By STEPHEN FLANAGAN JACKSON
Unless you are an inveterate “do-it-yourselfer” you need to call a handyman every now and then for your home or business. Whether it is plumbing, electrical, roofing, painting, hvac, etc. — you can either do-it-yourself or call a professional.
And now, the repair and maintenance in this age we live in, referred to as the Information Age or the Digital Age, with the ubiquitous and prolific presence and importance of computers, cell phones and internet in our personal and professional lives, we are in the same predicament. Either do-it-yourself or call on a professional or expert. Not only are these modern communication gadgets a luxury, they are sometimes a necessity and always a convenience. Only if you are Luddite or hardcore Amish would you be adverse to and not affected by this modern-day wizardry.
The Digital Age had its beginnings with Univac and military purposes some 80 years ago. Now we are in the third stage of the Industrial Revolution fueled by the introduction of the personal computer in the 1970s and subsequently the internet in 1995. Technology has provided us with the ability to transmit, store, and transfer information quickly and inexpensively — both personally and professionally. We are firmly ensconced, like it or not, in the Digital Age aka the Information Age or Computer Age. This period is characterized by the global shift from industrialized products and a consumer manufacturing industry toward a computerized world system — marked by technological advances, inventions and devices geared toward a shift in traditional daily life, business and economic organization among all.
We are transfixed and highly dependent on information and communication technology — socially, politically and economically. All three inventions — computer, cell phone, internet — by themselves or convergent, are now a defining characteristic of human activity
But technology needs repair and maintenance. Modern technology also makes us much more vulnerable. Did someone say “hackers” or “scam” or “virus” or “fake news”? The latter is more a matter of content and message. The former three are more a matter of medium or media, the technology utilized to transmit the content or the message.
It is this technology, which is highly sophisticated and complex that requires someone with a tremendous amount of expertise to repair and/or to maintain. If you do not possess this high skill set, then you are in need of a digital expert or a “digital doctor” in order to repair, maintain, provide counsel, or to help you avoid the pitfalls associated with such devices.
Right here in South Shore there are a large number of professional “techies or geeks.” A quick search on Google or a look at the Computer Repair section in The Observer News Business & Trade Directory will guide you to one of these stores or individuals equipped to aid the naïve, inexperienced “digital dinosaur” facing known or unknown computer issues such as setting up, upgrades, virus removal, spyware, pop-ups, security, email and printer problems. Most of these digital “doctors” make house calls, and, in fact, do not operate out of a brick and mortar store front.
One such digital doctor in South Shore is Larry Berman, owner and operator of Screen Share I-T (Information Technology). Berman, a military veteran, owns a PC support business, which has for three years served Sun City Center, Kings Point and South Hillsborough County. Personal computer, or PC, is Berman’s specialty, as opposed to Apple Computer. Apple’s market share is 12.7 percent compared to about 6 percent for the Linux system and about 82 percent for the PCs.
Berman brings a strong pedigree to his service business. Formerly he was an electronics technician and data systems technician in the United States Navy. He also worked as an electrical engineer for Honeywell Aerospace in Clearwater, as a contract test engineer for L-3 Corporation in Sarasota and an IT manager for Condominium Associates in Clearwater. Berman grew up in Toledo, Ohio, where he attended DeVilbiss High School. He graduated in business administration from St. Petersburg College.
As a “digital doctor,” Berman brings an understanding “bedside manner” to his technical trade. “I specialize in assisting seniors and their computer needs. This population is not as comfortable with computers and technology as compared with the younger demographic. I am a senior and enjoy working with seniors. I like them to know my aim is to help them and to know I respect them,” he said.
“As a technical specialist, I am asked to work on a wide range of problems. I derive a great sense of accomplishment in solving customers’ unique needs. When I leave a customer’s location, I want to know they are happy with the work that was done,” added Berman.
“I got into personal computer support when I was an IT manager for a condominium management company. It was my job to support over 100 employees of the company in Pinellas, Pasco, Hillsborough and Charlotte counties. I’d either visit each employee needing assistance at their location or do a remote screen to screen support session,”explained Berman.
Berman is a member and trustee of the Sun City Center Area Chamber of Commerce. He is a photographer of chamber events and produces a photographic presentation for the chamber’s monthly luncheon. He is married to Carol Berman. They have lived in the Tampa Bay Area almost 50 years. His avocations are genealogy and photography. He enjoys going on YouTube and learning about computers and technology.
The business phone for Screen Share I-T is 813-634-2305. Email is email@example.com, and his website is www.screenshareit.com.