MacDirectory Magazine

Winter-Spring 2010 (#44)

MacDirectory magazine is the premiere creative lifestyle magazine for Apple enthusiasts featuring interviews, in-depth tech reviews, Apple news, insights, latest Apple patents, apps, market analysis, entertainment and more.

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120 MacDirectory POWERBOOK MEDIC > TOP-NOTCH REPAIR SERVICE FOR APPLE PRODUCTS (EVEN THE NEWTON) Prying open a computer for repairs can be a daunting challenge. Fortunately Powerbook Medic has built itself around making the process as quick and painless as possible – even if it means showing people how to do it for free. The company began in 1998 as a modest seller of computer parts to the growing eBay community, but Powerbook Medic slowly evolved to include in-house repairs after it saw how many of its customers were uncomfortable peeling back computer covers on their own. By 2002 the company opened its first online store, which today offers electronic parts as well as services for repairs, installations and upgrades. Computers can be costly purchases, which is why Powerbook Medic sees itself as an invaluable resource for owners trying to get the most return on their investments. "Powerbook Medic gives the Mac community a cost-effective solution on keeping their Macs running," says Powerbook Medic owner Bradley Wallace. "Whether it be upgrading an older unit to bring it up to today's standards or simply repairing a machine that has failed or been damaged, we keep Macs running and that serves a vital role to the Mac community." In some cases, Powerbook Medic's assistance comes free of charge. Dozens of downloadable video repair guides at illustrate exactly how to do everything from upgrading a hard drive on a 15" MacBook Pro to removing a logic board from an iPhone 3GS. There are even videos on how to format a hard drive in Mac OS X Snow Leopard. To make the repair process even easier, many videos are supplemented with PDF instruction manuals with step-by-step directions. Offering free repair guides may seem like an odd service for a company that makes a living repairing computers, but Wallace insists that a lot of upgrades and repairs are simply easy enough for almost anyone to complete. "If customers are using our guides then they are still using our services. Paid or not, we're happy to help," Wallace says. Of course, users can always take advantage of Powerbook Medic's send-in service. This popular option lets users ship their Mac or other Apple product to be repaired by Powerbook Medic staff and returned within a few days. All repairs come with free round-trip shipping and a one-year warranty. To get an idea of the price, replacing a 13.3" Macbook LCD display screen will cost about $214, while upgrading to a 500GB MacBook Pro hard drive and 2GB of RAM costs about $323. Concerned customers can follow their repair or upgrade's progress with eagle eyes, thanks to Powerbook Medic's embrace of social media. Customers are invited to sign up via Twitter or SMS for up-to-the minute notifications on repair status changes. Even non-customers have a reason to follow the company's Twitter feed, however, as @powerbookmedic regularly sends out links to major Apple community news updates and even company contests. Wallace calls Powerbook Medic a "customer-centric company" because its customers' wants and needs have determined how the company has evolved. That philosophy is evident in the many ways the company pays attention to its customers. Phone support is available every weekday as well as live chat support, e-mail support and an online forum on its Web site for customers to pose questions. PowerBook Medic also responds to customer queries on Facebook and Twitter as well as its own blog and podcast. "When you are repairing a computer, you want someone to be there for you, and we're a company who does just that," Wallace says. Expect to find repair guides for the latest Apple products at "If a product has an Apple logo, we'd eventually like to have a guide for it," says Wallace and that certainly has a ring of truth for a company that has a video repair guide for the Apple Newton. The cautious may find that PowerBook Medic's send-in service may be just what the doctor ordered, but Wallace has some advice for those willing to get their hands dirty: "Repairing computers really isn't rocket science," he says. "Take your time. Don't force things. If you go into a computer like a monkey, you'll end up in a worse mess than you were before." WORDS BY MATT MARQUEZ COMPANY PROFILE

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