I began working with Cooks Paint and Body in Pace in January, and though they are wonderful people and do great work, another opportunity popped up that I wasn't looking for or expecting.  In April  I became the IT Manager at Exit Realty NFI in Pensacola. I still work some evenings at Panther Computers, but I foresee a near future where I will be only doing so by appointment. I'm glad that NW Florida allowed me to provide service with integrity for 14 years, but the need for computer stores is going the way of VCR repair. I'm still here for those who need me as my schedule permits. I'm excited to be a part of the Exit team and look to help them grow the business through my IT and Marketing expertise. https://www.facebook.com/floridaexit/

Store hours are Monday-Thursday 6PM-9PM, and every other Saturday.  Onsite appointments and remote sessions are an option in the evenings and every other weekend.   My day job takes precedence and I may not be able to be here these hours, so please call ahead first.  Holidays will still impact these hours as well.


Projected weekend dates for the rest of this year:













Panther Computers now offers the Panther Pounce Tuneup.  In response to  customer requests, we are now offering this alternative to the full Panther Tuneup (regularly $150) with this faster turn around time to quickly get you back up an running.  This is a quick hit tuneup that simply removes the most obvious virus and malware infections for $75 that allows you to continue using your existing protections and antivirus software.

I'm here today to make you aware of a scam that I believe is happening with nearly all international call centers, but especially those in India. Based on dozens of conversations with my customers over the last three years, it is my belief that call center employees that answer calls for US based businesses like AT&T, Amazon, and other high profile companies are transferring calls out of the legitimate call center to illegitimate businesses that try to scam money from you.

Panther Computers now sells items on Amazon.  We have over one hundred items available locally at our Milton location or you can order online and have it shipped.  Eventually we will have all of our new inventory online at Amazon so you can see what we have in stock.  Used items and parts will not be listed, so come by or call if you need these or special order items.

CoinBase is a virtual currency exchange for BitCoin that has become licensed in the US to exchange BitCoin for Dollars.  Here is an article from PCWorld with the details:

Coinbase to launch first licensed U.S. Bitcoin exchange

Do to the increased number of ransomeware viruses being seen on computers being brought into Panther Computers, we are adding a new utility called Crypto Prevent to the software installed on computers during our Panther Tuneup.  You can read the article below on CryptoWall for more details on ransomeware viruses and their effects. We will install the free edition, free to homeowners and businesses alike, but you may consider the paid premium version for automatic updates.

Over the last several years there have been several ransomeware viruses that will encrypt your data in a fashion that will cause you to loose the data or have to pay to get your files back.  CryptoLocker, CryptoDefense, CTB Locker, and now CryptoWall.  It is now more important than ever to ensure you have backups of all your important personal and business files as you could be infected from any number of sources.

Panther Computers has invested in an enhanced system to provide better tracking and histories of our clients, their computers, and the work performed.  We now have the ability to provide you email and SMS (aka texting) updates as we begin and proceed with the work on your computer.  You can also click on the Status link under services to log into your tickets online for a current status.  We are continually looking for ways to improve the service we provide our clients.

Panther Computers now offers our remote access service, Panther Rescue Remote, to our customers. Panther Rescue Remote can allow a Panther Computers technician provide you local support from our offices saving you travel time and expense.  All you need is a working high speed internet access for the computer and we can provide instruction, configuration, and technical support. 

The support is by appointment and first come first serve, but we will expand availabilty and offerings as demand increases.  Stay tuned for pricing and other details as we fully deploy Panther Rescue Remote.  Whether in the store or by remote we'll make your computer PuRR like a kitten.



We are bumping this article back to the top as there has been a recent increase of these calls in the NW Florida area. We have one computer in the shop now that has been completely locked and is in danger of having had tax documents tampered with or "stolen. We've had a second customer relate that they have had no less than five phone calls trying to coerce them into letting the Indian sounding caller take control of their computer.  Watch videos and more on our Facebook page on this an other computer scams.

You may have noticed one or more commercials on TV that claims that they can remotely connect to your computer and make it "work", however be sure they don't charge you if they can't.  Most problems today are spyware and virus related and there is absolutely no way this can be cleaned remotely, even if your Internet is working.  If your system is just bogged down from normal use, be sure you pay no more than you could at a local shop for a service that is hyped late night alongside the vacuum cleaners, kitchen gizmos, and colon cleansers.

Here is the roundabout tale of how I came to enter the computer business back in 1986 after having started, then dropped the computer science program intending to become a professional programmer after high school. It gives you a little insight on my journey, but also hopefully awaken you to the types of scams used by computer repair stores that still permeates the business today.


In my senior year of high school I was dual enrolled at Milton High School during the day and Pensacola Junior College at night. Only needing three classes to graduate, I went half a day to school and took two night classes at college getting a start on my computer science degree. After graduation from MHS I was off to basic training and tech-school having already enrolled in the Air Force Reserves my senior year.


After returning to the Milton area I enrolled full time at PJC taking six classes that quickly became a chore with living on my own and trying to work to pay the bills. I was delivering pizza, the only job I could find, and soon found myself helping a new driver that no one else seemed to make time to train or help. Within a short time he had become assistant manager as that position opened up and he had management background and college being a bit older than most of us.


He and I became friends and it soon became apparent that the manager was going to leave as well. We anticipated the possibility of me becoming assistant manager and started training me for the position. When it finally became open, I had to choose between the job and the most money I had made in my young life as a salary or stay in school. I opted to go for the money that was needed and desired and dropped my classes.


Nearly a year later I had become manager after my friend left the area, but found myself at odds with the management style being forced upon me by the owner, so I quit and ultimately ended up going onto active duty in the Air Force. My friend and I stayed in touch during this time and he ended up living back in his home town where his father was a realtor. His father had become an early adopter of technology in his field and had bought a computer system from a local name brand dealer and had nothing but trouble since.


My friend being inquisitive and intelligent tried to work with the dealer on resolving the issues and soon found the dealer to be unresponsive. Not one to be put off or defeated, he began investigating for himself, calling the name brand company headquarters, the manufacturers of the individual parts, and the software companies to resolve the issues for his father. During this time he gained valuable experience on how to trouble shoot the systems, how to disassemble and reassemble them, how to uninstall and install software etc.


After six months of this he became quite knowledgeable in computers and discovered the local dealer had taken name brand parts out of a system and replaced them with what was known as “cheap Taiwan junk” parts then sold the name brand parts for full price. This may sound like a shrewd business tactic, but the person who bought the computer got lesser parts at full price, namely his dad. With their new found knowledge, they opened up their own computer store that quickly put the other fellow out of business.


It was about this time that on active duty I was about to buy a TRS80 from a shack, that my friend educated me on the benefits of a “built” computer. I traveled several states away, built my first computer, and returned opening my own computer business ACS-West shortly after.


I told people up front of my limited knowledge and experience and offered them half off the going rate if I had to learn something new. It was a trade off for both of us as they got half rate and slower results and I got half pay but acquired new skills as I went. Between 86 and 92 I built a small business that taught me many of the skills I have today, and I did so with integrity that many came to appreciate during that time.


There was and still is a great market for reputable businesses that don't try to be shrewd and ply an advantage at their customers expense. However as one of the CyberStupid! articles describes, there are many things going on in our area that leaves one wondering what short cuts and misrepresentations are being used by some of the other stores.


I look back and think it to be an irony that the one person who got me to drop out of college for a job, ultimately got me into the career field I've been in every since. Oh, it doesn't work that way for everyone so kids go to school and get edjumakated! lol  As you can see by resume at LinkedIn on the left, I finished my BA Cum Laude, so stick to the books and never give up.