Mac Consultants

Archived Responses: 

Mac Geek & Resource Needed

March 2011

I'm looking for a knowledgeable go-to person for tech support for my Macbook Pro, Timecaspule, SmartPhone, network and other media and software questions. Ideally, (but not essential) someone who also knows: Wordpress, Garage Band, and other workflow widgets. I'm an individual user, but need a geeky friend/resource. Don't want to get stuck on something that could be answered in minutes by someone in-the-know. 1-2 hours of basic network and computer security set up now, and some further questions later. Do you have any recommended people? Wannabe Geek

Ross Forman is someone I've recommended to friends who've been 'thrilled' with his help. He helped my 92 year old father with his Mac and has become the 'go- to' guy for all the residents at their assisted living facility. (He not only helps with computers, but also with all tech gadgets: cell phones, remotes, tv/sound systems). He's familiar with bothApple and PC platforms and has helped both individuals and small businesses. Ross's phone is: (510) 914-2020 Best, Sepha

Email Becky Waring at becky [at] She's terrific! She helped my husband, who was a firmly entrenched PC-user who is highly resistant to change, transition painlessly to a Mac. Set up our wireless network at home and made it work in our soundproofed basement rec room too. Seems to know everything Mac-related and responds to emails almost instantaneously (saving the day on numerous occasions, one memorable one having to do with a problem I was having printing a picture onto T-shirt transfer paper for my son's school project...) I can't say enough about her. I also recommending her for the other Mac question below. Fran

Recently there have been a couple of requests for high tech help and I had to respond with one of the the best resources I ever found on BPN--Becky Waring (becky [at] So while there are a couple of older postings for Becky, she is so good, I have to add my own recommendation. She has been such a tremendous help on so many technology/electronic fronts. Computers (PC and Mac), all the i-whatevers (pods, touches, etc), a complete new soup- to-nuts home entertainment system, child safety/parental controls, hacker/online safety issues, software, etc. You name it--she's helped my family and she can help you. Not only can she fix stuff, she can provide tutorials on how to use things or better use things, which is often the case. And, if necessary, Becky can assist in selecting and purchasing new items. She'll stay with you throughout the buying process recommending products (she's like a high tech Consumer Reports) and merchandise sources, as well as providing installation services and then following up to make sure everything is running smoothly (we emailed her on Christmas Day with a new game system issue and she responded back immediately and saved the day!). You'll never need to read an instruction book again! Beyond all her high tech wizardry, problem solving skills, product knowledge and MIT degree, Becky is really fun which makes such a difference, too. As she says, she is the business of helping people get the most out of their technology--when she leaves, whatever frustrations existed are gone and everyone is happy again. Whenever we get stumped by such things now my kids just say, 'Time for Becky!' When it's your time for Becky, simply email becky [at] kelli

Looking for Remote Mac support

March 2011

I am seeking a recommendation for remote Mac support. I am a graphic designer and rely on my Mac heavily, but now it's got some quirks that I'd like ironed out. I am seeking a Mac expert who connect to my system without a housecall. Thanks! BPN Mom

Call Info-Gate immediately! I use them for my PC's and I know they handle Macs as well. I will never use anyone else for my computer care. They do remote work much of the time for me, and when I do need a house call (to set up a new computer or install new equipment) they are prompt, polite and very, very good. I finally am relaxed about my computers as I, too, rely on my computers for my business. They can be reached at (510) 808-0370, or at mrosen [at] Julie

Yaron Rosenthal can do exactly what you want - log into your Mac and do the necessary tweaks as required. He's been a huge help to me with my Mac system. He's very friendly, pleasant, and (most important) knowledgeable. Phone number is 510.677.5816, or email yaron [at] See his website at David

Looking for Mac computer specialist

Nov 2009

need mac specialist technical advice & assistance to set up a wireless sound system in my apartment.

