Andrew

Customer satisfaction - guaranteed.

I wish to compliment you on the professional, prompt and capable service you have provided our company with. 

As a small company, reliant on the computer, and having no technical skills myself, your service has been invaluable.

Previously, we had engaged the services of an alternate ‘specialist’, but the problems were invariably ‘unresolved’

with further call-outs required, a situation which was becoming un-tolerable.  After your initial visit, all of the issues

were remedied.  Subsequent visits have been of a maintenance and up-grade nature.

 

I have no hesitation in recommending Nebula as a competent computer specialist, especially to a small business

without the resources to have an IT staff.

 

Lynley Moyle,  Moanui Laboratories Ltd

 

Thank you for your work with our computer.  We have now been able to put the computer and printer back into

it's room and most importantly produce results immediately for our players.  Please be assured that your help

has been greatly appreciated by the club.

Huntly Bridge Club

ANDREW'S BLOG

Part 1

Hello, I thought I would write a little about my history in relation to I.T, who knows when this may be electronically dug up.

I started to be interested in I.T in about 1983 at the tender age of 13.  We were not well off as a family and my parents could not afford such things as computers so I would visit the local co-op ( a bit like the New Zealand Farmers department stores of today) in my home town and play on the computers on display, they included Dragon 32, ZX81, Amstrad, Commodore VIC20 and the Sinclair Spectrum.

It started by me typing in

10 Print "Andrew was here"

20 GOTO 10

This would quickly fill the screen up with "Andrew was here" and I would leave smiling away to myself knowing it would be seen by all the customers until the shop assistant would stop the programme running. I eventually made friends with the shop assistant and I would go around to his house to play the games of the day, such classics as Manic Miner, Atic Atac, Jetpac, Chuckie Egg and Knight Lore on his Sinclair Spectrum 48K.

Part 2

When I became school leaving age in about 1986 I wanted to earn a living and work in computers so I decided to go on a Youth Training Scheme, this involved practical training in computing and electronics, this seemed better at the time than further school type learning so I decided on that.

We trained in both electronics and computing and as I found electronics and hardware more difficult than software programming decided that must be a better career, mmmm seemed logical at the time. After six months training we would jointly do training at the workshop and also spend time in the local I.T. firms.

My first on the job training was at Memorex, this involved such things as repairing keyboards (no, we did not just throw them out in those days) fixing individual keys and erasing EPROMS (this involved removing a sticker to expose a hole in the centre of the chip and then putting these in a ultra-violet light box) this "reset" them and you could reprogram them. There was also plenty of making the tea for the other engineers.

Memorex produced terminals to connect to IBM systems, such as the IBM System 36 and the System 38 normally using co-axial connections or twin-ax.

After six months working at Memorex it seemed like I would not be given a permanent position so I decided to try a placement somewhere else.  The company was called Computer Field Maintenance (CFM).  I enjoyed very much working at CFM, what a great bunch of people.  I started out as a bench engineer and was taken on when my training completed.  I would solder circuit boards, we did a lot more of that in those days as you replaced components a lot more than today, we mainly looked after DEC and IBM equipment.

I remember with fondness the DEC VT100 terminal and I would spend many a happy hour trying to make one good one out of a number of dead terminals and also the DEC VT220.  The DEC guys seemed like the cardigan brigade, I guess because the DEC's tended to be installed in university's. The other guys were the IBM guys, they were the "posh lot" and they would have mobile phones the size of a large block and the shape of a car battery.

I would sometimes venture out with both these groups, the IBM guys normally followed these giant manuals, you would start on one page of the manual and it would tell you to do things, press this, take a meter reading here, replace board A4 there, very similar to the children's books where you decide what happens next and get pointed to different pages in the book affecting how the story will end. The system was supposed to be fixed when you got to the end of the instructions.

The PC's tended to be IBM in those days, before the arrival of the clones.  We thought IBM glory would never end, they had the original PC, the PC XT and the PC AT., there was no-one to touch them.

Part 3

CFM was eventually sold to Granada Computer Services.  Luckily I had passed my driving test and was given a car to drive around in, it was a 1987 Ford Escort.

I did not spend much time in the workshop after that and I enjoyed travelling around Yorkshire, a nice trip to the seaside towns of Scarborough and Bridlington were a real treat. I looked after shops like Granada TV rentals, Sainsburys the large supermarket chain and Iceland Frozen Foods. Iceland used the IBM replacement to the PC series the PS2.  The PS2 was designed by IBM to take back control of the PC market which had been slipping away to the up and coming clones using technology that they could not easily copy.  But people did not abandon the clones and come back to the IBM fold so IBM were left with a technology that lots of people were moving away from. IBM did not want to abandon it so they kept on with it and lost a large part of the market and have still not got the share they had back and probably never will now.  I probably should also mention the IBM token ring network which someone may want to read about.

