One man picks up where MPC left off

Hoping to help others who were -- like him -- left stranded by MPC's closure, one man decides to do something about it

I know a great many of you were stranded when MPC, which bought Gateway's professional computers division, closed its doors back in November. And things haven't really improved on that front. Last month, I noted that the MPC Web site -- where drivers and other downloads could be found for MPC and Gateway Professional computers -- was going offline. (It appears to be gone now.)

I offered some resources for replacement parts for these machines. But Rudy suggested (in that post) that "it would be great to see someone else (maybe Gateway?) mirror or otherwise host the MPC site to allow former customers to download drivers, manuals, etc. into the future."

[ For the full rundown on customers struggling with MPC, see the earlier Gripe Line posts: "When vendors go bust," "More on that MPC mess," "Where Gateway and MPC collide," and "A memo from MPC Corporation" ]

Rudy is not the only one thinking along those lines. Steve wrote to me earlier this week to say he is jumping in and taking up the challenge. Is he a Gateway exec or a head of a corporation with the resources necessary to the task? Nope. He's just a guy in Phoenix. Still, he's game:

I read your recent article online concerning the closing of MPC and their support site. We're a small mom-and-pop operation in Phoenix. We are 52 and 60 years old (respectively) and the economy cost us both our jobs. But as owners of multiple MPC and Gateway systems, we have constantly found ourselves at the MPC support site for downloads, drivers, manuals, etc. So we decided to set up a PC to mirror the MPC support site. I have 25 years experience building systems and, until the layoff, was the database administrator for a large nursing home here in Phoenix and doing computer repair and upgrades on the side. Now I find myself with a lot of extra hours to devote to this new project.

Steve has big plans for building a site where people can access the drivers they need and get help from ex-MPC employees, but he has few resources to pull of a project of this magnitude. "But I hope to have a new domain name and an MPC support forum up and running in a matter of weeks," he says. "That way, everyone can join in and help each other out with Q&A. I have received emails from former MPC employees who would be glad to help."

At the moment, his project is in the incubation stage but he would love to hear from people who would be interested in this service. "We will offer some support by e-mail at mpcsupport@cox.net," he says. "And if we get enough positive feedback by e-mail, I'll know we are headed in the right direction."

Got gripes? Send them to christina_tynan-wood@infoworld.com.

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