College didn't seem like a very good fit for Luke Scheminger. He went to UMass Amherst for a year and a half after graduating from high school in 2007, but he much preferred fixing and building computers than spending time in the classroom. Now the 20-year-old Littleton native is serving customers at his newly opened shop on Jennifer Street, LittletonPC.
College didn't seem like a very good fit for Luke Scheminger. He went to UMass Amherst for a year and a half after graduating from high school in 2007, but he much preferred fixing and building computers than spending time in the classroom.
Now the 20-year-old Littleton native is serving customers at his newly opened shop on Jennifer Street, LittletonPC.
Scheminger's Dad, Jeff, helps out in the spacious business that formerly sold pools and spas. The interior is all blue and in good condition, so Scheminger was able to move right in. He wants to add more desks and workspace, but he has all he needs to repair all types of PCs, or build them from parts according to what a customer may want.
Scheminger said he has always had an interest in computers, and he bought his first one when he was about 12 years old.
“I remember taking it apart and putting it back together again, and it worked,” he said.
He likes the software and hardware sides of the industry, and he just finished putting together a sleek black desktop computer from parts he found through other dealers or the Internet.
Scheminger said the idea was a joint one between him and his father, an idea that took shape last winter when the student was home for winter break and decided not to return to Amherst.
He had a job in the IT department of the university providing tech support and virus removal.
Jeff said seeing Luke create a business from what he really enjoys “is a beautiful thing.”
The business opened on Sept. 1 and is enjoying a steady trickle of customers, a lot with problems they can't really articulate, but many involve viruses.
Scheminger said he can interpret what's wrong when a customer comes in and says, vaguely, “There's something wrong but it stopped,” or “Everything is just gone.”
He said he sells a deck-of-card-sized backup pack that will easily handle more than the usual PC, operating system and all.
“The most important thing to remember is to stop doing anything when you lose stuff,” Scheminger said. “Just stop, and bring it in. I can usually figure out how to get it all back. It is usually recoverable.”
The other big issue is virus removal. Scheminger said people may think they are safe with an expensive virus protection program, but that's a myth.
“There are guys out there working out how to defeat your system no matter what it is,” he said.
Scheminger deals with laptops about as much as desktops, and he is learning about Macs and how to build them. Now he concentrates on hardware and software for the personal computer.
“I replace keyboards, LCD screens, pretty much anything that goes wrong,” Scheminger said. “Tell me how many pictures and movies you want to store and what you want to do with your computer and I can make it no matter what your budget.”
Scheminger said with the hardware becoming more modular, it is easier to construct a computer tailored to one's preferences.
The Schemingers also like to promote Open Source software that is free and just as reliable as the expensive software packages.
“Open Office has the same things as Microsoft Office, but it's free,” said Jeff. “We're trying to push that. It's a community project. It's all about contributing and making a good free product.”
Scheminger also feels the personal connection is a selling point.
“People come in and see me and know that I am working on their computer,” Scheminger said. “If I can't fix it, there is no charge.”
LittletonPC is at 12 Jennifer St. Telephone is 978-800-1855. E-mail is email@example.com.