A lot of people think they know how to fix a computer until they get to the "nitty gritty" of the technology and run into trouble, says Taupo computer sales and service owner Jeremy Haysham.
"When they get to the real workings of a desktop computer, they suddenly realise it is a whole new ball game," Haysham, the managing director of PCMach Computer Services, says.
Haysham describes himself as always having the "fixer-upper" gene in his blood.
He was a qualified automotive mechanic and mechanical engineer before settling into computer servicing and sales and becoming an Apple-certified support technician.
The firm that began in his garage five years ago has been going through a growth spurt in the past six months. Last year he bought two local computer service businesses, adding an extra 900 new customers.
Since November, about four to five new customers on average, mainly home users or self-employed businesses, have come through the door.
The extra custom has helped him employ a fulltime technician and part-time office staff.
"Our aim is to be the biggest in the region, and perhaps one of the biggest nationally."
Treating the customer the right way is paramount to his business, he says.
"I see all the time people trying to save money by buying inferior quality and end up paying more in the long run when their computer needs repairing," he said.
"It really is better to spend a bit more money on something better than buy a discounted end of line item which is already several years old."
The business sells laptops, and makes and markets its own Mach-branded desktop computers. Two to three laptops and one to two desktops are sold each month.
The business motto is "computing at the speed of sound", he says.
"Computers are totally unpredictable - they are a bit like twins. You can have two of identical make but they each perform differently," says Haysham, who has a twin brother who is a plasterer.
The key is to match the right software with the hardware, he says.
Viruses and security are common problems among customers' computers. "Fake viruses which send out a message that the computer is infected when it isn't is a common problem we get."
Haysham says he is constantly reminding parents not to let their children illegally download music or movies, as file sharing applications lead to viruses.
Viruses have now reached pandemic proportions, as have free toolbars on browsers which clog computers and slow internet speed, he says.
"We have 3-4 customers a week coming to have their computers repaired because these problems."
- © Fairfax NZ News