computer Repair on Gilman in Berkeley. Becky
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