Christopher Raymond, Owner/Operator
Christopher is a skilled Macintosh Computer service & repair professional and a dynamic web site developer with nearly ten years of full-time experience in the field. He is an Apple Certified Technical Coordinator and is seeking further certifications from Apple Computer.
Christopher got his start in computing at age 11 when he started programming with the BASIC programming language.
"My step-father brought home a CompuAdd computer with an 8086 processor. There was really very little you could do with a computer in those days besides programming. I think he used it for a spreadsheet program called Lotus123, but he steered me into playing with BASIC programming. If it had not been for him, I'm not sure I would have even been interested in the computer at such a young age."
"I used the BASIC manual included with the computer and began to tinker. I remember creating programs with a very rudimentary menu-based navigation system years before the introduction of Windows."
At the time, Christopher had no knowledge of the Macintosh Computer. He continued playing with BASIC up and through high school where he had his first encounters with the Mac as a member of the yearbook staff during his junior and senior years. He fell into the camp of people who bashed the Mac with no real understanding of what he was missing.
Not long after high school, he had intimate exposure to the Mac when a close friend had purchased one and often asked him to help figure out how to do certain things. Christopher began calling on a good friend of the family, Gary Rensch, whom he knew worked with Macs professionally. He wasn't really sure what Gary did as a business, but eventually asked him if he could come work for him starting in the fall of 1997.
Christopher's first few days in the Mac industry were composed of cleaning and organizing Gary's office and setting up a desk to work at. He quickly learned that Gary's business, Electronic Publishing Services, was a sales & service-based business focused on helping graphic designers, printing companies and related media professionals with their Mac needs. Gary would like to say that he taught Christopher "everything he knows today".
"I remember Gary holding back when it came to teaching me certain things like how to build ethernet network cables. I think he was concerned that I would turn into a competitor if I took all of his knowledge and ran with it. Today, Gary and I are still good friends and have more of a business partnership than a competition."
Christopher also started building web sites around this time. In-fact he even built the first web site for EPS. Click here to visit the original EPS web site.
Following his employment with EPS, Christopher worked as a dial-up Internet technical support specialist for a rapidly growing South Dakota based Internet & telco provider, DTG, which was eventually acquired by McLeod. At DTG, Christopher answered support calls from both Mac and Windows users, helping them set up their computer for Internet access. As DTG grew, staff, procedures and policies were changing very rapidly. Christopher found that the "corporate" environment was not his cup of tea and left DTG after less than a year. He then returned to work for EPS for a few more months before moving to the Twin Cities in 1998.
Upon arrival to the Twin Cities, Christopher immediately set out looking for work and quickly landed a job as a Macintosh service technician for a local Apple Authorized Service Provider.
"I was part of a company with four people including me, three of them were my boss. It was very hectic. I felt like a cab driver scurrying all over the metro. I had to work quickly because I knew other clients were waiting."
Growing up, Christopher had always expressed an entrepreneurial spirit. After just a year, he decided that he could make it on his own. He liked the idea that he could decide how customers should be treated and that he could tailor his services to meet their needs. He started his Macintosh consulting and web development company with the name Oasis Networks (click here to see the original site) and he set out to find new clients.
In the early days, Christopher's success hinged on a helpful friend who worked for a locally-based national insurance company as an IT manager. His friend hired him to build a new web site for the company. This project helped Christopher to sustain self-employment while enabling him to get out and build relationships with the commercial Macintosh user-base. Click here to visit the FHG Insurance web site he designed and built.
As time marched on, the Oasis Networks name began to wear on Christopher.
"Something wasn't right about my company name. After much agonizing, I finally came up with the MacWorks name. I felt my company's name needed to more clearly express the Macintosh-related service work that was my primary business focus."
Today, MacWorks stands on firm ground with clients throughout the Minneapolis & Saint Paul metropolitan area. Clients range from the average home user to medium-scale publishing operations including magazine publishers, printers, graphic designers, marketing agencies, video editing professionals and professional photographers.