Yes, we remain open -
regardless of recent events
continues to provide services as usual,
but shop procedures have necessarily
changed in at least two ways:
1) We can
no longer sit with our clients and answer
questions, review ops
All contact is
strictly confidential. No spam, no junk,
discuss usability issues at length.
Machines now go thru a (harmless)
sterilization process that may
up to 30 minutes prior to service.
email for an appointment using contact
not share, sell or discuss client info,
period. No exceptions.
posted on our home page (here).
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
Please feel free to email
with any comments, suggestions, elucidations,
hallucinations, prognostications, or whatever
else you might have in mind. What's up?
If you experience any
difficulties (broken links, missing elements,
etc.), p-p-p-please let us know! We try to
stay on top of things and your help is always
schedule an appointment.
your Mac to the shop for analysis, service,
upgrades or repairs; we strive to be as
quick and efficient as possible.
you encounter voice mail, please leave a
message and know that your call will be
returned as soon as possible.
Drop us a
letters, gifts, checks, cash and motorcycle
parts gladly received by way of the U.S.
Office Box 2105
City, CA 95959
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 and
model info, or serial Number (found under
"About this Mac" in the Finder, on underside
of iMac stands, or on back cover of most
MacBooks). This allows us to identify your
specific machine's capabilities and service
nCity MacShack is a Macintosh-only service
shop. We do not work on PCs or handheld
devices (iPhones, iPads, etc.) and focus
exclusively on devices running MacOS. 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 anywhere.
Newer machines are a bit more difficult to
service these days than older models, thanks
in large part to Apple's use of adhesives in
place of screws and other fasteners. This can
add significant time and labor to cost of
repairs on modern machines as compared to
their predecessors. (One glaring example is a
simple RAM upgrade on modern 21" iMacs.) Some
upgrades on newer machines are only possible
prior to purchase, and it pays to be aware of
these details when considering service.
Who are you?
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 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.....
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?
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?
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.)
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
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?
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.
SO# 7002921877, M8694LL/A: Apple restricts
certification, institutes fees.
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?
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.
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?
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.
The Xerox Alto (left), was
first operational in 1973. It was famously
demonstrated to Apple staff in 1975 at the
Palo Alto Research Center (Xerox PARC). There were
1500 Altos in operation by 1979 - but Xerox
didn't understand their own technology.
The first Macintosh shipped in 1984.
Altair (right) arrived in kit form and
became the genesis of Windows PCs.