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:

7/8/2017

7/22/2017

8/5/2017

8/19/2017

9/2/2017

9/16/2017

9/30/2017

10/14/2017

10/28/2017

11/11/2017

12/9//2017

12/23/2017

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.

Tablets and phones require specialized tools and parts that can be unique to each manufacturer or model of device. There are only a limited number of models that are profitable to make repairs to and the time and inventory requirements would negatively affect our service to our core customers. We regret that we will no longer perform these repairs, but will gladly assist in replacement units and data transfers on these devices when possible.

 Though it is true that CompTIA has been around in some form since 1982, They were hardly relevant until the mid to late 90s as an organization. During the late 1980s and early 1990's Novell Netware was the defacto certification to have in the PC industry and it cost plenty to get study materials, attend classes, and take the exam.

By the time these certifications were available to me around 1995 at Sprint, there was a growing debate on where certifications, and even networking technology was going. Novell was loosing ground to Banyan Vines and others and by 1997 TCP/IP was more fully integrated into Windows 95. This made Netware and Banyan nearly obsolete as well as their certifications.

It was about this time that Sprint's Atlanta IT staff was going nuts paying as much as $700 for DVDs and books to cram for the CompTIA A+ exam as Home Depot was purportedly hiring all the A+ certified techs they could get their hands on. With stock options and high pay to chum the waters, the IT staff was abuzz about A+.

Honestly, I was already largely doing their job for them in our call center as they didn't know their head from a hole in the ground in how we were set up and our requirements (a previous head tech who could probably still teach me stuff had left the company). So I had little confidence in a certification many of them could pass.

However, at this time I was considering spending the money for getting certified that I had the option for Sprint to send me to, and pay for, Genesys in San Francisco to become a Certified Genesys Engineer. A qualified Genesys engineer could make significant more money in the industry than A+, so it was a no brainer. It wasn't long after I had most of my Genesys certifications that I was recruited by E-Invest Group (a dot com that busted with the rest), then six months later was interviewing with BellSouth, Verizon, and the ultimate choice IBM.

Since I've opened Panther Computers, I've considered taking the test to allay any naysayers, but I feel that experience and results matter more than some pathetic certification that means little. Worse still, CompTIA, in order to make more money (so much for non-profit) has a requirement to retest every three years. I'll troubleshoot against any A+ and beat many if not most of them while multi-tasking on several other PCs at once.

About the time you see me go for A+ certification, will likely be a time that means I'm looking for a job. Even then, I'd be more likely to renew my Genesys Certifications first.  You can see more about my thoughts on A+ in the article Computer Shops and The Licensed and Bonded Lie.

Subcategories

Here you will find answers to commonly asked questions about a newly purchased Panther Computer system.

Here you will find commonly asked questions about the Panther Tune Up Special - What was done and why was it done that way.

Store Policies