About Barca Solutions
Resurrected and re-imagined after nearly 10 years, Barca Solutions has gone back to the basics. After watching many friends and family bring their computers into repair shops only to get them back in the same or worse condition, we (when I say we, I mean me, Barry Cohen) decided to go back to doing what we do best – fix computers, AND FIX THEM RIGHT.
(For the record, the aforementioned friends and family had me fix their computers after they got them back from whatever geeky repair shop they went to.)
This is not a big franchise or chain repair shop. This is one person doing things the way they should be done.
Let’s get this out of the way – Barca is a combination of the names Barry and Catherine. Get it? BARry CAtherine. I’m Barry, and Catherine is my boss/wife.
I don’t want you thinking that I’m just some guy who has been tinkering with computers for his entire adult life, although that’s not entirely untrue. A little history about me:
Back in 1984, I graduated from DeVry Technical Institute (now known as DeVry University) at the top of my class . My focus and training was as an electronics technician. After graduation, I was hired by a national service company that, like every other computer company, was just starting to support Personal Computers. The IBM PC XT had just been released. For those of you that don’t remember, or were not born yet, the XT was a technological marvel with a maximum of 640k (that’s right, K) RAM and a hi-capacity 10MB hard drive.
One of the first projects I worked on was the installation of a major bank’s very first PC network on their Foreign Exchange trading floor. This was on the forefront of technology back then, and I take great pride in knowing that I was part of it. I was tasked with maintaining that network for the next couple of years.
Fast-forward several years, and my experience, training, and troubleshooting skills were keeping me busy. I was one of the first PC techs in the country to get A+ certified, a good 2 years before anyone thought about creating training classes for it. I was also charged with maintaining the network at one of the big commodity exchanges in the World Trade Center.
At one point I was sent to Chicago to get certified by Apple on their Macintosh line of computers. Amazingly, after I successfully completed their tests, they told me that not only did I complete their tests faster than anyone else had, but I was also the only one to ever ace the exam. As much fun as that was, I do not work on Macs any longer.
I’ve had other certifications as the years went by, but I found that they really didn’t mean anything after a while. I watched technicians being churned out of technical schools that barely knew how to hold a screwdriver. They were being taught how to pass industry tests, not how to properly troubleshoot broken equipment.
When I moved to Phoenix from New York in 1995, I was hired at the most senior technical level at the worlds largest computer distributor (at that time). With that company, I was put in as lead technician, then supervisor for a technical support call center. Yes, people really do call in because they forgot to plug the equipment into the electrical socket.
From there I went on to manage another tech support call center. This one was for a major hotel franchiser. More fun with phones. Two months of that and I had enough of that.
That’s when Barca Solutions was first established. I did on site computer repair at clients’ homes and offices. Eventually that morphed into hosting websites – on my own equipment, of course. That turned into designing websites. It turned out more people wanted websites than wanted their computers fixed. So I stopped doing that professionally as there was no time anyway. That was back in 2000-2001.
I was never really too far from computer repair. I still had all those friends and family to help out. In 2008 I also started (and still run) a software company with Catherine and another partner. That’s the beauty of all this. I never strayed from technology, and I am able to have my repair bench right next to my desk.