Jonathan at Area Computer on University Ave. is very reasonable, knowledgeable, and friendly. He does great work on computers at the lowest price around. marci

June 2009

There aren't any recommendations listed since 2007. I'm looking for someone to come to my house in Oakland and help me with some issues related to switching from a pc to a mac. I would like someone who doesn't speak to me as if I'm an idiot just because I'm not a techie. I want help with wireless connections and various minor problems. Have anyone you really like? -- Love my mac

Try Brendan at for help with your Mac computer. He's Apple certified and calls himself an Apple Evangelist (which he is!). He can do anything Mac related and makes housecalls. L

We worked for years with the excellent Bill McLaughlin, whom we found here. But Bill has retired. We were delighted to find a worthy replacement in Michael Mack, who has been working with Macintosh computers for more than 20 years. He is very bright and pleasant, comes to the house (by public transit), and also does helpful consulting by telephone. He's found at, or michael.macintoshguru [at] or (510) 883,9989. John

I highly recommend the folks at Bay Area Techies, 510-326-0550. The owner, Johnny Nguyen, is a great guy who explains things well without talking down. He gives real life advice, not always just what he thinks you want to hear. He can also be reached at johnny [at] His website is Please tell him I recommended him when you call. Sue O.

I have often recommended Kyle Leinen, to lots of folks who have made that very switch. Kyle is personable, easy to talk to, never patronizing and knows the job. I think you're in good hands with Kyle. 510-299-0243, leinenkm [at] Rachel

Try Neil Howell, Macintosh Consulting Services. Honest, responsive guy - very good at what he does... peggy

Clinton Gilbert recently helped me out with a new mac. He was smart, efficient and never ever made me feel stupid (I'm not particularly technical). You can call him at 510-644-2701. Email is Clinton [at] Website is I spoke with a few consultants and his fees were comparatively reasonable. Alison

Reid Steiner set up my Mac and home network -- he has made our network run faster and have better coverage, set up my printer to work remotely, and really cleaned up my computer. He has worked professionally for corporations doing network and systems administration, but is currently doing work from his home in Oakland. If he can't do what you need, he will let you know. And if he can't fix it once he's there, he doesn't charge for his time. Really easy to communicate with -- reid.s [at] Love my mac too!

I have a wonderful person to recommend for Mac's. I have used Becky for the last three years for my small office computer network. Becky Waring is a Berkeley-based computer writer (for PC World, Wired, the SF Chronicle, and many others), who also does on-site and email-based consulting for East Bay clients on an hourly basis. She has bachelor's and master's degrees from MIT, and was the former director of the Boston Computer Society Macintosh User Group. She can help with Mac & PC purchase,system and peripheral upgrades, networking, troubleshooting and individual instruction. She specializes in helping you learn how to do things yourself. She can also integrate your Mac or PC with your home theater Becky did consulting for me on my three-computer Mac network, fixing problems, installing backup systems and converting my email from an Earthlink account to my own domain address. She was fast, efficient, thorough and does not make me feel stupid. She can be reached at becky [at] Lucy

Becky is the dear Abby of computer advice. No question too big or too small. Like most people I am very adept at certain things on the computer and very inept at others. I have very uneven awareness and skills. I never hesitate to call Becky as soon as something seems wrong with my Macs. She is informative about what she is doing and why and will set you up and protect all of your files with reliable backup. She is clear, completely competent and reliable, great at trouble shooting. Becky has upgraded all of my software, has all of my programs running great, and everything is well organized. She advises me of new products and downloads, then comes to install. If she can?t drive over she will always answer your e-mail question with a rapid response so you can describe your problem, then she can try to walk you through it. Her prices are great, and a bargain for the peace of mind it provides. Her skills are beyond measure and her service is flawless. She?s the doctor that still makes house calls in case you get a virus! Deborah

I got amazingly fast & good help from Flash Tech (367-6190) to address a disk error on my PC - they do Macs too. They came within half an hour, and I got the computer back with all my data in place within 36 hours. I had tried calling the Geek Squad & got put on hold & dropped a few times - aargh - so reaching a live human & getting an evening visit within half a hour was a nice change. They gave me a nice discount for including another computer to fix in my project. Good luck with your Mac. Cass

