The Computing Center's Status - October 2020

We still receive calls and texts nearly every week asking whether The Computing Center is open for business.  The simple answer is: YESWE ARE! WE NEVER CLOSED! 

  • All of our staff is here, available, trained, and very careful.  Anyone who may have had a direct or indirect exposure to someone with Covid-19 is being tested.
  • We're busy, the computer technology industry has been one of the "mainstays" during the Pandemic. 
  • We are helping business, organizations and individuals in setting up and operating secure and safe remote computing systems. 
  • Our service department is actively repairing equipment of all kinds. We're primarily doing that in-house, but do go on-site with proper precautions.
  • Our engineers are working remotely and going onsite as necessary.
  • We actively pickup and deliver computers, printers, and consumables all over Tompkins County and beyond.

We have worked very hard at staying safe and healthy. How did we do? We're happy to say - we pulled it off. (so far)! No one at Computing Center or any of our families became infected. We did have a couple of concerning situations where employees have been exposed to others testing positive, but after testing and/or quarantine all of our staff and their families are fine.

Today, we are all still healthy, the rules and recommendations are more consistent across all businesses, and we're helping many local businesses that were shuttered reopen and recover. Our technical staff still can and does work remotely, but we also go onsite.

When you come to our offices, (Please setup an appointment) you'll find:

  • "X" spots all over the office floor marking off 6' increments to help people socially distance.
  • If you're not already wearing a mask, you'll be asked to wear one - we have extras if you forget yours. (Ours are logoed!)
  • We'll take your temperature (and if it's above 100.4 degrees, you'll be gently asked to leave). We'll also ask you if you've been exposed to anyone that has been ill over the past two weeks.
  • If you haven't made an appointment, we'll ask you to sign-in.
  • If you bring in a PC, laptop, or printer with you, it will be wiped down with a disinfectent cloth before we work on it.
  • If you're just dropping off a machine, we have a work area just to the right of our interior lobby door where you can fill-out all the paperwork without having to come into the office.
  • The place is spotless - it gets cleaned and disinfected daily.

This is The Computing Center's version of the "new normal".  Everyone stay safe and healthy!

Please remember - Shop with locally owned businesses and organizations. That's how we will all get through this, survive and thrive.

Computing Center Participates in Moment of Movement

The Computing Center was pleased to be one of the sponsors of a "Moment of Movement" on Saturday September 26th at the Ithaca Tompkins International Airport that was held outside on the tarmac. Trudy Baum, spouse of Computing Center Founder, Larry Baum, joined popular FLX Fitclub instructor Chantelle Farmer and her team of senior instructors (Jenny Henion, Jessica Kerns, and Carrie Susskind) along with over two dozen participants from all over our community. Moment of Movement supports our community as parents and caregivers re-enter the workforce during COVID-19 and children migrate back to school.
The money raised goes towards the Ithaca Youth Bureau and the United Way of Tompkins County. These two important organizations successfully serve the needs of youth, parents, and caregivers in our community. We all know that childcare and other youth activities are incredibly important as our community recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic and people return to work.

The airport worked with the Tompkins County Health Department to make sure all abided by NYS Guidelines for the in-person attendees. All exercise mats were placed 10+ feet apart. And with the nice breeze and beautiful weather, it was incredibly nice to be outside with many friends from around Ithaca.

The goal is to raise $100,000 collectively for the Ithaca Youth Bureau and The United Way of Tompkins County, both organizations will allocate the funds where they are needed most for programs and services that support our youth, parents, and caregivers in our community.

The Saturday live event is over, but you can still participate. The Livestreamed Video is available for through mid-October 2020 at: https://vimeo.com/462733449

To donate to this important cause:
•  The link to the giving page is www.uwtc.org/momentofmovement-GIVE
•  Donors can also call : 607-500-GIVE


Our Tech Department - We're here to help!

For over forty years, The Computing Center has been providing computer and repair services to our clients. In the early days, we repaired terminals and dot matrix printers.  Later on we repaired desktop PCs and the early laser printers.  Today, we repair and maintain all sorts of laptops, desktops, printers, and servers. Although we can work on most computer equipment, we specialize on Hewlett Packard, Apple, and Dell equipment.

 As important as the technical training, skills, an experience needed to properly repair computer equipment, so is understanding how clients feel about having their equipment being out of their procession while the repair takes place.

 By mid-August, we will see an influx of new people joining our community, typically to attend or be employed by Cornell, Ithaca College and TC3.  So our repair departments gets quite busy with new people and regulars.  However, in every situation, we work hard to have all clients feel important and special. 

