I want to take the opportunity to tell you about my journey into this career and passion of mine. Please share my story and page with others if you like it! My family and I really appreciate it! Now, this is my story.
The year is 1999. Half-life just came out in time for the holiday season of 1998. It becomes the most popular video game available over a very short time on the market, and I feel like I’m the only teenager in the world without a computer.
My grandmother knows a gentleman, Joe Rossi, who has some refurbished computers and she arranges for him to deliver one to me. I eventually figure out how to get on the internet with this 100 MHz beast with 64 MB of RAM and a 28.8k modem… i.e. SLOOOW, even for that time with 56k modems on the market.
I used to get on a service called Blue Light–it was sponsored by K-mart, and once you connected to the internet, you’d have to watch a K-mart commercial and have an ad banner on the screen while you surfed. Not a big deal for free internet at the time! I can still remember the song in the Jordache jeans commercial they used for about three months straight, ha!
Still, despite the slow speeds and hoops to jump through just to connect to the internet, I am in love and learning like a madman. I downloaded my first Napster song on there before the big scandal. It was a Red Hot Chili Peppers song and it took over three hours on that beast. In the end, it sounded awful (64 bit song file–ouch!), but still amazing. I even met and dated a girl from Oregon for months on AOL Instant Messenger–I’d spend what little money I had on phone cards just to call her, back when long distance was still expensive… but that’s a whole ‘nother story. It was exciting times for a kid at a new school with no friends yet.
The only problem I have is I can’t run the game of the year on this computer. It is well below the minimum specifications required. Eventually, I come across another computer that can barely run it, a 500 MHz Pentium 2 Coppermine machine, and in 2001, I am finally playing my favorite game at home instead of at friends’ houses for a few minutes at a time.
I find work at a neighbor’s auto shop and save my money for a new computer. It takes a long time making $4 an hour under the table, but I finally buy myself an e-machines (owned by Gateway, the cow computer company, at the time) computer with a 900 MHZ Celeron. This is still a budget computer for the time, but nevertheless faster than the 466 hand-me-down I was using. Half-life now runs like a champ and I have a faster 56K modem, so playing online is less problematic as well. Ultimately, though, I know things can still be better. My good friend across town got a video card months before, and when I saw the game on his computer after he installed it, I was blown away.
This is a time when we have Playstation 2 on the market and we are all amazed at how smooth and realistic graphics are becoming. However, seeing what the video card did for the computer game changed me forever. For the first time, I realized why computer games were always in the video game magazines I read at the grocery store while my mom was shopping throughout the 90’s. I’d think back to the computers at school or my computers at home and wonder why anyone would consider computer versions of multi-platform games with such awful graphics compared to consoles. Seeing Half-life on graphics card steroids got me into modifying computers instead of just buying them.
Since then, I’ve had numerous computers over the years. I have paid attention to the Intel vs. AMD battles, the Nvidia vs. ATI (now AMD) competitions, parts prices, computer case designs, PC manufacturer marketing, and application performance benchmarks since 2001.
With almost 20 years of this market research under my belt, as well as almost always being on a budget when building computers for myself and others, I have mastered the art of building computers that fit the needs of their owners like a glove while maximizing the performance per dollar ratio of the components chosen for each and every machine I build and upgrade.
This is why I love to take a personal approach to system building, and now information technology needs in general. Computers, networking, data, etc… there are always the best products on the market with bleeding edge tech, but that market, I’d argue, is not for everyone, despite what many other builders might say. I don’t want to sell a full-size pickup to someone who only needs to haul garbage to the dump once a year. I don’t want to make people feel like they have to spend four figures on a computer so it lasts five years. That’s wrong and I hate that about today’s industry.
No, there is a perfect balance between price and performance for each machine. I feel the art of finding that price:performance ratio can only be mastered with the market research and experience tenure that only a local builder can provide. You can find videos online of people calling the big companies and getting a representative who, while polite, doesn’t have this experience. The customer ends up getting a machine with too little or too much, and they are unhappy when, a year later, the computer gets really slow. Many blame Windows for this, but it’s usually the hardware components, mainly the hard drives, which many builders skimp on quality there.
Finally, these builders care about their partners more than their customers and constantly prove it by installing a ton of unnecessary third-party software on the machine. They make it theirs instead of yours. I think that’s extremely unfair to create a burden of work for you right out of the box, don’t you? If you call them to complain or request help, well, you know where those calls go.
Do yourself a favor next time you are in the market for a computer, a website (which I treat with the same standards as my computer building), tech support, or anything tech-related. Message me and see what I can do for you. Like I said, I promise you can get five years out of my computers before you need to upgrade, and by that I mean you might need to add some RAM or extra storage as software gets bigger, or perhaps upgrade your video card if you are a gamer or streamer, and it will still perform well.
I also upgrade your current PC’s and laptops. If it was made in the last 10 years, I can install a lightning-fast hard drive in it to make it boot up and operate a lot faster, most likely faster than it was on day one even.
I also install A/V equipment, wall-mount televisions, install VR setups, and teach tech to all ages. I am also licensed and insured.
My services are extremely affordable and tailored to you. You can message me on Facebook, or you can call or text me any time and I will respond in a timely manner no matter how you choose to reach out. Advice is always free. Have a great summer!
All My Best,
Founder, White Center Tech