April 2009

My Mac guru moved away, so I need someone who can come to my house occasionally and do general maintenance on my MacBook, mostly software stuff, and answer the questions that come up periodically (at present I'm concerned with backing up, and Keynote presentations). I'm reasonably Mac-literate - for a septuagenarian! - and on a limited budget. I live in SW Berkeley - easy to get to, and my schedule is flexible as I work at home. Jan

Hello, I would strongly recommend Bay Area Techies at 510-326-0550. The owner, Johnny Nguyen keeps up-to-date with the latest in technologies and travels all over to help fix computers.

i would highly recommend Bryan Eddy. Helped me upgrade from an old Mac to a new iMac, set up wireless, and a backup system. He works for a graphic design firm by day and does Mac consulting evenings and weekends. He is thorough and patient, and charged me a reasonable rate. You can reach him at beddy [at] mac satisfied

Kenji Oshima is the person I recommend. He is knowledgeable and competent, shifts easily from big picture to little picture, and teaches you YOUR way instead of his way. He is also trained as a coach and he brings that skillset to the technology management issues. It's an unbeatable combination! You can reach him at [at] or call him at 415-637-2107. linda

Oct 2008

Can anyone recommend anyone who knows about home network systems that use MACs? My parents had one set up in their house about 6 years ago and it has never worked properly. Where would you go to get this fixed? Thanks, Mary

My daughter's aging Mac suddenly died. A friend referred me to ''Art Of Mac''. The technician, Brian, was able to save all her programs, data, photos, etc. Really nice folks who know what they're doing. 510-526-1209. Sandina

Contact Brendan McKenna for any MAC help you need. He specializes in small and large clients, both residential and commercial. He's honest, skilled and a very nice guy. He's also MAC certified. His website is: fan of Brendan

May 2008

I have given my parents, (who live in Daly City) my old G4 mac and they need a tech support person who does house calls to help them transfer their data from an old imac running os9 to this machine and restore the work environment they had for DSL, email and the text programs they have been using. I have found great mac help here in Berkeley, but don't know how to find someone for Daly City or environs. judy

Mark Mason just did some Mac work, cleanup, explanations, wi/fi, and was just great -- I think he travels beyond the East Bay. I'm a real dinosaur and he was quick, thorough, and reasonable. He's mark [at], 510 367 8836.

March 2008

I need to find someone who can help me as needed with various computer questions and problem-solving, and who will teach me as they go. I've called a number of people from the archives in the past, and most seem to prefer to work with companies rather than with ordinary folks who just need bits of assistance from time to time. I tried one of them who was competent, but who abandoned me in the midst of some major trouble in favor of larger jobs. Another one I tried had a quite disorganized style that didn't work well for me and he took what seemed like a long time for a pretty basic operation. Any recommendations? I'm looking for a friendly attitude, plenty of experience with Macs, up-to-date, efficient, and not exhorbitantly expensive. Thanks.

I highly recommend Jason Webster of MacAssistant. He is incredibly helpful, professional and knowledgeable about Macs. I've worked with him a lot, and recommended him to many friends and relatives. Jason explains things well and he is very responsive. His phone number is (510) 931-6221 and his e-mail address is macassistant [at] Good luck! Jen

Here's a great guy we've been using for a few years----turned out to be much better, knowledgeable and cheaper than the woman I'd been using for several years who left private party consulting for small business consulting. His name is Clare Hess and here's his email address: chess [at] He's reasonable, calm, kind and kind----we live in north Oakland/Lake Merritt area.Good luck. Mac fan

2004 - 2007 Recommendations

Jan 2007

Looking for a Mac expert to help with software and hardware issues and networking. I have a home office in Berkeley and need periodic technical help.

Yaron Rosenthal, a BPN member, of 57 Works can help with both PC and Mac issues. Plus he's a nice guy. 510 677-5816 or shakalim[at] Melanie

We use Mark Mason of FixMacs, (510) 237-5914 or mark[at] . We found him through BPN. He offers tech support over the phone and in the home. He helped us troubleshoot some software problems and installed a home network for us, so he is good with the hardware and the software. His manner can be brusque, but he does a good job and I have no problems with him or his work at all.

