My teenage daughter’s face flooded with anxiety as she uttered the words any father fears to hear. No, not those words. But still, not good: “Dad, I think I spilled water on my computer.”
I snatched up her 2017 MacBook Air and quickly tapped a random sequence of keys before thumping the space bar a bunch of times with one thumb. When that failed to revive the drowned machine, I held down the power button for a long time while reattaching the power cable. Still nothing. My amateur toolbox empty, I decided to call a pro.
Shain Cox was born and raised in Santa Barbara. As a kid, fascinated with computers, he tore apart his dad’s 2005 IBM laptop and put it back together. In college, at the University of Redlands, where he earned a degree in business administration, he enjoyed fixing his friends’ computers. Encouraged by his housemate, Cox started charging for his skills, which now range from home computer repair and data recovery to network problem-solving and home-theater installation, plus a sizable menu of business services. In 2015, Cox founded AnyTechCA (anytechca.com), and he recently hit his two-year anniversary running shop out of a downstairs desk at Impact Hub on State Street.
Cox prefers PC and Linux devices because “they’re easier to customize and maintain,” he said. “But I mostly service Apple devices since they are so commonly used. Repairs done by Apple can be very costly, and I can offer lower rates and a faster turnaround than their Genius Bar.” Whatever the device, he added, “I’d recommend that everyone use a cloud backup system for their data, since local storage is a common point of failure, especially with mechanical hard drives.” He also recommends establishing a relationship with a tech professional who can monitor the health of your devices over the long term, similar to finding and sticking with a dependable car mechanic.
Cox didn’t hesitate to give me a call with updates on the repair of my daughter’s computer. He also set her up with a generic loaner while hers was in the shop. I’d like to think she now has a greater appreciation for her decal-covered MacBook Air, and I know she learned a valuable lesson: Computers and water don’t mix.