By Léo Azambuja

Jeff Elkins, a former DJ at Kong Radio, took over the ownership of The Computer Hospital in 2010, and has since expanded the business.

Jeff Elkins, a former DJ at Kong Radio, took over the ownership of The Computer Hospital in 2010, and has since expanded the business.

Jeff Elkins is the kind of person who thinks outside the box, even though he works inside the box. A computer box, that is. He fixes computers.

“We are primarily a computer repair shop, but we do a lot of other things too,” said Elkins, owner of The Computer Shop in Old Kapa‘a Town.

Besides replacing broken hardware and getting rid of pesky viruses and annoying trial programs, the shop offers a variety of services. They do network management and consulting, sell new and refurbished desktops, and provide a physical space for real estate licensing tests, screening for airport employment, personal fitness training certification and others.

The Computer Hospital has been around since 1997. Elkins bought the company in 2010, when the former owner passed away. In 2011, it moved to its current location on Ulu Street, right behind the lot where the old Roxy Theater used to be. Today, the shop has four technicians in its staff, including Elkins.

Laptops with a clean bill of health wait to go home.

Laptops with a clean bill of health wait to go home.

“We’ve been the top computer shop (on Kaua‘i) five years running now,” he said, proudly.

Some of the shop’s success can be attributed to an untarnished reputation. Elkins said there are a lot of charlatans in the computer industry, so it’s really important to find someone you trust.

“We watch our reputation really carefully,” he said. “If you check us out on the Internet, you’ll find we have a sparkling reputation.”

Usually, the turnaround time for a computer repair is three to four days; and this time could be extended due to ordering new parts. As an advice, Elkins said if you’re running a business, and a computer is so important that a few days without it may be an apocalypse, you need to own another computer.

As far as the old dilemma on whether to buy a new machine or fix the old one, Elkins says most of the time, it is better to fix it.

“It is almost always not just cheaper, but way cheaper, to fix a machine than to replace it,” he said.