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Consultant advises chamber on using computers wisely

A computer consultant offered advice to Ellsworth Chamber of Commerce members Thursday about using their machines wisely.

Larry Yarrington of ADSY Technologies, who has worked with such local businesses as Jo Jo's Jewelry and Gifts, and governments including the Village of Ellsworth, said his computer expertise dates back to the military. The New Jersey native worked with one of the first Computer-Aided Design systems at a company there in the 1970s.

"It was a test site," he said, adding, "we tied into robotic cutters."

When Yarrington relocated to the Midwest, he joined a firm specializing in printed circuit boards, he said. He then became a consultant in the Twin Cities and, in the early 1990s, established his own consulting enterprise, installing networks.

The focus of his presentation Thursday was saving money on computers. He said their inside operations have changed to a more modular arrangement over the years.

"It used to be the company making the computer made all the parts, too," he said. "Now, they outsource many of those parts."

An advantage of modern computers is the parts are easy to swap if there's a breakdown, the consultant said. A repair can cost $20-to-$25, in some cases.

He doesn't promote having machines custom-built for businesses, saying competing with the large manufacturers is difficult because they buy parts in volume. In fact, he said beware of outfits offering custom-builds because they often get parts from China, which can be unreliable.

Read more in the print version of the Herald Aug. 1.