4523 FM 541 W
Floresville, TX 78114
Email me any time at: email@example.com
Hello. I am Michael Calkins.
Unfortunately, I do not currently have a location in Floresville. However, I do still offer computer repair service. Please email me for information and to arrange to meet. I occasionally get weird emails from people about computer repair, so you are more likely to get a response from me if your email indicates that you are local to the Floresville/Poth area.
I intend to primarily provide diagnosis and repair services for PC compatible computers. This would include operating system installation, malware removal, and consultation. I may also, from time to time, refurbish and sell older used computers. I have a supply of older used computer components, most of which may be purchased at reasonable prices. If you need a component, and I don't have it, I can order it new from a wholesaler, or buy it new or used on eBay for you, if you don't mind the delay for shipping. I am also capable of limited web design. If small, simple, straight forward websites, like this one, without a lot of needless fanciness, appeal to you, I might be able to design one for you, although I cannot commit to long term maintenance. Although I am certainly not a networking or security expert, I have enough knowledge of each to set up reasonably secure home or small office IPv4 networks.
With regard to hardware, I work mainly on desktops and towers. With regard to laptop hardware, I only do simple things, like upgrading the RAM or replacing the HDD. I generally don't get too involved with laptop hardware beyond that. For example, I generally would not be interested in trying to replace a laptop monitor or keyboard, or soldering the power connector. I also generally avoid working on printer hardware.
At the moment, I am not actively seeking new customers for computer repair. (I don't mean that I wouldn't accept new customers, I'm just not actively seeking them. I continue to work for my repeat customers.) I will soon be actively seeking students for my classes.
I currently am planning 4 classes that I intend to provide at reasonable prices.
|Basic Computer Familiarization and Usage|
|The purpose of this class is to increase the student's familiarity with PCs, and to teach the student how to use a PC running Windows XP (or Vista or "7" if the student has that) to accomplish everyday tasks. It does not cover Microsoft Office, although it does partially cover LibreOffice Writer. The subject matter of this class also provides a good base for the other 3 classes, although this class is not itself a prerequisite.
Preferred class size: 1 to 5 students. Tentative price: $40 per student if less than 3 students. $30 per student if 3 or more students.
Books/sources: Watching The Dream Machine (BBC/PBS documentary) will probably be assigned as homework. Various videos from YouTube and elsewhere. I started to write a book for this class, but I doubt that I'll finish it in time.
|Introduction to Simple Web Design|
|The purpose of this class is to teach the student how to create and maintain simple web sites, like this one. It teaches the student to hand code web pages using HTML and CSS, and upload them to a host using FTP, using the FileZilla client. The class covers character sets and character encoding with an emphasis on Unicode, and very basic image manipulation using Paint. Also covered or reviewed is a basic knowledge of IP networking. Also covered is basic web server configuration using the control panel provided by the host. Possibly, some of the Apache documentation might also be covered.
Preferred class size: 1 to 2 students. Tentative price: $40 per student.
Books/sources: w3schools.com and possibly the Apache web server documentation.
|Introduction to Programming|
|This class introduces the student to computer programming. The focus will be mainly on hobby programming, but the knowledge and skills would hopefully be useful for serious open source projects (although they may use different programming styles). The class uses QBASIC to teach some of the basic concepts of programming. The class also teaches x86 Assembly language, using DebugX and NAsm. The class will introduce the student to the C89 language, using MinGW and possibly OpenWatcom. The programming style is mostly imperative, structured, and procedural, not object oriented. The targeted platforms will be real mode DOS for QBASIC and x86 Assembly, and Win32 for x86 Assembly, C, and QB64. Students will be taught how to write Win32 console apps, and how to research API functions in the MSDN library. I am not yet a GUI programmer. The student will be made aware of C++, but I am not yet qualified to teach C++.
Programming is not just a skill, it is a way of thinking. This class is intended to be fun. It is the most advanced of the 4 classes, but I expect it to be the most enjoyable. Prior programming experience is not required.
Preferred class size: 1 student. Tentative price: $80 for 1 student.
Books/sources: QBASIC's built in Help, The QBASIC Forum Community, the QB64 forum and wiki, NAsm's documentation (current and 0.99.02), the Intel developer manual, Advanced MS-DOS Programming, the MSDN library (downloaded DVD image), The C Programming Language, 2nd edition, The C++ Programming Language, 3rd or special edition, Windows Internals, 4th and/or 6th editions, as well as various file format (BMP, MIDI, MZ EXE, PE), interface (XMS, possibly DPMI), and algorithm (SHA, AES) specifications. Just because I list a book or manual here doesn't necessarily mean that we'll read the whole thing.
|Introduction to Computer Repair|
|This class will introduce the student to some of the fundamentals of computer repair. It will include "hands on" experience in disassembling and reassembling desktop or tower PCs, and in installing and configuring Windows 98SE and 2000 and/or XP, and possibly other operating systems. To the extent possible, the student will get "hands on" experience with real and simulated computer problems to diagnose and fix.
