By Kevin Kelly
RIO GRANDE -- Buckeye Computers Sales and Service isn't
just a store selling your same old brand of computers.
Owners Fred Wilhelm and David Nida specialize in
custom-building a system direct for the customer, using top-of-the-line
components, and standing behind their work by servicing the product in the
"The marketed computers could be seen as a
disadvantage because you're getting a lot of junk you don't need, but
you're paying for it anyway," said Wilhelm.
"Buckeye Computers wants you to know exactly what you
are getting," he added. "This is all done by actually educating
you on what to look for in a computer system.
Wilhelm said consumers prefer what he called :open and
standardized" computer architectures s opposed to "proprietary"
Proprietary systems, offered by large manufacturers, are
owned and controlled by the company and discourage consumers from buying
upgrades from others, he said.
An open system, Wilhelm added, allows customers to
mix and match products from different manufacturers.
"It also allows you to add or upgrade components at a
later date without having to scarp your existing computer and purchase a
new one," he said.
Another unusual aspect to the business is the availability
of 24-hour emergency in-home service, allowing Buckeye Computers to
maintain a "personal relationship" with the customer, Wilhelm
"We're there when you need us," he added.
"When you buy from us, we bring it out to your home
and spend a few hours showing you how to use it," Wilhelm said.
"We put the personal back into the personal computer."
Buckeye Computers can be reached at 740-245-9335.
Both of the owners came into the business with experience
behind them. Wilhelm said he took his first computer apart to see what
made it tick 17 years ago.
"I didn't want to stay on the phone for two
hours," he explained. "I decided that wasn't going to get it
done and I thought I'd do it myself."
After working as a technical supervisor at Tandy Corp.'s
Incredible Universe and as a Computer Programs Specialist at J.C. Penney
Corp.'s warehouse, both in Columbus, Wilhelm came to southern Ohio and
started The Falcon's Nest.
He later became acquainted with Nida, who said his
introduction to computers was about similar to Wilhelm's.
"The first computer you buy, like anyone, you're
going to play," Nida explained.
His first computer was custom-built, and after discussing
systems with Mike Beaver of Gallipolis based OCL Computer Solutions Inc.,
to understand their workings, Nida began expanding his interests.
Later, he and Wilhelm "decided to join forces and put
Buckeye Computers on the map," Nida said.
Buckeye Computers keeps as much software and other
components on hand as possible, Wilhelm explained.
"The industry changes so much in terms of components,
but is it's an emergency, we can get it over-nighted," he said.
"We try to keep the basics in stock as much as we can."