June 2006

I am in need of a Mac guru! My home network has imloded and I need somebody who really knows their way around Macs to get everything back up and running. Thanks! melissa

Kyle Leinen worked on our mac (and pc, too, actually) and did a smart, quick job helping us work through a variety of software and hardware probs. He's based in Alameda, but I believe he travels. 522-2694. He is ''The Neighborhood Computer Guy.'' anonymous

My friend Bo Orloff is fantastic! I have been calling on him for years to get me out of jams (paper, etc.). He really knows his stuff and is very honest. His email is obo[at] or his phone number is 524-1965. He's in N. Berkeley nadja

Hi There: I highly recommend Kirk Thompson Consulting. Kirk is definitely a Mac guru, and though he mostly works with design and production departments, he also helps out home office users as well. Don't know what his rates run these days, and apparently he's been too busy to build his website, but you can reach him at info[at] This guy has gotten me out of many a jam, and he's actually one of those rare computer geniuses who is a real 'people person', so you'll feel comfortable with him in your home Mac-Challenged Mom

If you're looking for help with your Mac computers, please call my husband, JR Walker. He's been a Mac technician for over 10 years, and can help with all kinds of problems, such as making your Mac play nicely with your printer and iPod, getting data off a crashed hard drive, choosing software, or simply helping you get more comfortable/more efficient in using your Mac. He loves to help people learn to love their Macs. He's also ''A+ certified'' for PCs. Call JR Walker at (415) 730-0616 for rates or a consultation. Thanks Nancy

I would heartily recommend Phoebe Bixler for all things Macintosh. She's kept my computer(s) and me running well for many years. She does troubleshooting, training, purchase advice, installation and upgrades. She's also very sweet! She's based in Marin, but works in the East Bay and San Francisco. Find her Phoebe[at] and good luck! Happy On My Mac

Yaron Rosenthal, a BPN member, works on Macs. He helped me with an unusual printer issue this past year (hooking up a bulk ink system) (which would have been difficult for most people) quickly and with ease. He can do just about any repair or upgrade that you might need. Phone: 510 677-5816 email: shakalim[at] Melanie

timothy coen of coen consulting is great. i've been calling him with my crisis for over 10 years, as have many of my colleagues. he does have a 2hr minimum and isn't the cheapest in town, so i usually 'save' up all my problems for one big visit. (i've tried others less expensive but find they're not as efficient.) his number is: 510.236.2018. his website: emily

We use MacCentric Solutions at my (very small) office, and they've been great. Professional and helpful. I originally found them on craigslist.

Please consider giving my husband Tyler a ring. He has a Mac consulting business, MightyMac (, 510-520-4973), and he serves home and small business users throughout the Bay Area. He used to work for Apple but left to start this business before the birth of our first child in order to have more flexibility and time at home. Accordingly he is great about working around your own schedule (he is willing to come on evenings and weekends without a surcharge). He is also extremeley knowledgeable but not stuck in ''geek speak'' - he can explain problems and solutions in clear, understandable terms. Most importantly, he takes really good care of his customers; happily giving lots of phone support and advice. Best of luck sorting out your computer troubles! Vanessa

I use Mark Mason- FixMacs (mark[at], 510.237.5914 or 510.367.8836-cell) for my Mac. He is very knowledgeable, patient and extremely well versed in the workings of Mac's. I've hired other tech people before but have never been as satisfied with the service until I found Mark on Craig's List. I have had him create a wireless network for my printer, solve email problems, help me set up a new computer, and install other hardware such as external hard drives set up to back-up data automatically. He has made my life so much easier. He also offers consulting services to small offices and home offices. His prices are very reasonable Lucy

