Pahrump’s Truman Gleason knows how to turn a negative situation into a positive one, or make lemonade out of lemons, as the saying goes.
Gleason used to repair computers and tutor people who needed help as the owner/operator of Agape Computer Services and Tutoring, but after suffering two mini strokes several years ago the computer whiz gave up the repair end of the business.
Now he is back in action offering computer tutoring services through his home-based business renamed Agape Computer Tutoring. Despite his health setback, Gleason said his mind is very sharp, especially when it comes to computers.
The logo for his service is the Greek fish-shaped symbol (ichthys or ichthus) used to identify early Christians among others as friends and not enemies when they were being persecuted during the Roman Empire. The Greek word “Agape” means love, and in Christianity it is considered to be the highest form of love originating from God or Christ for humankind.
“I want people to know it’s a Christian business that implies honesty and integrity,” Gleason said.
Gleason prefers to go on the road and tutor clients in their home on their own computer.
“Otherwise, they’re going to get confused. So, I like to get them on what they’re used to, what they’re going to be using, and that’s a benefit to them.”
If that is not an option, students are welcome to visit Gleason in his home.
Someone who needs computer repairs or technical support aside from tutoring can also call Gleason, who will make a referral.
Gleason has been in Pahrump for about 20 years after moving from Las Vegas.
He learned most of his computer knowledge on the Internet, but eventually took a course on computers and repairing them at Great Basin College’s Pahrump location. Gleason said the instructor recognized his knowledge, and he soon became an assistant helping other students.
“It was a lot of fun,” Gleason said.
He offers several sessions ranging from the very basic for beginners, introducing them to the computer: turning it on and off, using the Internet and email, buying and selling on Ebay, and posting comments/photos on Facebook. Gleason will also work with clients having more advanced computer skills or those with a particular interest or need.
Gleason said he once worked with a man who knew nothing about computers, and his son, who lived out of state, insisted his father only contact him through email. Gleason successfully worked with the man for about a year and taught him all about email and computers.
About 70 percent of the people Gleason helped before were senior citizens, but he will work with students of all ages.
Gleason can also help individuals design web pages using the HTML format, which he described as all hand-coded compared to some other websites.
He gave some advice about an ongoing phone scam where the caller claims to be from the technical support department of Microsoft and tells the individual who answers that there is a problem with his or her computer.
“First of all, Microsoft will never call you,” he explained. “They use email, but they never call a person.”
It is just a ploy to get personal information and gain access to your computer.
Gleason has also received these scam phone calls, as has this reporter, and agreed it is best just to hang up.
“There’s a lot of scams out there, you have to be careful,” he said. “Every computer, regardless of what you do, should have an anti-virus program; some are good and some are bad.”
He said a malware (short for malicious software) program is also necessary to scan for ads and other things that can mess up your computer. It will make your computer safer than if you didn’t have these programs installed.
As far as Facebook, it bears repeating that you not “friend” anyone you don’t know since he or she may be trying to get personal information from you.
He said many people think they are experts when it comes to computers, but things are constantly changing. ”That’s the thing that was bothering me. I’ve got all this knowledge that I can’t convey to anybody. That’s why I wanted to go back into tutoring.”
Gleason recently started rebooting his computer tutoring business by placing ads and getting the word out.
“Any self-employed business takes a while to build up clientele, and the best way, believe it or not, is word of mouth.”
Tutoring will be a therapeutic outlet for him.
“I enjoy getting out of this house. I’ve got my computer, I’ve got the TV, I’ve got dogs, that passes the time, but I like to get out.”
Look for the van around town with his signs, and he offers senior citizen discounts.