BERNARDSTON — Roger Patt has been working with computers since he started selling electronic cash registers in Greenfield in the 1970s. Over the years, he turned his knowledge into a repair and consultation business, as “the Olde Computer Guy.”
Now that he’s being joined in business by his daughter, Amy Patt – “the Olde Computer Guy’s Daughter” – they’re expanding their services to address the way people are using computers now.
Repairs and technical troubleshooting are still the company’s bread and butter, Amy said, but they’re now adding new services like website design, social media for businesses, search engine optimization and electronic bookkeeping — “all the stuff that is still the frustration of computers,” Amy said.
They also do consultation for businesses that are unsure of what their computer needs are.
Roger gained his reputation as the “Olde Computer Guy” doing house calls, which he and Amy still do. “The on-site service is very important, because you have to see the problem where it is,” Roger said.
“A lot of what we do is like a science experiment,” Amy said. “You test this, you try this … So it sometimes can get time consuming or frustrating. The customer will get frustrated.”
“The first thing I tell them when I come on the scene, ‘There’s nothing you can do that I can’t fix. So don’t worry about it,’” Roger said.
Roger started with “business machines” in the 1970s, while a student at Greenfield Community College. “The electronic cash register was actually the first commercially available computer,” he said. “As new machines came on board, I had to learn each one — cash registers, copy machines, fax machines, typewriters and eventually the computer.”
He became the Olde Computer Guy in the ’80s, when he started doing repairs and consultations while working at a Greenfield store called Best Services and Systems. Returning customers’ phone calls, he would identify himself as Roger, the computer guy. Then he heard about someone in South Deerfield who was doing similar work and also calling himself the computer guy.
“So I’m thinking, how do I get it across that I was the first one, that I was the original computer guy?” he said. “I was the old computer guy. How about the olde computer guy? So I registered it with the state.”
Amy learned by watching her father work. She picked up enough knowledge that, as a business student at Clark University in the ’90s, she got the most coveted job on campus, the computer consultant.
“It was really interesting, as I was growing up and working with my dad, to realize that this is a person that is so needed because the average person can’t fix their computer,” Amy said. “It takes a specific type of person who can sit down, do the research, figure out the problem, and then fix it, and is not afraid to open up the computer. It definitely is a specific talent.”
■Find Amy and Roger Patt online at crwwirjshop.com, or call their office 413-648-0249.
Reach Max Marcus at [email protected] or 413-772-0261 ex 261.