I wanted to respond to this older post looking for a Mac consultant. Based on the recommendation your post received, we called Mark Mason at FixMacs. He did a fantastic job and I highly recommend him if you're still looking for someone. He works over the phone or by email. He also does housecalls, which is required for certain problems, and charges an extra $20 for that service. He is worth every penny. Mark Mason, FixMacs, (510) 237-5914 or mark[at] anon I feel it's my duty to inform members of this list that I had an extremely unpleasant experience with Mark Mason of FixMacs (mark[at] who was previously recommended as a Mac consultant. I asked Mark to help me troubleshoot a network problem on my home office Mac set up that includes an older Mac (9500 with OS 8.6) and a new Mac (G5 w/Tiger). He tried to run a diagnostic program (Tech Tool Pro) on my old Mac, which crashed while loading, and pretty much killed the machine. My Mac had run pretty reliably up until then. At this point he blamed my hardware and software, saying that everything was obviously corrupt -- even though he had never run his diagnostic program, and I had been using the machine all morning before his arrival. I finally managed to eject his CD from my computer, and by this point he was agitated and became verbally abusive. He stormed out of my house cursing me in earshot of my children and calling me a ''know-it-all''. Admittedly, I had made a few suggestions about how to approach the problem (after all it's my system, and I'm familiar with it). I spent two years doing phone tech support, and have been a successful freelancer for over 12 years, and I believe my client relation skills are quite good (at least, I have a steady stream of satisfied repeat clients). By the way, I managed to revive my Mac after several hours of work, and it's running fine again, no thanks to Mark. Jeff

I have been reading several posts of folks looking for a little help with Mac /Internet stuff at home. My friend Clinton is a very family friendly, sliding scale wiz at all things Mac, a general gear-guy. I can recommend him whole heartedly. He has helped us with much over the years. here is a description of some of what he can do. Macintosh Consultant for individuals and small business. Clinton Gilbert 510-644-2701

Software and hardware troubleshooting on-site system maintenance application and OS installation / upgrade database design and maintenance using FileMaker Pro hardware installation and troubleshooting, ram installation, email configuration, DSL installation. personal training for general computer skills as well as application specific needs. Mac OS X migration (switching from Windows), training, and troubleshooting office-wide Internet and email integration, wired and wireless network design and administration data backup, and recovery procedures virus, and security issues cross-platform network integration Bluetooth and USB synchronization
-References available on request andrea

May 2005

We need someone to help us clear the hard drive and reboot the system program on our Macintosh G3 computer. We tried to do it but it just doesn't work! Does anyone out there have experience with this machine or a good person to work with? We want to give this computer to a friend and want to clear our information off of it first. Thanks!

I've had many different Mac computers over the years. I am not very sophisticated about technology, and have depended on a consultant who has been amazingly helpful. His name is Rob Gross. You can reach him at 338-0101 or rgross[at] Happy Mac User

I've hired a guy named James Donahoe that my neighbor referred me to--both she and her sister have used him to help them with Mac issues. So far, he's only talked me into buying a Mac, but he seems incredibly knowledgable regarding Macs, networking, etc. He seems really honest and helpful and does training as well. We plan to bring him back when our new machine comes to do set up, training, etc. He can be reached at: 510-893-1158 or consultjames[at] patty.

I responded to another request also. Yaron Rosenthal at 57 Works is an amazing consultant and I'm sure he will be able to get your system up and running in no time. He has worked with both PCs and Macs, and is famliar with the G3. He is also extremely flexible. He can be reached at 510.677.5816. Good luck. Laurel

Mac laptop repair

Sept 2004

So far I have been ripped off at one place and have not trusted the diagnosis of my laptop at the Mac store in Emeryville and Walnut Creek. It was dropped on the floor and ever since works just fine except for an annoying loud clicking sound coming from the speakers. Mac store says it would cost $750- to fix (they believe it is a speaker problem) Any trustworthy, reasonably priced Mac repair folks out there?