Sainsburys had a pair of ICL System 25 servers, this allowed for one to be running and there was also a hot spare in case.  If these both went down then the supermarket would have to barter with the customers as to how much they thought there shopping was usually worth.  Not a pleasant time for the store.

Receipt printers were the bane of my life, bits of fruit and veg would end up down them and heavy handed shop assistants would drag the receipt paper about, leaving bits jammed in.

This was the day of the dot matrix printer, the golf ball printer and the daisy wheel printer.

I purchased and was a big fan of the Commodore Amiga

After seven years as a Field Service Engineer I was made redundant.

Part 4

After a short period of contracting I started working at Provident Insurance PLC in Halifax as a Senior Technical Analyst, in a large office. The office had a large server room and when I arrived we had a Novell 3.12 server, this stored all the files and folders which the users connected to with Windows 3.11.  MS Mail was used for sending and receiving mail with a "postoffice" set up on the server, this was a folder structure which eventually led on to the creation of Exchange.

We started to install more and more servers which had Windows NT installed on them, they were Compaq in those days and we had a number of DLT tape drives to back them up. We created our own domain which was a step up in technology, with primary and secondary domain controllers we had redundancy for the users to log on, with the old Novell system if that box went down nobody could log on.

We also implemented a new set of servers which stored TIFF pictures of people's motor insurance documents which could then be brought up on large screens when the customers rang up, it also tied up with a VAX/VMS system on which their policy information was stored.  This saved the company a lot of money with the documents not being physically filed and retrieved.  The data was also linked to a large Oracle database.

 I passed my Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer exams in 1999 through self study.

Y2K came and went, and I had to be at work to make sure all the servers ticked over correctly, we had tested the servers previously and we had very few problems.

 We also started up a pilot running Citrix Winframe which later evolved into today's Citrix Metaframe product, these products are used in conjunction with thin-clients.  These products allow you to run more modern applications on old hardware as the application is running on the server and just the screen updates are sent across to the workstation, we had the 32 bit applications running on the server and then used old 16 bit Windows 3.11 to display the applications. This technology eventually evolved into the remote desktop access of today and it harks back to the Terminal / Mainframe set up of yester-year, if you wait long enough the technology comes back round again.

In 2002 my wife and our three Cavalier King Charles Spaniels left the UK to live in New Zealand.  I will have to finish the rest of this story later :-)

Home

I am more than happy to send a testimonial related to the service offered by Nebula Computer Services.

Response to my requests for assistance has always been auctioned within 24 hours, Andrew has the

ability to explain problems and options to me in a manner that I am able to understand plus their charge

rates are extremely reasonable.  Being a small business owner I appreciated the mobility of the service

this company offers -  previous companies I have used required that I deliver my computer to them and

leave it with them for a couple of days, even for the smallest of services.  Having Andrew come to the

office to sort out problems is a huge bonus.  Finally, I appreciate that when Andrew calls he simply fixes

whatever problem I have and does not try to sell me any add on applications or try to take over the

management of my website. 

 

Yvonne, Huntly Self Storage

 

We were very happy with the service we received, quick and efficient. After calling you at 4pm I really didn't

expect to see anyone until the following day so was delighted to see Andrew 45 minutes later.
Many thanks for the prompt, excellent service, will definitely be using Nebula in the future

 
Juliet Towers

More testimonials coming soon ......

After many years in the I.T. business, starting in 1987,

Andrew is a highly skilled technician. Andrew worked

on the first IBM personal computers and has also

worked on electronic point of sale (EPOS) equipment.

He has worked for one of the biggest computer maintenance

companies in the UK and been employed as a Senior

Technical Analyst for a large insurance company in the

UK installing various servers for cutting edge insurance

claim handling. Since moving to New Zealand he has

travelled around the Waikato as a Field Service Engineer,

worked on the large scale server farms of Fonterra and

has been responsible for the I.T. Security of Hamilton

City Council. Some of Andrew's qualifications are:

Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer
Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator
A+ Certified
Network+ Certified
Server+ Certified

Andrew always provides a personal and professional service.

 

 

 

computer repairs in Hamilton NZ             

CONTACT US

 

By phone: 0800 632 852

 

Andrew:  Andrew@nebulacomputers.co.nz

Jan:         Support@nebulacompters.co.nz

Jan

 

 

Jan has a background in office administration working in a variety of roles and has been a team supervisor.  She has liaised and worked with home users, the general public and various levels of professionals.  Jan is our Senior Office Administration Manager keeping the wheels running smoothly back at the base and co-ordinating the onsite response team. On a personal level Jan is the owner and breeder of quality Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.  Breeding for good health, confirmation and temperament she has imported dogs from UK and

Australia and campaigned all of them to their Championship titles. Show awards include Cavalier

Club Best In Show winners and NZ National Dog Show Best Of Breed winners.  Jan also offers exclusive private boarding accommodation for small family dogs.

Go to www.Darilance.com for more information on Darilance Cavaliers