Preferred class size: 1 to 2 students. Tentative price: $60 if 1 student. $50 per student if 2 students.
Books/sources: Windows Internals, 4th and/or 6th editions, the Microsoft Knowledge Base, and Mastering Network Security, 2nd edition. I intend to aquire some kind of A+ study guide as well.
I may offer discounts if you can't afford the indicated prices. You may pay gradually as you take the class. Considering the time I will spend preparing and teaching the classes, I do not believe that these prices are too high in general. I would like to see if I can make teaching computer classes my primary job. I may eventually need to adjust my class sizes and prices accordingly.
In addition to the listed sources, Wikipedia, and, as needed, Google, will be used for all 4 classes.
Students are required to try to be patient and be willing to learn. I will try to be patient as well. Especially in the last 2 classes listed above, I will refer the student to and/or provide the student with a large amount of reading material. The student will be expected to read certain parts of it in his or her own time. For some classes, I will recommend that the student buy copies of certain books, but the student can, at my discretion, borrow my copies instead.
None of these classes are certification classes, and I currently hold no certification in any of the subject matter. I make no guarantee that any of these classes will help you earn more money.
These classes are still in the planning phase. Please contact me if you are interested. One of the biggest challenges is that I do not currently have a good location to teach the classes. Possible locations to have the classes would be some public location in Floresville or Poth, or your house. Some class sessions could be held over the telephone or by internet teleconference if you have an appropriate connection. Please contact me to discuss details.
I used to work for Brian and David Holt at The Computer Store in the JC Turner building in Floresville from March 2006 until it closed in September 2007. Since then, I have operated my own business, Floresville Computer Services, off and on. From April to November 2010, I operated out of a location in the Bleu Casa Village in Floresville.
I have been using computers since I was a little kid. I have used extensively MS-DOS, Windows 3.1x, 95, 98SE, 2000, and XP. I have much professional experience installing, using, and repairing Windows 98SE, 2000, and XP, and some experience repairing Vista and Windows "7" computers. Although I have occasionally played with OS/2 Warp, Linux, and FreeBSD, I do not have much experience with them. I do not work on Apples.
I have some experience using UTP Ethernet networks and IPv4 routers and simple software firewalls. I use FileZilla FTP server to share files from my laptop. I do not currently have any experience with Windows file and print sharing. I do not have any experience with corporate networking (Windows Domains, Active Directory), nor am I keen to learn it.
I began writing MS-DOS Batch files many years ago. Not too long after that, my dad encourage me to learn the QBASIC language, and I have become very experienced with it. I have also taught myself x86 Assembly language, and have written several small real mode DOS programs as well as a few small Win32 console applications using it. Lately, I have been writing Win32 applications using QB64. I have been slowly learning C, but I am not very proficient with it yet. I would eventually like to learn C++, but I still have a imperative/structured/procedural mindset. It might take me a while to get an object oriented mindset, and I'm not sure that I even want to. I have posted extensively on the QBASIC Forum Community, starting in March 30, 2005. The old main forum was archived some time ago. You will find a link to it near the bottom of the Community index. I was very active on that community several years ago, but have been relatively inactive on it more recently. I am currently somewhat active on the QB64 forum.
Nozzle Supply Company - This website was acquired by my dad, and still has the work of at least 2 previous web designers, in addition to myself. The logo, the background image, and the diagrams were all done by other people. The photography was done by my dad. I have not yet gotten around to cleaning it up properly. I need to rewrite it to use CSS and hand coded HTML. I need to clean up the code and the appearance of the site.
Calkins Machine Corporation - This website was initially designed by another web designer. He did the logo and the background, and my dad did the photography, but a lot of the rest of it, including the side navigation bar, is my work. Like the NSC site, it too needs a rewrite to use CSS and to clean it up.
Floresville VFD - While I was a member of the fire department, I designed this website for it. As of October 2010, the only content not my work is the wild game dinner posters and logos. Everything else, including the photography, is my work. It uses hand coded HTML and CSS, and has a nice, clean, simple appearance. I am no longer the admin for this site. As of January 2011, there does not seem to be an admin. Circa October 2011, they seem to have allowed the domain to expire. Here is the Wayback Machine's archive. (I have my own copy, but I don't have the exclusive copyright.)
qbasicmichael.com - The site you are visiting now. This will serve as my business site for Floresville Computer Services, as well as my personal site. I will soon be adding personal content to this site, including numerous photographs. Except for the photo gallery script, everything is hand coded HTML and CSS by me.