WolfPack Techies: Madison College’s own Geek Squad
Dwayne Bland, Clarion Staff
April 10, 2012
Filed under News
The WolfPack Techies are the Madison College version of the Geek Squad. They have the knowledge and tools to assist students with most computer problems. The Techies are free for students, and are available Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the Truax campus in room 226c. It started in 2008, when a hardware essentials class decided to offer free computer repair to students. After a very successful launch the Madison Information Technology Association student group or (M.I.T.A) decided to expand on the services.
The Techies are managed by some of the most knowledgeable students in the Information Technology program, with a combined experience of 10 years. They specialize in computer diagnostic and repair, malware eradication, and hardware replacement, but offer several other services as well. Students need to bring in their Madison College Onecard in addition to any cables, c.d.’s or software that came with their system. A short form must be filled out listing the computers make, model, serial number and the problems it’s having. The normal repair time is 1- 2 weeks; however it may take longer if there is an untypical issue or high student demand.
Since Valentine’s Day the techies have serviced 75 computers, and that number is growing each semester. The most common problems they see are viruses, hardware failure and the “black screen of death,” A phrase coined by the Techies to describe the dark screen associated with windows crashing and not rebooting. The Best way to keep computers virus free is “have good up to date anti-virus software, that’s very important. Beyond that don’t down load anything you don’t trust, don’t torrent anything that’s suspicious or illegal, don’t visit sketchy websites, it’s pretty basic stuff, but not something that everyone does” states General manager Sean Rowley.
Rowley points out that Microsoft offers its customers free virus protection. “It’s what all of us personally use its called Microsoft Security Essentials that is probably the number one thing you can do, right away today for free to keep your computer safe.” Although Apple does not offer free virus protection, the techies do provide limited Mac support.
Most non-management Techs are exclusively in the help desk program and are being prepared to work in a help desk, as varying levels of technicians. The Techies work counts as an internship towards their degree in information technology.
Rowley credits Ron Koci “the top dog” with quickly meeting any and every need the program has. “Any necessary requests I’ve had for this office have all been satisfied, very quickly,” Rowley said. The only changes Rowley would make would be to increase the office space. “If the trend continues from the last few semesters through this one then next semester or one year from now we will need to move out of this office, simply to house all the machines we’ll have, compared to last semester we have doubled or tripled the number of machines that have come in the office in one semester.”
Madison College provides a stipend for the Techies to purchase tables, chairs etc. However donations and application fees from M.I.T.A also help fund the Techies. If you would like to make a donation to the Wolfpack Techies for work they have done or to offset operational cost of supplies and equipment, you can donate in one of two ways.
Go to www.matcalumni.com/donations and make an online donation. Check the box to donate to the WolfPack Techies. Or get a donation envelope from the Techies office, deposit in the envelope your donation and it will be routed to the College Foundation office.