November 8, 2013
FOUR XP Systems?!?!?  Mission Impossible...

FOUR XP Systems?  By TONIGHT?!?!?  Mission Impossible…NOT!
(Photo by K. Fox)

I got an unusual request from a client — he needed four computer towers running licensed copies of Windows XP SP3 (long retired by Microsoft), and he needed them in a hurry — by the end of the same day he called.  I agreed, not sure where they all would come from, but hoping and trusting I could manage it.

When I arrived at work, there were sufficient components on hand to build three, and a few hours later another client showed up, bought a new laptop, and traded in his old desktop machine, which became machine #4.  All machines were built and delivered on time, the client is happy, and it’s back to business as usual — selling new and refurbished Apple and Microsoft Windows 7 and 8.1 desktop and notebook systems, and performing upgrades, repairs, and maintenance on existing systems…

…and, occasionally, pulling a rabbit (or four) out of my hat…

Are PCs Trucks…or are Tablets Bicycles?

October 24, 2013


The late Steve Jobs had a good point when he compared traditional computers to trucks and tablets to cars.  At least, it sounds like a good point.  He believed that most people will need only tablets while some people will still need the added utility of a PC.

But how many people are really better off with a tablet than with a computer, be it notebook or desktop? Some people use both, of course…but that’s another subject…

Many people are still in the honeymoon phase with their tablets.  And so perhaps they haven’t noticed all the limitations, shortcomings, annoyances, and frustrations.  Tablets, including the mighty iPAD, lack keyboards and precision pointing devices, printer support, wired internet connectivity (welcome to “EMF Everywhere,” living surrounded by Wi-Fi and Cellular signals day and night, at home and at work), photo and document scanning capabilities, removable data and peripheral storage, high-quality sound systems, the ability to make and copy CDs and DVDs, the ability to upgrade existing features and capabilities, the ability to run Adobe Flash websites and apps on the iPAD…heck, I could go on and on and on.

So maybe a PC is not a truck — it’s a car.  And maybe a tablet is not a car — it’s a bicycle!

Taking Care of Business…and Working Overtime!

October 22, 2013


Dear Mr. Salemi,

On October 3, 2013 I brought in my Dell laptop for a keyboard issue. After discussing the performance of the computer with you, I requested that a Micro-Sata (MSATA) hard drive chip be installed, along with an additional solid state drive (SSD), in order to enhance the performance.

All work was performed as requested, ahead of time and the computer works perfectly as expected. At the same time, the original keyboard problems that I mentioned were also resolved, and now the system can both enter and exit sleep modes from both keyboards.

All work done by you was to expectation and beyond in that you worked overtime on Saturday to complete the job.

Thank You!

Ray Gonzales
Santa Fe

No Blank Stares Here @ The Computer Guru!

October 22, 2013


This, today, from a very satisfied client and former Apple Employee.  I replaced the hard drive in her MacBook Pro, and installed the latest version of OSX, saving her many hundreds of dollars compared to the cost of a new MacBook:

“Steven, the system works beautifully with the new hard drive, everything is perfect now.  I am so glad to have found you.  I went to one other place before I came to see you, and when I described the problems I was having, they gave me a blank stare.  That didn’t give me a good feeling.  Thank You!”

A VERY Happy Customer!!!

June 8, 2013
There Are Happy Customers, and VERY Happy Customers!!!

There Are Happy Customers, and VERY Happy Customers!!!

A Sign of the Times!

June 2, 2013
Easy to Read, Easy to Change!!!

Easy to Read, Easy to Change!!!

A favorite client of mine, C.G. Higgins (who wouldn’t like a client who makes chocolate and candy?), came up with a nifty idea for an electronic sign. We purchased an inexpensive LCD TV, built and programmed a refurbished computer, and Hey Presto, an attractive, easy-to-read, computer-based menu display sign for his business. Easy to program, easy to read, easy to change, and inexpensive. Good thinking, Chuck! Nice Machinery, Guru!

You CAN Afford A Ferrari!!!

May 24, 2013


A Computer Guru “Ferrari” High-Power
Custom-Built Workstation, that is!

A client needed a powerful machine, custom-configured to run SIX (that is 6, half-a-dozen) monitors simultaneously for financial trading (the stock market being an excellent way to make money, lately — but BE CAREFUL!).  I responded with this beauty, one of the fastest and smoothest computers I’ve ever used.  Hand built by yours truly, it features a “Micro SSD” primary 256GB Hard Drive which is really more of a chip than a drive, and two other traditional drives, one for data storage, and a third for back-up.  Quiet, smooth, elegant, who could ask for anything more?


From the owner: “Many thanks again for your expertise, diligence and high standards which have enabled me to shift to a much improved performance path for my personal computer.”

Yelp! Save Us From Junk Opinions!

