A new service comes to Main Street
MUNCY – Passing with the times and settling into a new community, computer specialist Cherif Ammar-Khodja does not mind moving from Manhattan to our small town of Muncy to work and play and raise his family. Originally from Berber, Algeria in North Aftrica, Ammar-Khodja met his wife, Lisa Heiney in New York. She was born and grew up in Hughesville and they decided it was better to raise their 3 daughters in Hughesville where they are closer to her family than his homeland in Africa.
Ammar-Khodja served as an IT professional for 12 years for Kraft Foods in Wilkes Barre and after a downsizing of the company, he decided to start his own consulting business in computer service and repair.
“I love being self-employed. This is like a hobby to me. I really enjoy working with computers. I like to help people solve their problems and offer solutions.” He has traveled all over the country for computer training before deciding on settling in the Muncy area. Already established in business, he likes to work with the small business owner. Sometimes a client will need help with retrieving their data or will need help with viruses, a common problem. “I like troubleshooting,” he said as he takes apart a DELL laptop computer and refurbishes it with a new Windows XP operating system and anti-virus program.
He gets business grade PC laptops from government agencies that are no longer in use and custom builds them and makes them internet ready. “I do rigorous testing on these computers and custom build them for the customer’s needs and their budget,” he said. He acquires Dells, IBM’s and Hewlitt-Packard.
Ammar-Khodja also launched ‘Green Computing Initiative.’ With this he erases and removes the hard drives, what they call DOD formatting. “This is a high security level that makes it impossible for anyone to retrieve data. I crush the hard drive after I make sue that I erase all data first,” he explained. This is a free service that Ammar-Khodja offers to the community for anyone who wants to recycle their old computer. Twice a year he holds a recycling event when he collects about 500 old computers at the Hughesville Fire Department. Before passing them onto a trusted partner, he destroys the data.
He set up operations in April behind Michaels Insurance on 32 South Main St. where he installs software, monitors security, offers disc space and does update ‘health’ checks on server systems for a small trusted client base. Customers get monthly and weekly reports on their systems, firewalls and services, inventory, and back-ups.
Hours of operation are from 8 to 5, Monday through Friday or by appointment. He will make house calls and business calls. He will be available on November 11 during the Muncy Professional Business Association’s Open House on Main Street from 6 to 8 p.m., and he is asking for anyone to feel free to call or stop by to schedule a free consulting session. He can be reached at 570-971-6475.
Cherif Ammar-Khodja and his wife, Lisa live in the Muncy area and share 3 daughters, ages 3, 7 and 9.