PC/Mac Guru

Fast, friendly, and focused on all your Home/Office computer needs.

Contact Information


Thomas Van Housen
PC/Mac Guru
1376 Cary Road
Algonquin, IL 60102

312-952-7411 mobile

847-658-6633 home office

pcmacguru@gmail.com



About PC/Mac Guru


I'm Thomas Van Housen, PC/Mac Guru, your go-to guy for fast & friendly computer support and relief from nagging productivity blocks. I specialize in providing assistance to individuals and families, as well as professionals and small businesses who aren't supported by a corporate IT Department.

I am compassionate, on call, and ready to get (or keep) your home or small business computer activity flowing in Chicago's North, West, and Northwest Suburbs, whether it's repair help and buying advice, backing up and migrating your data and photos to a new system, or gently guiding the tech-challenged (including seniors) into a working computer relationship.

I am well-versed in troubleshooting and resolving hardware and software problems on, you guessed it, PCs and Macs. (Don't ask me why it's so rare to find an expert in both platforms, but it is.) I get the hat trick, because I also love to use Linux, an open-source operating system.

Consulting Services


  • Anti-Virus/Anti-Spyware
  • Buying Advice (New and Used) and Delivery
  • Computer Repair
  • Data Backup, Restoration or Destruction
  • Email Setup
  • Home/Small Office Networking and Wireless Networking
  • On-Site Training
  • Productivity Consulting
  • Social Media Consulting
  • System Restoring/System Installation
  • Telephone Support
  • Upgrades
  • Windows/Mac Integration
  • Windows-to-Mac Migration



Why PC/Mac Guru?


If you contact PC/Mac Guru, you'll be dealing directly with me. I spend on average a couple hours a day on continuing education and reading to keep up on new trends and product reviews. My clients enjoy the benefit of my 45 years of computing experience, as well as a level of expertise, insight and enthusiasm that can enrich your computing world.

I always remind clients that although their particular issue may be novel for them, it is extremely unlikely that they are alone in suffering from it. Using PC/Mac Guru as a resource, you'll find the right solution quickly and not waste your valuable time or money.

Core Strengths


  • Fast, Friendly, and Focused
  • Deep & Wide Technical Understanding
  • Honest and Professional
  • Patient and Understanding with Clients
  • Sharing All Options with Clients
  • Frugal with Client Resources
  • Transparent: No Hidden Agendas
  • Flexible Availability

Client Engagement


I conduct business by appointment only, frequently in the client's home or office, and am happy to accommodate requests from clients who wish to work together evenings or on weekends.

There are times when circumstances require that I work on a client's computer in my home. Often, this is because I need to utilize other computers on my network. In other cases, it may be because I have a high-speed internet connection and it may be faster (read: cheaper for the client) for me to work in my home.

Short telephone discussions with existing clients (under ten minutes) are complimentary.

My consulting rate is $80/hour, by the quarter-hour (minimum $80 on a project). I do not charge time and expense for travel. I accept cash, checks and PayPal.

Initial Consultations


In order to begin, exploratory discussions are free of charge. In many cases, these consultations yield enough information to proceed without my further involvement. That is to say, my goal is to determine if I may quickly help someone to a solution.

Frequently a new client is someone I have helped in this manner, who returns because they've come to trust me.



Client Testimonials


As one of many flummoxed and frustrated with the PC/Internet Explorer death spiral, I turned to PC/Mac Guru for help. Epiphany.
I am a teacher, writer, music lover and traveler dependent on computing and the web for word processing, harvesting information and managing music/photos for personal use as well as teaching tools.
PC/Mac Guru put me on the road perhaps less traveled, but I’m now better equipped (now and for the future), better organized, more safe, faster and more confident.
PC/Mac Guru is an educator, too. He diagnosed my needs, cognizant of my budget and sent me off to the Apple store with a list. I was outta there in 15 minutes. Tom came to my house, navigated my conversion to the Mac, and has helped via follow-through ever since. The whole experience has been efficient, friendly, economical and professional. Looking for an epiphany? Get with this guy.

Chris Petersen

"The first time I called PC/Mac Guru it was a Sunday morning and my PC had crashed for what felt like the 50th time. I was ready to throw it out the window. In desperation I went to the phone book hoping, at best, to leave a message for someone to get first thing on Monday morning. Tom not only answered the phone, he talked me down from my ledge of despair and calmly mapped out a plan to get me back up and running. Within a day he had come to my home, soothed my ruffled feathers, fixed the computer, and educated me sufficiently to avoid a repeat of that particular problem. In time Tom convinced me to make the switch to a new iMac; truly the best computer decision I have ever made. When I call Tom now it is simply to bring me up to speed on how to make the most of my new toy! I would recommend Tom to anyone with computer issues, big or small. I no longer worry about computer troubles, knowing that Tom is only a phone call away."
Gabrielle Johnson, PCC

"Basically, Tom is the first computer specialist I've met who speaks my language: English."
Jim Head

"We're really happy with you Tom. Thanks for responding so quickly."
David and Janice Stone


Background


My interest in computers began early in my career as an actuary, a real number cruncher. Over my career I have worked for Coopers & Lybrand (now called PriceWaterhouseCoopers), TPF&C (now called Willis Towers Watson), and was a Principal of Mercer (a unit of Marsh & McLennan). I also spent eight years as an executive search consultant for Howe-Corey, Ltd., a boutique search firm which at the time specialized in actuarial executive recruiting.

I started using mainframe computers in 1974, and in 1987 I began using an IBM PC AT, my first PC, and I've been troubleshooting personal computers ever since. Macs came later for me, starting in 1996 when Apple's Macintosh PowerPC line was introduced. My interest in Linux began in about 2001, with the Suse Linux distribution. Today I use and recommend the Ubuntu GNU-Linux distribution.

Outside of my home-based consulting practice, I have been painting pop art since 1990 and have sold more than 1,400 paintings. I've developed a variety of techniques that frequently incorporate the the Mac as a tool in the creation of my paintings. Other interests include gardening, golf, yoga, motorcycling, reading, cooking, and our Scottish Deerhound.