We learned about Bruce McLaughlin in this network, and he has done extraordinary things for us, Macintosh-wise, over the past year, and now for two friends as well. He is competent, friendly, affordable (Well, $65 an hour may seem high, but he works fast and efficiently, and also gives fairly detailed advice by phone without charge for his clients.) John

I'm writing to you now on my ibook. I bought it at MAC on Shattuck (just south of University) and have had it repaired there twice. They are COMPLETELY honest, though repairs aren't necessarily cheap (I'm not saying they're pricier than others -- I don't know, but I doubt it). But you'll sleep better knowing that they are really good people, from the owner (I think his name is Albert) down to the small staff he employs. On the last repair, they clearly spelled out the two options I had. I chose the less expensive course, knowing what the risks might be. john

Jan 2004

I'm looking for a computer consultant who works with Macs to do troubleshooting with our networked home office computers. Anyone have experience with someone they can recommend? Thanks. Julie

I don't have a name for you, but I recommend you and anyone who has a Mac consider joining PlanetMUG. Go to to download the software for accessing the BBS. You can join for a month (I think) for free, with read-only access. Joining is only $25/yr with 3 hours/day access. There are tons of experts who read and post daily. (This is the phoenix from the ashes of BMUG.) Great group, great community, tremendous resource. Jennie

I highly recommend Ray, who's a Mac consultant that I've used in the past for various computer problems including networking. He's very knowledgeable in all aspects of Macs. I've recommended him to friends and they all were very happy with his work. His rates are very reasonable too. Contact him at rvw AT to see if he can help you out. I should add that even if he doesn't immediately know the answer to a problem/situation, he can usually figure things out fairly quickly. mw

I recommend Coen Consulting, a small computer consulting group headed by Tim Coen. I have not personally worked with Tim (although I have spoken to him on the phone - seems very nice) as he has sent another technician, Kirk, to do the work at my home office. I have a small graphic design business with 2 macs networked, as well as an airport for my husband's laptop. Kirk has worked on my machines twice, and both times I was very pleased with his services. He completely cleaned & streamlined my machines, upgraded their systems, set up my network, solved an annoying dsl problem that even the dsl company tech people couldn't fix, and set up the airport. I am not running system X yet, but I know that Kirk has much experience with it, and I will probably call on him to help me when I am ready to upgrade. They are not cheap, but they are good and fast. They charge $80 an hour, (although I haven't used them in a while and don't know if their rates have gone up) and I think they have a minimum charge of one hour. Their phone number is 510.236.2018. Good luck! fellow mac enthusiast

I have a Mac that is sometimes in need of work and Brian Mckennon is always available, with a flexible schedule and GOOD! He comes with a diagnostic kit and knows just what needs to be done. Call him at (925) 934-6515 or(925)580-7817 Mac Fan

Jan 2004

To the person requesting a computer consultant: I recommend Clare Hess. I found him through Craig's List, and he set up a complicated Mac system that another consultant was unable to figure out. He is friendly and reasonably priced for consumers, (510) 912-7591. (And if it turns out he's unfamiliar with your photo software, I'm sure he could recommend someone who is.) Sarah in Oakland

2003 & Earlier

August 2001

Does anyone know of a reliable and reasonably priced Mac consultant who will come to the house. I need someone to help me with software and networking issues. I have gone as far as I can go with techs over the phone and self help books. I used to have a good person but he is no longer in business. Margaret

MarkHayden at LBullwinkel

I have used Paul Anshus for a number of years now and he is great. His company is called Teknights and the number is 510-444-8323. He works with Macs and PCs. He is busy and has recently decided to downsize and now he does all the work personally so that he can be confident that the quality meets his standards. Jenny

Try Wildwood Group, (510 336-1636. They are based in Oakland and have done extensive work on home and small business computing systems. Very familiar with Apple product. Strong knowledge of networking options to suit your needs.

You could try calling BMUG (Berkeley Macintosh Users Group) , they are the biggest group of Mac and Apple folks around, their number should be in the Berkeley phone book. If they can get the files from the old Apple disks to new Mac disks it should be easy to get them onto a PC. The problem may come with formatting, depending on the program used to create the files it may be tricky to get any formatting, footnotes etc, though it should be possible to recover any straight text. Hope this helps, Brian