 In today's circumstances, we've had to add procedures to keep our clients, ourselves, and your equipment safe and secure.

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Computing Center is fully operational - We never closed!

About two to three times per week, we get a phone call, email or text asking if The Computing Center is open. The simple answer is: YES, WE ARE! WE NEVER CLOSED! Early on in the Covid-19 Pandemic, computer technology companies like ours were deemed essential businesses in New York State. As we said in our March 20th Blog post and email to our clients:

As of this writing 100% of non-essential employees can no longer report to work.  Because of what The Computing Center does in supporting essential businesses in our community, we are allowed to maintain in-house operations. Some of the essential local organizations we directly are supporting include:

  • Healthcare organizations, hospitals, and physicians’ offices
  • Financial institutions including banks, credit unions, and insurance companies
  • Accountants offices
  • Animal shelters
  • Human Services organizations
  • County and other government offices
  • Ithaca-Tompkins International Airport
  • Logistics companies

Although it seems forever ago, our world had changed. So, with relatively little guidance, we needed to figure out how to stay open and how to do it while keeping ourselves and our staff healthy and safe. What did we do it?  Looking back, we took what was published at the time, contacted some of our health care clients for advice and made what seemed like good choices to us. Primarily that included:

  • Washing hands frequently and using hand sanitzer when hand washing wasn't possible.
  • Disinfecting all surfaces along with equipment coming in the door.
  • Wearing disposable gloves when handing computers and other equipment.
  • Having our engineers and others who could work remotely.
  • Sending anyone who wasn't feeling well home.
  • Restricting access to anyone from the outside.

Remember, Covid-19 PCR testing wasn't generally available till the latter part of March. And much of the guidance we now take for granted didn't exist:

  • Wearing masks
  • Social Distancing
  • Outdoor vs indoor exposure differences
  • The effects of crowds - % of employees in the workplace.
  • How long the virus lasts on various surfaces
  • Any kind of consistency between businesses 
  • Daily employee screenings
  • Taking employee and visitor temperatures

How did we do? We're happy to say - we pulled it off.  No one at Computing Center or any of our families became infected. We did have a couple of concerning situations where employees early on were exposed to some client employees who ultimately tested positive, but our people were fine. 

Today, we are all still healthy, the rules and recommendations are more consistent across all businesses, and we're helping many local businesses that were shuttered reopen and recover. Our technical staff still can and does work remotely, but we also go onsite.

Our logistics group does free local pickup and delivery of computers printers and printer consumables. With so many people working from home, our consumables businesses (inks and toners) has greatly increased. We have most of the major brands of printer inks and toners used in our area in-stock.

When you come to our offices, (we recommend setting up an appointment) you'll find:

  • "X" spots all over the office floor marking off 6' increments to help people socially distance.
  • If you're not already wearing a mask, you'll be asked to wear one - we have extras if you forget yours. (Ours are logoed!)
  • We'll take your temperature (and if it's above 100.4 degrees, you'll be gently asked to leave). We'll also ask you if you've been exposed to anyone that has been ill over the past two weeks.
  • If you haven't made an appointment, we'll ask you to sign-in.
  • If you bring in a PC, laptop, or printer with you, it will be wiped down with a disinfectent cloth before we work on it.
  • If you're just dropping off a machine, we have a work area just to the right of our interior lobby door where you can fill-out all the paperwork without having to come into the office.
  • The place is spotless - it gets cleaned and disinfected daily.

This is The Computing Center's version of the "new normal".  Please remember - Shop with locally owned businesses and organizations. That's how we will all get through this, survive and thrive.

Covid-19 Computing Center Update 3/30/2020

The response to the Covid-19 outbreak in the US and around the world has been unprecedented. For practical purposes, nowhere has been spared. For highly dense population centers, such as New York City, the health care issues are daunting with many cases of the virus. And although the percentages of infected, hospitalized, and patients requiring ICUs are not way out-of-line with what has happened elsewhere, the sheer numbers are large and can be frightening.  

Our community, while not spared, has hunkered down, and socially distanced ourselves pretty well. Cayuga Medical Center created a drive-thru Covid-19 testing center at the Shops at Ithaca Mall in coordination with the Tompkins County Health Department. There is capacity to perform about 500 tests each day for those showing symptoms or possible exposure.  The turn-around of test results has sped up somewhat as well. As of this writing only two patients are currently hospitalized and no deaths due to Covid-19 have occurred locally.

The Computing Center is considered an essential business because of our work in supporting essential businesses in our community. We are allowed to maintain in-house operations.

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