Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Computer Repair: When the Bits Hit the Fan

Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Computer Repair: When the Bits Hit the Fan

Article excerpt

If you use a PC or Mac for business purposes, and it breaks and you're like many business people you're dead in the water. In a home setting, a broken personal computer is no fun either. Some people like fixing PCs, but if you're among those who would prefer to keep the silicon out from under your fingernails, you need a pro.

Many small business and home users rely on local computer repair shops. But who can you trust? The nonprofit consumer organization Center for the Study of Services has just published the results of a survey it did of local stores in seven cities that do computer repair, along with providing tips about computer repair in general.

Computer repair ratings for individual stores are available through its magazine, Consumer's Checkbook, for the seven metropolitan areas that the organization currently serves: Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, Puget Sound, San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose, Twin Cities and Washington, D.C. But more general information applies elsewhere around the country as well.

I talked with the president of the Center for the Study of Services, Robert Krughoff, who's a hands-on, jack-of-all-trades kind of boss. Not only does he head up the organization, which he founded 30 years ago, he also writes most of the articles in the magazine, which is published twice a year, including the one on computer repair. Other articles in this month's issue deal with computer buying, video equipment repair, local pest control firms and other subjects.

"I enjoy being involved in the various articles, perhaps more involved than my staff wishes I were," said Krughoff, who has a law degree and an undergraduate degree in economics and previously worked for the federal government. His organization has 35 employees, and each article is the result of the work of a team of around 10 researchers.

The researchers comparison price shop and survey the magazine's own readers as well as the readers of Consumer Reports magazine (the organizations publishing each magazine are completely independent) for their experiences and opinions about local stores and service firms.

Krughoff ordered good advice about getting a personal computer fixed and about helping to prevent a computer from breaking. For more detailed advice, buy the magazine, available through its Web site, at .

Here's what's most important to keep in mind about computer repair, Krughoff said:

* It can be better to take a broken PC to a local repair shop than have a repair technician come to your office or home. …

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