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Old 01-20-2009, 11:38 AM
 
Location: In a city
1,392 posts, read 3,023,301 times
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My husband wanted to find out how reliable the high speed internet connections are in the Lander/Riverton area and what the speeds are. What is the best internet provider in these areas? Also, he does computer repair and upgrades from our home currently. Is there a need in the area for people to fix computers at a reasonable rate? Right now in our current town of 7500 or so there are over 7 businesses/people doing computer repair service and the market is a bit flooded, if you know what I mean. Thanks for any input!
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Old 01-20-2009, 12:24 PM
 
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That's right up my alley.... (IT director for the library systems after I couldn't drum up enough business to do the whole computer repair/upgrade personal business route in Lander).

Only 2 major ISPs, Wyoming.com (DSL) and Bresnan.net (Cable). They are Roughly comparable on price but speed and service are WORLDS apart (at least from a business standpoint ~ I haven't needed Any service for my personal Bresnan connection). When I took on my job at the library, we were with Wyoming.com and within a few months I had more than enough reasons to move on, so we did. The complaints from staff and patrons alike have dropped. Our monthly bills have dropped, and total over all speeds have increased. It's a no-brainer for me, I never recommend Wyoming.com and always recommend Bresnan.net.

For the computer repair thing, I personally know of 3 established businesses in Lander (8000-ish people, one is in Riverton too). Traveling Computers which is owned by the same person who owns Radio Shack and the local Verizon arms. I don't think I've heard one good thing about Traveling Computers. They are expensive, inconvinient, and often of absolutely no help (as in they don't resolve the problem). I know of a Mac only repair person and he seems to just kinda chug along, helps that he's the only one who will touch a Mac though. And a new comer, Ineedatech911 who's trying to do lots of different things... must be doing okay as he's been renting the same office space on Main street for several months now. He has Fixed pricing on OS instals, virus removal and a couple other standard things.

When I gave it a go, my "thing" was that I went to the customer. I've seen too many times where it's the user/enviroment that causes the problems, and it's inconvienient for people to tear apart their system to take it somewhere. The customers I had (90% business) were all repeats because I did work with them on their time schedule and in their location. The private individuals were mostly a one time deal as something was Broken (bad PSU, or memory, etc) and once it was replaced, everything was good. Or it was virus/spam related and I set them up with the tools (and put them into the scheduled tasks) to help prevent the issue from occuring again. I had one gal who used me for personal training sessions. She paid less, but was also willing to work on my schedule.

Something for your husband to consider is getting in touch with CWC. They hired me once to teach a Basic web class (hosting and design), and have been begging me to come back and teach more ever since. I didn't like teaching a class, so I haven't done it again but I think I made $100 for 2~3 hours of teaching and maybe an hour of prep work. This was, again, in Lander as an "outreach" class.

I don't really follow what goes on in Riverton too much (other than my library duties), sorry.

I do have a FWIW.... I'm leaving in April and there's some question about my position. There's a slim chance someone will take it over from the inside, but she may not be capable. It's a full time, county gov. gig, pretty darn good pay for the area... need someone capable of doing everything from desktop maintenace to Exchange server, Active Directory, Cisco VoIP phone systems, RFID, Video over IP (both survalance and display boards) on over to budgeting, purchasing and planning. It's all up in the air currently, but it's a possability that the position will be put out to bid in the paper.

Brian
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Old 01-20-2009, 02:12 PM
 
Location: In a city
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Thank you for the information. I passed your reply onto my husband. Since I don't graduate until May it's hard to say if/when we could move out there. It's also contingent on me finding a teaching job in the area.

Is there a lot to do with the library IT bit or does it get slow at times? Also did you have to have certification to get that job? My husband is for the most part self taught but has been doing repair for over 12 years now and where other places in town couldn't fix a problem he has. And he does fix macs and laptops. He's just wondering if he could find enough clientele if we move to make it worthwhile to have a home business, and if he would work for a place doing IT stuff, would he have to have a degree or just proof of ability.
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Old 01-21-2009, 07:37 AM
 
4,690 posts, read 9,448,071 times
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I'm like your husband, been doing the computer thing on a personal level (helping myself and friends) since 1986-ish, and professionally since 1996-ish. Not one single degree or certification, just real world experience that tends to trump all of the guys who took a crash course to pass a test but don't know how to Apply their knowledge. As for volume of work, it's a roller coaster... usually I have a dead 2 days in a week and lots of stuff to do the other 3 days (which may not be true for the next person if they work faster or slower than I do, or can better manage their projects so as to maintain a constant pace). But even right now, in the midst of budget issues, I'll be fallow for 3 hours in the morning, and then rushing to get something done by the time I leave. It is far and away the most challanging job I've had to date, also the most interesting, enjoyable and fun.

My best mix was working part time for the library, doing my computer repair and I still had enough time and money to go play and not feel stressed. But that's going to be rare to find (I only had it for 6 months). Doing just computer repair on my own, I was stressed (made Just enough to cover advertising costs), and it put a strain on my marriage as my wife had to pick up all living costs.

But given your time table, this position may not be around. I've turned in my last day of April 30th and will be spending parts of March and April training my replacement.
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Old 01-23-2009, 09:05 AM
 
Location: In a city
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Has anyone experienced any slow service or periods of black out with Bresnen? What is their high speed connection speed and is it available outside of the city limits?
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Old 01-23-2009, 04:06 PM
 
4,690 posts, read 9,448,071 times
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Me again, the only non-service periods have been limited to under an hour, and I think we've had 2 or 3 of those in 3 years. It's more reliable than the service I had in Atlanta.

Their basic connection is 8down/1up, though they have a "high speed" boost for 15 down (residential only). Business 8/1 with static IP is $100/month, residential 8/1 with the most basic TV service is also $100/month. There is supposed to be a 10/3 business service for $160/month coming this summer.

Obviously, cable service is only available where cable is run... pretty much limited to within city limits. You Might get lucky if you found a place just on the other side of that city limit line, and they will nearly always run service to you, no matter where you are, so long as you pay them. Internet service out side of city limits anywhere in Wyoming will be more expensive and quite a bit slower (akin to ADSL speeds for $100/month + equipment costs).
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Old 03-22-2009, 08:57 AM
 
Location: In a city
1,392 posts, read 3,023,301 times
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I've noticed in the last few days that several websites in the Lander and Riverton areas won't load. Did a server go down in the area? Just wondering if anyone knows.
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