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nCity client support:
We support our clients and assist with details following data recovery, upgrades and hardware repairs as necessary, and email is the best way to communicate about such things. Please address technical matters to:


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Bring your Mac to the shop for analysis, service, upgrades or repairs; we strive to be as quick and efficient as possible.

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Cards, letters, gifts, checks, cash and motorcycle parts gladly received by way of the U.S. Postal Service:

nCity Mac Support
Post Office Box 2105
Nevada City, CA 95959

General info
If you're new to nCity or require our services, feel free to contact us. If your Mac is in need of service, it helps to have some machine specs - CPU, OS version and model info, or serial number (found in Apple menu "About this Mac", on underside of iMac stand, on bottom case of MacBooks). This allows us to identify your specific machine's capabilities and service options.

nCity MacShack is a Macintosh-only service shop. No PCs or handheld devices (iPhones, iPads, etc.), and no retail. Mac computers only. We provide any and all required components or parts at cost, charge for hands-on labor only, and have as quick a turnaround time as you're likely to find.

Newer machines are a bit more difficult to service these days than older models, thanks in large part to Apple's use of adhesives and specialized fasteners. This can add significant time and labor to repairs on modern machines as compared to their predecessors. (One glaring example is a simple RAM upgrade on modern 21" iMacs.) Some newer machines cannot be upgraded after purchase, and it pays to be aware of details and specs when considering purchase or service.

Who are you?
Officially launched in 1995, nCity began as mobile tech support for Mac users, making house calls in western Nevada County and rare excursions as far south as L.A. Moved to Arizona briefly (a failed attempt at escaping CA), then returned, relocated and opened the only Mac service shop in Nevada County on June 21, 2002. nCity's MacShack offers tech support and services exclusively for Macintosh. From the first 128K Mac, to the latest greatest; from novice newbies to 'noids and nerds, we're here to help.

The MacShack?
That's the name of nCity's private service shop, located on Nevada City Highway between Nevada City and Grass Valley. No glittering glass stairway, no futuristic fixtures or furnishings, no insanely great inventory. Not likely to be mistaken for an Apple store. Here at the MacShack, the best we can do is a catwalk and a coffee machine.....

Nevada City Macs?
No, just nCity. Originally the "official" name was N_City (with an understrike) just to be weird and because PC print shops read an understrike as a backspace, producing an automatic typo (). Had some fun w'that.

So what does the "n" stand for?
Back in the ol' programming days, the letter "n" was used as a place holder for numbers being manipulated in code - that, combined with an ugly incident involving the fire department and a certain roadway barricade long ago - and bingo! The nCity Logo was hatched. (It's a long story.)

What do you do?
Hardware/software/computer troubleshooting and repair, data recovery, upgrades, system modifications, specialization, design, training courses and consulting - just about anything and everything EXCEPT retail. What we do have is many years of experience and a well established collection of sources for most anything we might need. nCity is strictly service oriented. (See Shop Service Policies for more info.)

Computer technology presents some interesting challenges, especially when dealing with the cutting-edge Macintosh. Being a very small shop allows us to provide service on a personal, one-on-one level to Mac users who delight in doing all sorts of things with their machines. We are privileged to deal with authors, historians, artists, musicians, architects, designers, engineers - a genuine, bona fide, rocket scientist - parents, business owners and researchers. Resourceful, creative people from all walks of life - which says a lot about the Mac.

Wouldn't you get more business working on PCs?
Yes, of course. (D'oh!) Specializing in the Macintosh means dealing with a limited percentage of computer users, true enough. It also means exposure to new technologies as they develop, working with state-of-the-art equipment, and freedom from the dead weight that is Microsoft. What's not to like? Besides, we get to meet Mac people.

Are you a certified service provider?
No. Certification is not an option here, largely due to the advent of the Apple Store* and Apple's impossible requirements, and partly because of CA's hostile business climate. The nCity MacShack is a very small shop; unauthorized, uncertified, and unencumbered by obligations to Apple or anyone else. nCity does not provide warranty service. A quick phone call to Apple takes care of most warranty matters, or we refer warranty jobs to an authorized facility (Apple Store or original dealer). We're not here to sell or promote products, we're here to provide service and solutions.
*5/22/02, SO# 7002921877, M8694LL/A: Apple restricts certification, institutes fees.

My personal involvement with Macs began in 1985 with the first 128K machine, quickly modified with a "Fat Mac" logic board, external drive and Kensington fan (still up and running by the way). Starting with computers in the early days and following the Mac's evolution ever since has provided a wealth of experience and a lot of (otherwise useless) information.

Why are you flying the Jolly Roger? And what's that other flag?
Actually, the skull-'n-crossbones pirate flag has been a part of Mac history from the beginning, when resources and talent from the Lisa project were famously shanghai'd by Steve Jobs to work on Macintosh. (System 7's Finder had an Easter egg of the Jolly Roger flapping in the breeze over Cupertino.) Since there aren't a whole lot of independent Mac shops around, the pirate tradition continues.

The other flag..... changes from time to time. We fly American flags on Veterans Day and many holidays, of course, but otherwise you might see any of a variety of flags waving from the upper deck.  ;-)

Do you still write custom programs?
There was a time when writing custom applications was a viable, reasonable alternative to buying canned software. The local Fire Department ran on an nCity modular database for a few years, as did a west-coast distributor and a few smaller businesses. We customized an early version of Netscape, produced invoicing and inventory apps, wrote a few games and had some fun with OS and screen saver hacks along the way, but those days are long gone. Cost of development today can only be absorbed by some sort of mass market, especially with so many technology changes happening so fast. The Beta Team was disbanded and more than a few projects went by the wayside.

But, fear not, there are countless software solutions for just about every need, scale and budget. If you're interested, please visit our Link sections for recommended vendors, apps, utilities and resources.

Xerox Alto
Ancient History
The Xerox Alto, first operational in 1973, was famously demonstrated to Apple staff in 1975 at the Palo Alto Research Center (Xerox PARC). 1500 Altos were in operation by 1979 - but Xerox didn't understand their own technology.
The first Macintosh shipped in 1984.

The 1974 Altair arrived in kit form and became the genesis of Windows PCs.

Altair 8800