The days when you might know one or two people down the street with a personal computer are long gone. Counting smartphones (you know, those computers glued to our hands), every household around has at least two computers and uses that on a daily basis. That said, everyone has had their machine, upon which we've come to rely so heavily, act up every once in a while.
Accordingly, I sat down with Stan Gryskiewcz owner of Windsor's PC Development Group to get the skinny on his local computer shop, how I can keep from losing the hundreds of family photos I just converted to digital copies and whether Mac or PC is the way to go:
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Windsor Patch: What do you enjoy about having a business here in Windsor?
Stan Gryskiewcz: When I first opened this store, I came from Georgia and I had never really lived in a small town. Right off the bat, we got so much support from the community — just (people) coming in just to say "Hi." People would genuinely ask, "How are you doing?" (They would say) "We want to support local business," "We're so glad you're here." After that you really build relationships with people and you get involved with different groups like the Chamber (of Commerce), the Jaycees and the Rotary Club. It's really like a family, and it's so nice to hear that so many people are rooting for you to succeed and they want you to be here. I don't know if I would see that in some of these other towns. I just kind of happened here. It was just luck, so somebody was smiling down on me to get me here. I'm so glad that I ended up here in Windsor.
What's the one thing you want people to know about PC Development Group?
We're all about service here. I promise you that you will not get better service anywhere else. I have the best crew in the business here and service is our number one. Rest assured that if you come here you're going to get a fair price, you're going to be treated right and you're going to want to come back.
What services do you provide here at PC Development?
As far as specific services. Repair is a big part of it and also we build new custom computers and laptops. We also sell refurbished computers and laptops. As far as the repair side of it goes, we have customers that drop of their computer here, we also go out to customers, be it a home user or a business to do repair or we also set up networks and stuff like that. So any type of home or business IT stuff, we do.
As far as building a computer for a customer goes, why would someone choose to go that route instead of just buying one from Best Buy or Walmart?
One good thing is we can customize the computer to your needs. We build it from the ground up. As far as quality, we feel that our quality is superior to some of the (bix-box) brands like Dell or HP. The other down side, a lot of times, is if you have a part that goes bad, then you have to call (the company), and that's usually a hassle for the customer… A lot of times the parts inside the computers are proprietary so you're forced to go back to those companies, and a lot of times they will cost more. The downside is, if you buy a computer from us, it's going to be more expensive than from Dell. It's hard for us to compete on price, but, you know, we're fairly competitive, and — it's really not going to cost more than $50 more to get one from us — but we hope in the long run, with the service we provide, I know for a fact that you'll be better off. When you call us and you have a problem you're not going to be put on hold. We're going to talk to you and work you through the problem. You're going to get the best service here.
How long have you been open?
This is actually our tenth year in business. We're very proud of that. We actually were in The Plaza building for about six years; we've been here about four years. We just moved a couple doors down.
How's business been for you?
We've been very fortunate. I remember when we first opened the business there were plenty of times when we had time to go and play catch on the green. As time went on we couldn't do that anymore because we couldn't leave the store. Now we get in 40 to 50 computers a week in here for repair and we turn around every computer within 48 hours… I live in Windsor. I love being here and I'm not going anywhere. This is my home, this is where I plan to stay. Business has been great.
What's your most common call for service?
We see a lot of viruses. Viruses and malware. I would say most of the time a computer comes in for repair it's got a virus. That's well over half. On the business side, it's really all kinds. A lot of times there are networking issues or part of an equipment has gone bad.
What can people do to keep their computer's virus-free?
We always recommend anti-virus software. We also have a couple utilities we leave on the system that they can run every once in a while to help prevent. We also try to talk about safe-surfing habits, watching out for what you click on in emails and things like that. We really try to coach the customer on what to do and what may have happened so they can prevent it in the future.
Is there a common mistake that people make that messes up their computers?
People really have to be careful with email; clicking on links that are in your email. You see so many fishy emails these days… You may get an email from MasterCard and a lot of people click on that link. As soon as you do that… stuff is immediately installed on your system without you knowing about it… It's really about being careful, reading the email and say, "Well, is this legit?" If you think, "No," then that's what we're here for.
Another thing we see is that people don't back up their computers enough. We get so many horror stories where people had family pictures and their hard drive is dead. We have a limited capability with what we can do to recover data, so we do what we can. If we can't recover it, there's a company in California we send it to. If they can't get it, nobody can. Unfortunately, it's going to cost you $800 - $4,000 to get that data back. So it all depends on how important the data is to the customer, but it's very expensive to do that type of recovery. Nowadays you can buy an external hard drive, you can do online backups and it's so cheap. We always stress that to our customers because your hard drive is going to die one of these days. It's inevitable
Apple or PC and why?
That's a big question. Well we don't do much with Apples, so PC, definitely.
Both platforms have their merits. Apple, as far as the way they market their product, it's a beautiful product. It's very sleek, don't get me wrong. It really has a lot of good applications in desktop publishing and in graphics, so they're very good at what they do, but PC's are also very good at what they do. PC's are also a lot more prevalent than Macs. As far as the business environment, PC is still king and it's going to be for a long time.