Pat Palmer’s knowledge of computers came at around age of 14 in 1980 while in 8th grade. His father Roger brought home a new TRS-80 Model I computer and said, “I bet you $20 that you can’t figure this out!” Like so many things, Pat took it on at full speed and helped his father to write a program to figure batch weights of concrete for the Ready Mix Plant he was managing. Using the school’s Apple IIe computer, Pat wrote a basketball statistics program for the Hampton Bulldogs Basketball program, a dating/compatibility program for the kids in his class and a program to determine the ideal set of lottery numbers. During this time, Pat partnered with his father to form Palmer & Palmer Computer Services. They re-inked printer ribbons, did custom programming and printing and sold computer and copy paper to businesses.
During his college days at NIACC, Pat took several more programming classes including Advanced Basic, COBOL and Pascal. During this time Pat also wrote several other programs as well. In 1986, Pat sold his part of Palmer & Palmer Computer Services back to his father and the business was ran by his father and step mother and changed to Palmer & Palmer Computer Supplies.
After college, Pat continued to work in the radio field but his passion for computers carried through and in 1996 he created The Computer Guy after doing a lot of work in the Hampton Area. Working part time on nights and weekends, Pat built the business to a full time entity in 2006 after leaving Midwest Wireless where he was the store manager. He also used his technical skills for problem solving and helping their I.T. Department with installs across their network of 22 stores in Minnesota and Iowa.
In 2004 Pat started his venture into Social Media with a “The Computer Guy” MySpace page. He found out quickly (before smartphones) that if you had a MySpace page, you certainly had a computer. Later his MySpace page morphed into a Facebook Business Page and Pat started to teach classes to make people aware of the potential of social media. The Computer Guy has over 3,000 Facebook Fans, a YouTube account, Google+ account and several other accounts to promote his services.
In 2009, Pat branched out to a retail store in downtown Hampton. He hired 2 employees and continued servicing customers on the road.
After a bit of an economic downturn and the decline in the price of computers and services, he closed his shop in 2012 and moved his operation back to his basement in Hampton.
Today Pat continues to service around 1,000 customers a year, driving over 30,000 miles and treating customers the way he’d like to be treated. In 2016 he celebrated his 20th year in business with two nice events to commemorate the feat. He gives back to the communities he serves with donations of in-kind items, gift cards and monetary donations. The Computer Guy is a member of the Greater Franklin County Chamber of Commerce, Mason City Chamber of Commerce and Webster City Area Chamber of Commerce.