Murray Janzen harvested my brain and popped it into a different body. The surgery was painless but took some effort – and a grimace – as he pried my warped old laptop apart, retrieved the harddrive brain and installed it in an identical refurbished Mac he happened to have for sale.
Including the new-to-me Mac, Mr. Janzen had 10 computers crammed into his office at The Mountain Hub when we met. There’s the standard one on his desk and a few on a cabinet. The rest are hiding like Easter eggs in his drawers and cupboards.
Ever since he bought a new computer that wouldn’t work from the start due to a faulty motherboard, he’s been interested in coaxing laptops and desktop machines to get back to business.
“There’s a plethora of weird problems that computers can have,” he said, adding that he’s made a career out of fixing them. He worked for Shaw and Telus before starting Zen Technologies in the Valley a year ago.
“I just love the process of being able to put all these crazy parts together,” he said. “Bringing old electronics back to life is really satisfying.”
Also satisfying is reuniting his clients with their important files after their computers give up the ghost.
When one of his customers sought help with a broken computer that contained photos she could no longer access of her deceased husband, Mr. Jenzen retrieved the photos and presented them to the overjoyed widow.
“That’s very sentimental data to be losing,” he said. “I absolutely love being able to restore that kind of data for people… It gives me pride in my work for sure.”
While the most common problem his customers have is losing data when their laptops crash, he can help with much more than data retrieval. He repairs computers, Xboxes and TVs and is available for service calls and onsite work. He’s also happy to mount TVs for his customers.
“We can usually come to a solution for pretty much any problem,” he said, adding that he provides his customers with estimates before he starts on their projects and that he offers “an affordable solution to getting your computer fixed when it breaks.”
Mr. Janzen’s office is newly relocated inside of a larger office: The Mountain Hub – a co-working space where entrepreneurs can get their businesses growing. The day he arrived to set up his office earlier this month, Mr. Janzen had two walk-in customers before he was officially open for business.
The stream of traffic continued all through his first week, with 15 repairs lined up or completed by the time he sat down to chat with the Pioneer. That’s five times more business than he was getting when he worked from the attic in his home between Fairmont and Windermere.
“It was very isolated,” he said. “I would sit at home and watch TV and nobody would show up.”
He figured that wasn’t due to a lack of demand for his services but because his potential customers would get confused about how to find his home or opt out of making the effort of getting to his place.
Now the fixer has solved that problem too. In his new location in downtown Invermere, customers can easily pop by to drop off their broken laptops and return to collect their newly-found files and fixed-up machines.