Many people wandering into Delta Geeks
in Sunny Tsawwassen have computers that have stopped working and
don't have the first idea how to fix them. Chances are, they'll be
greeted by Neville Blair-Brown, owner and technical support
specialist of the business, who can help walk customers through the
process of getting their machines examined and back to working order.
What many people may not realize, however, is that for the first sixty years of his life, Neville didn't know much about computers at all.
"I honestly had no real dealings with technology," confesses Neville, who is now 66. "I used computers but I hadn't actually got into it. I knew what a hard drive looked like but that was about all."
An immigrant who came to Canada from South Africa in 2008, Neville's career background is actually in accounting. He started working with Delta Geeks primarily as a bookkeeper to help his wife, Anastasia "Abbey" Warder, who co-founded the business in 2005.
When he took over the day-to-day operations in 2013, Neville spent his time learning about the ins and outs of computers: hard drives, motherboards, video cards, processors. With the help of his two full-time technicians, James and Larry, he's since become just the right amount of tech savvy. "We have a great stable of brains of diverse knowledge which makes for an excellent IT team. James has 30 years’ experience in every aspect of computers, and Larry has managed corporate servers and networks. Personally, I have a fascination for learning new technology and enjoy helping people by bringing solutions to the table, so it's always interesting."
Neville doesn't blame people for not bothering to learn about computers. Many don't have the time or inclination.
"Most of the customers don't need to know anything about computers other than they want to get their email, they want to Skype their children back east or something like that."
But even among those who have spent time working with computers, Neville says there's a "fear factor" in dealing with technology. Many people are fearful of change, and nothing changes so quickly as computer technology.
He cites the example of Windows 10. When Microsoft released the operating system in 2015, many people were resistant to upgrading from their existing Windows 7 or 8 because of unfounded concerns over bugs or viruses. Over time, however, most people have accepted the change and made the switch.
In a way, Delta Geeks is an emergency room for computers. And because there aren't many sudden computer meltdowns, Neville says their customers may come for other reasons, from asking for help on a custom-build or buying ink cartridges and toner.
"It doesn't mean everybody comes through our doors but we do have quite a large population that does visit at least once every year or once every two years," he adds.
Regardless of whether you've visited Delta Geeks, chances are you've seen Neville or his wife, Abbie, about town. He says Tsawwassen has been a great place to live, run a small business and raise his family.
"Everybody knows everybody so they all look out for each other. When something's happening, they will all talk about it. We have many friends here."
Delta Geeks services all brands and operating systems for computers, both on site or at their location on the northeast corner of 56 th Street and 12th Avenue. You can also have your PC computer custom-built with help from their tech experts. The store also sells brand name laptops, computer parts and accessories, as well as ink cartridges and toner.