Christmas is over, the tree and decorations are stashed, and now is the
time to get up close and personal with that new computer.
If the task of learning how to make the most of the capabilities of the computer is daunting, help is just a telephone call away.
Brookings computer instructor Mike Rice has been helping people tame their computers since 1989.
Rice's early career was as a machinist on submarine duty with the U.S. Navy from 1983 to 1989. He said that when he separated from the Navy in 1989 there weren't many demands for machinists and he switched to computers.
"I found a state of the art portable unit and learned how to type letters on it," he said. That led to a job selling computers for Radio Shack in San Diego.
"It was hands on, on-the-job training," he said.
He, his wife and their two children next moved to Colorado, where he continued working with computers, providing desk support and subscription maintenance for Sykes Enterprises Inc. "I worked with computer software and helped people out," he explained.
"When I received my first real thank you, I realized how gratifying it can be to actually help people."
He continued working with computers for a company in Petaluma after the family moved back to California and settled in Santa Rosa.
When the companies he worked for changed direction in 2001, he started his own business part time, providing support for individuals who needed technical help and training. "It was primarily business driven," Rice said.
The business grew as he continued to help clients better understand their computers and provided that little bit of extra knowledge that was needed.
"I never had a case I walked away from," he said. "I never had a hopeless case. I always found some kind of an answer for that person. It doesn't have to be intensive. Sometimes they already have the answer but they just don't realize it."
Actually, he admitted that his training for teaching computer science to his clients began in the 1990s when he started teaching his own children how to use the computer. He said that working with people at both ends of the age spectrum requires patience, and often some insight.
"That's why I work with people in their own homes," Rice said. "People are more comfortable in their own environment where they are able to ask questions and understand the answers and find the key to the problem."
He said he finds it relatively simple. He explained that people learn in different ways, and he encourages clients to explain what they have leaned to someone else. "One of the best ways to teach is to have them show somebody else," he said. He works to help his clients take pride in learning.
With his 20 years experience helping clients of all ages and varied backgrounds, he is ready to help provide computer mastery to anyone wanting to learn. For additional information or to make an appointment, call (541) 254-0646.
Rice and his wife Arwyn, who is a reporter at the Curry Coastal Pilot, and their three children, Chris, Sean, and Erin, have been in Brookings-Harbor six months now and they are having a good time getting acquainted with the community.