May 3, 2013


It’s a long story, but after years of driving imported cars, I ended up with an unusual Italian car that features an American-built engine.  So when I needed a part, I actually visited the local Ford dealership here in Santa Fe for the first time, and found the staff to be incredibly helpful and knowledgeable and friendly.  They actually fixed my car for me while I waited!

I said to myself, “these guys are terrific!,” and while rethinking my entire history of owning and driving unreliable, expensive, and difficult-to-service imported machinery, I looked up the dealership on the internet — and found, at the very top of the Google search, a stupid, misleading, and downright diabolical web site named “Yelp,” whose only benefit, it seems to me, is to serve as an early-warning system for the dangerous nonsense and junk information which abound on the internet today.

This successful, well-established Ford dealership — which proved so helpful, friendly, knowledgeable, and courteous — received an atrocious ONE STAR rating from Yelp.  That rating was based on exactly TWO reviews they received (both bad) from two eerily similar reviewers, both out-of-towners (also down-and-outers, from what I could gather) who were both driving junky cars, both broke down in New Mexico on the way to other places, both visited this dealership out of desperation, and both were dissatisfied because they didn’t get the dirt cheap service and uncomplicated, optimistic prognoses they undoubtedly hoped for.

TWO REVIEWS!  I thought of the thousands of customers this business must have served over the past decades, maybe even tens of thousands…so many new cars sold and serviced, so many factory-trained mechanics working long hours to keep people’s wheels turning, year after year.  Part of the community, helping the community.  And then to find that a solid, praiseworthy business like this received a poor review from this “Yelp” — who the hell are these people, where the hell are these people, where did they come from, why are they here, why do we need them, and most of all, why in God’s name should we listen to them?

I became indignant, even angry, at the “mechanics,” if you want to call it that, of Yelp (and Yahoo, and Google, and Trip Advisor, and other online critics and reviewers).  I wondered what right these companies had to offer these junk reviews of fine businesses and their hard-working, dedicated employees.  Where was the balance, the fairness, the truth, the real value of this information?  I thought harder. Who said these customers — assuming they even existed — actually visited this dealership?  Maybe they were both fictional characters, created by competitors or antagonists or Yelp shills (read on)!

I mean, come on:  TWO customers out of thousands, tens of thousands, decades’ worth of largely happy customers?  We are talking about statistically-insignificant information — true junk data.  If it were a scientific experiment or research paper, the “results” would be thrown out and ignored.  But how many people, especially young people “raised on the internet,” might actually believe this nonsense, and base their opinions and their actions on it?  A quick glance at Google reveals a shabby one-star rating, and the prospective customer moves on, having garnered a “couldn’t be more wrong” opinion of the value of the business.

But wait, it gets worse.  After reading the two bad reviews, I saw immediately below them an ADVERTISEMENT for another Santa Fe automotive repair facility, and it was painted in absolutely glowing terms.  The people positively gushed.  And then it all became clear: read the bogus reviews, then read the glowing Yelp-Preferred reviews from one of their advertisers, and voila, you might naturally pick the Yelp-vetted advertiser after reading the Yelp-bashed reviews.

What a system, huh? Set ’em up, knock ’em down.  At least Consumer Reports, for all its shortcomings, does not accept advertising.  But Yelp pretends to be objective, and accepts advertising at the same time!

When one encounters injustice of this magnitude, one’s natural response is to fight it — you know, try and get people to write positive reviews and “balance out” the false, negative picture painted by Yelp. But then I thought, “why give Yelp any time, energy, or effort whatsoever? Why not simply ignore it? Why not treat it with all the respect it deserves: EXACTLY ZERO?”

And then I was reminded of the old adage: “Don’t wrestle with a pig. You get all dirty, and the pig enjoys it.”

Let The People Speak!

April 30, 2013

Let The People Speak!

The Hard-Working Computer Guru, Caught Unawares By The Paparazzi

Hello Steven:

Thank you very much once again for your immaculately professional and devoted effort with reconditioning my Dell Inspiron laptop yesterday.

The machine is performing much better today with a noticeable step up in speed. The font and other display modification you made to my internet Explorer browser are also very appealing.

— B.K., Santa Fe

It’s ART, I Tell You!!!

April 20, 2013
At The Sign of The Apple

At The Sign of The Apple

You know, apples have always been one of my favorite fruits — both visually and taste-wise — so I hired a local artist to create an attractive apple sculpture for the front of “The Ashram” (The Computer Guru’s Office & Showroom & Service Facility) at 844 Agua Fria Street here in Santa Fe, New Mexico, at the southeast corner of the intersection of Agua Fria Street and St. Francis Drive (across from Lotus Beauty).

So the next time you’re giving people directions to The Computer Guru (in other words, steering them towards the very best computer shop anywhere), just tell them “it’s the place with the giant apple in front!!!”

I mean, there can’t be too many other places like that, can there?

Oh, and yes, I do sell and service Apple computers — just a coincidence, of course.

And PCs.  Right!