Who is Gene's Computer Outlet?

Gene's Computer Outlet is a family operated business established in June 1988. It is a Value Added Reseller of Computers, Parts, and Accessories, and is also an upgrade, service and repair center. Gene is the sales and service manager and complete staff for the most part. His wife, Maria, runs errands and watches the store when Gene must be out. Gene's son, Mike, is a Certified Microsoft Professional and an expert with networking, Windows NT, 2000, Server, and XP Professional. Mike owns Eagle Enterprises and also works for the McGrail Group in the Great Valley. Mike is available when Gene needs that extra help from a certified expert. Certain "on site" maintenance is also contracted out, although Gene has some customers he won't give up. He also refers many web page customers that he doesn't have time to handle. Gene has established special relations with certain companies for special occassions including network cabling and setup.

Over the last 16 years, Gene has established a good customer base with little to no advertising. Customers refer new customers because of the quality and workmanship.

Specalities include REPAIRING WINDOWS after crashes and virus attacks, and Building Custom Computers. Other hardware repairs, including motherboards and hard drives, are also quite common. Only top notch components are used including Intel motherboards, Teac CD & CDRW and floppy drives, and Samsung hard drives (still 3 year warranty). Data recovery is also a speciality where Windows has crashed the system and the drive hasn't physically died.

A separate division of Gene's Computer Outlet, The Fifth Dimension Net, does web pages for individuals, organizations, and companies. Web hosting is done by another unafilliated company, Bee Net in Exton, Pa. Some of the web pages can be found from links from www.5dnet.com. Bee Net, by the way, has been found to be a very highly reliable ISP (Internet Service Provider) and that's why Gene promotes it like he does. Customer service at BeeNet is excellent.

Gene has also been teaching for "Adult School Night in Chester County" for about 14years in various computer catagories. His most popular course is "Building and Understanding Your Own Computer". Also, new courses recently added are "Backing Up Your Own Computer" and "Fixing Broken Windows". He also has given numerous lectures and demonstrations on computers and technology to various groups.

Gene Mitchell, the owner, is a graduate of Valparaiso Technical Institute with an Associate Degree in Electronic Engineering. He has also been a licensed ham operator (K3DSM) since 1958. He also holds a FCC Commercial Second Class Radio-Telephone License (now General Radio-Telephone). Gene has worked in "2-way commercial radio communications installations and serrvice" as well as burgular alarm installations as sidelines.

He was involved with a campus radio station at Valparaiso Technical Institute, WVTI, as both "Chief Transmitter Engineer" and DJ. He also worked for the Porter County, Indiana Sheriff, Bill Seidell (1963-65) as a "special deputy" and radio dispatcher for 2 years, which included complete police training at an evening school. (He now works for WCOJ, 1420 AM, on Sunday mornings, as engineer and producer, and now is host of Computer Corner on Wednesday evenings from 7-8PM)

His experience in micro-computers started in 1977 with the Apple. He also has experience and training in microwave communications, X-Bar Switching, "carrier", and data communications with A T & T Long Lines from 1965 thru 1971.

He designed, built, and opened a Roller Skating Rink in December 1972 in Kimberton, PA which he operated for 15 years, but was still active in electronics and computers when they became available. The "Insurance Crisis " in the mid-80's returned him back to the computer and electronics business when he sold the rink to Rowland Printing in 1987.

The store is a discounter of certain computer accessories and can meet and sometimes beat superstore and computer show pricing, except when they have promotional sales or are selling "b" stock. (Superstores and Shows do not always have low pricing). Certain items are no longer sold "over the counter" by Gene because they are easily destroyed in handling by static electricity. Those items include motherboards, CPU's, and memory.

"Gene's" sells a special computer line, a high quality "clone" which is assembled at the store starting from an FCC certified "barebone" case, power supply, and motherboard. A high quality Intel motherboard is carefully selected to assure long life and good service as well as up to date features. (The motherboard is the main system board containing the processor, memory, expansion slots, and various support circuitry.) A high quality TEAC floppy drive and CD ROM drive as well as high quality hard drives are used. Only quality memory modules are used. Our Enlight computer case is special. The mid-tower case is modular making it easy to service and add components. There are plenty of drive bays for almost any configuration. There is room for floppy drives, tape drives, CD ROM drives, and several hard drives.

A "clone" computer, also called open architecture" is different than a "compatible". Most manufacturers use the term compatible as only meaning that it is software compatible. A "true clone" has a motherboard of a generic design that fits into a case that takes this "open architecture". The original clone is based on the AT design of IBM's AT computer. A newer format called ATX brings a newer design to the "open architecture". There are almost two-hundred manufacturers of these "open architecture" design motherboards and they do not need to advertise to the public.

Most major manufacturers like IBM, Compaq, Sony, HP, Dell, and Gateway build computers so that no one else's motherboard fits into the case. This means you have to go back to that manufacturer for replacement or repair of the motherboard and also the power supply. These manufacturers are heavily competing with each other and use very manufacturer-specific motherboards and power supplies. They are also of much lower quality than most "clones". In some cases, they also require special memory modules that are hard to get. In many of these, even have the display adapter is built onto the motherboard. Out of warranty "swap" of these motherboards can be $600 plus. Out of warranty purchase of a new "open architecture" motherboard is usually under $150 installed. Gene also supplies the original licensed Windows and driver disks with each new computer, unlike most major manufacturers.

An expensive computer deserves special components. It must also be reliable and have little to no down time. You would also want it fixed very quickly when something goes wrong. This is where Gene gives top priority to his own computers that he sells. Most repairs and reloads of Windows are completed with in 24 hours. Gene is well equiped with special test equipment and diagnostics. He has an expensive memory tester on site and checks ever piece of memory that comes in. Poor quality is not acceptable. He also has several special computers used for testing components.

Gene's computers, that he sells, have one year warranty, parts and labor. Certain components such as the motherboard, memory, and some memory, have manufacturers warranties that exceed Gene's warranty.

Warranties of most manufacturer-specific computers may be voided if you do not read the small print, you will find out how little warranty you actually have when you call for service and the only problem is software, which is not covered. On many, if you upgrade to the next version of Windows, your warranty is voided. Some manufacturers place special stickers on the computer case so that if broken, your warranty is void, even to add or change a simple card. Many get socked with steep service charges when software causes a problem that appears to be hardware. On site service warranties where software causes a problem can cost you a hundred dollars or more that you thought was covered.

There are many dealers selling clones. Buy from a dealer you trust, not just one who wants to make a sale. Support after the sale is one of the biggest factors. We hope you will give us your trust. We do support our customers after the sale. We can answer questions and we have real answers, not just make the claim. We have to, because the only advertising we do, is by providing good service and reliable equipment.