Bob Crabtree is the man behind Computer Solutions. From his base in Wanstead, he provides help, support and training to business and home users of Windows and Mac PCs in and around East London. Setting up networks and sorting out slow-running, infected Windows PCs are also part of his daily bread.
Bob's advertising immodestly describes him as, 'world famous (really!)'. And that's because (he says) he is.
How come? Well, he spent well over 20 years travelling the world as a technology journalist and is still the administrator of the DVforums, which provide free international support for anyone with problems editing video on computers.
After leaving North East London Polytechnic, Bob worked in electrical retailing for eight years. During that time, he helped found an electrical discount warehouse that's still running today. And, he saw the arrival of whole lot of good stuff we all now take for granted - Compact Cassette players and recorders, electronic calculators, video recorders, games consoles and more.
He earned his green eye shades over a period of more than 10 years as the globe-trotting products editor of ERT magazine - the UK electrical retailers' trade 'bible'.
His writing covered the ascent of computers and games consoles; the arrival of many new technologies including CD and DVD; the demise of hi-fi; and the weird and wonderful, ranging from electric carpets and IR-controlled toilet seats (both big in Japan, it would seem) to electric oyster openers.
In the mid 90s, Bob got greedy and left ERT to run his own PR, marketing and computer consultancy and training company. During that time he also wrote freelance for a number of broadsheet national papers and authored books about the UK electricals market.
In 1997, Bob was head-hunted to launch Computer Video magazine, despite his protestation that, 'I know nothing about editing video on computers!'.
Fortunately, he did know lots about video and about computers - and managed to get his head around the amalgamation of the two.
And Computer Video magazine went on to help many thousands get to grips with the new, and far from simple, business of editing video on computers.
Readers weren't just supported through the pages of the publication. Almost unique among consumer magazines, Bob and his team actually responded to readers emails and phone calls. They also set up web-based forums to provide additional support, helped by a community of video experts who materialised out of the ether.
The magazine closed in 2004 but, for sentimental (egotistical?) reasons, Bob still keeps open its clunky old web site - containing summaries of reviews and features.
After CV, Bob tried - and conspicuously failed - to create the 'world-best' video editing & authoring web site. Even so, he did successfully transform the Computer Video support forums into the DVforums.
Bob then worked with David Ross and Paul Dutton - the men behind HEXUS.net (where the forums were hosted for some years) - to launch a new digital home channel, HEXUS.lifestyle, stepping back from the editorship during 2007 to get Computer Solutions off the ground.