Editor’s note: this is one story in a series about local businesses in the City of Fairborn. This feature puts a face to the names of those that have been part of the community for many years — some of those best-kept secrets.
FAIRBORN — Pat Neff got interested in electronics as 4-years-old by taking by a lamp apart to see what was inside. His parents were amazed that he also put it back together and it still worked. Today he is currently the owner of Electronics Computer Center.
Before Neff started his business computers were new and mainly available at large universities. He received further introduction to machines in Boy Scouts and even devleoped an interest in Ham radio as well.
“I bought my first 400 Atari computer to learn programming and how it works because the same thought process applies that I had taking things apart and putting them back together,” Neff said. “I have had about all of the different computers over the years as they have come out and learned the changes — anyone who knows computers knows that they never stand still, always moving forward and changing.”
Neff graduated from the Fairborn City School District, and went on to study at Wright State University and University of Dayton, training in electronics and computer engineering.
He worked as an electronics tech for his first job, coming to Fairborn for a job opportunity after schooling at WSU and felt that Fairborn seemed like the perfect place to work. In addition to owning the business, Neff serves on the Fairborn City Schools Tech Board, providing assistance and guidance regarding the district’s computer needs.
“I started with Electronics Computer Center and have been with the company as manager for 25 years and when the opportunity became available for ownership, my wife Lynnette and I decided to continue with a company under the new title of owners,” he said. “The best part of working together is getting to work on what I love and my wife being an accountant gets to do what her expertise is. Together, we have a great partnership working well together as a family business.”
Electronics Computer Center provides custom-built computers, services to local companies as IT professionals and repairs, such as crashed hardware drive recovery, virus, malware, spyware removal, wired and wireless networking, router and firewall configuration, software sales and installation, among others.
“People cleaning out their computer think of viruses or malicious malware and that is what I work on all the time, but you need to work on physically clean out too,” he said. “I have found cat hair, incense and smokers causing problems. Anything in the air can get sucked into the computer, shortening its lifespan.”
Neff warns individuals, particularly trusting and vulnerable seniors, of scammers from foreign countries who will call potential victims to alert them that their computer is at risk. Once the scammers necessary information to do so from victims, they hack into their computers and steal their personal information. Neff said Microsoft will never phone customers to alert them of issues, as they must call Microsoft. He recommends hanging up the phone, not giving personal information or money, being thoughtful of what emails they open up and contacting a service tech for any computer issues.
In addition to avoiding scams, he advises that computer-users maintain and backup information they don’t want lost, such as files, pictures and information they consider important.
“I work on computers during the day, but love gaming at night and enjoy building gaming systems,” he said. “Since I know about computers and gaming, I am the one a lot of the gamers come to for the updated and best gaming system out there and enjoy building the gaming computers for those who want something hot and special.”
Business hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday; reach Neff via email at [email protected] or phone at 937-878-1828.
“Contact us — we believe in treating customers like we would like to be treated so they are happy with the service because word of mouth is the best form of advertising. When people leave my office I want them to have peace of mind regarding their computers and the work that was done on them”
He has serviced areas including Dayton, Xenia, Kettering, Huber Heights, Yellow Springs, Beavercreek, Springfield, Enon, New Carlisle, Wright State University and Wright Patterson Air Force Base.
“We are going to continue to provide service with Electronic Computer Center to the companies and community here in Fairborn,” Neff said. “This is a good town; we are members of the community and Fairborn Area Chamber of Commerce, and we support the community because Fairborn has supported us.”
JoAnn Collins is a long-time resident of Fairborn and guest writer for the Fairborn Daily Herald.