As work slowed down at his full-time job in 2007, Kevin Barker saw an opportunity to work for himself in an industry he loved. He started Kevin’s Computer Help.
Barker worked for Seagate in Santa Maria, making recording heads for tape backup drives. The company put Barker through the Network Administrator program at Santa Barbara Business College.
As it was getting close to shutting down, Barker said he started his business as a side project. He moonlighted with the companies’ blessing, then went full time when it closed permanently.
“I like computers. I like the technology,” he said. “When I first started I thought about how great it would be to wake up every morning to do something you loved. What I didn’t realize is how it takes time to grow a business.”
Unlike many computer repair and troubleshooting businesses, Barker makes house calls.
“Eighty percent of the time I’m able to fix the computer right there; I don’t often have to take it back with me,” he said.
He said the problem with computers isn’t that they break or malfunction so easily, but that consumers are given so little information about them.
“Most people are sold a computer and they’re told nothing about how to use it, maintain it, etc. So, people don’t make system recovery discs the way they should; they don’t make sure to have an anti-virus, or at least that they don’t have more than one anti-virus, which tend to fight with each other inside your computer.”
“What I usually encounter with computers is malware, not usually viruses, just malware. Malware is the pop-ups you get, the adware that annoys you and takes over your browser. It’s not going to steal your credit card, but it is going to slow down your computer.”
Barker said he spends time explaining to his customers what went wrong so that they can avoid trouble in the future.
Barker specializes in:
- Computer repair. (Runs slow, blue screen, no sound, no video, email problems, Internet connection problems etc.)
- Create home network for sharing an Internet connection, files and printers. Wired or wireless.
- Upgrades. (Larger hard drive, more memory, new video card etc.)
- Backup solutions.
- Data recovery.
- Software installation & configuration.
Barker said he charges about $75 an hour, and can get most jobs done in about that time, though some complex issues can take more time.
He serves customers from Lompoc to the 5 cities area 7 days a week. He doesn’t charge to travel. You can reach him at (805) 260-9177.