Cougar Byte offers discounts, tech support
Technology is integral to student success. Not only is UH blanketed in Wi-Fi, but the main form of communication for the University is e-mail. To meet demands for the latest in technological advances, the Cougar Byte offers services to improve students’ lives.
"Students are constantly related to online services not just for social interaction but to get things in daily life done," local area network advisor for the School of Communications Shawn McCombs said. "People in general are becoming much more tech savvy to fix basic things, but the necessity for those who can fix big problems will always be."
The Cougar Byte offers students an array of services ranging from new offers to repair. Things such as cracked or dead hard drives are common, and the Cougar Byte will repair this in or out of warranty more cheaply than the Apple Store.
Cougar Byte Retail Floor Manager Michael Gnagy said the most common computer problems for students are dead hard drives.
"Hard drives are very complicated, intricate pieces of technology with lots of moving parts, and they go in laptops and laptops are always moving around with students," Gnagy said. "Some repairs can be very stressful, so you have to have a lot of patience, especially when things go wrong that other people don’t understand."
Cougar Byte employees have seen their fair share of maimed machines, as students have been known to bring in laptops that have been dropped down staircases, stepped on or been the victim of thrown objects.
"You learn that there’s an absolute value to saving important things on an external hard drive," Gnagy said. "For the goof ups, we’re here whenever (students) need us."
Basic repairs for PCs are also offered, such as hard drive replacement and Windows software reinstallation. If problems with the technology are severe, the store can also order parts and repair software.
Because the University has an agreement with software manufacturers to offer the products at a discounted rate, the store also offers 85 percent off retail prices exclusively to students.
In addition, discounts on software such as Adobe CS3 Design Master Collection, Adobe Acrobat and Windows Vista Ultimate, Upgrade to Cougar Byte offers Microsoft Office Enterprise 2007 for $29, regularly $499 and Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac for $21, versus the $399 retail cost.
"The big benefit of getting software for 85 percent off for students is that they really get to learn the technology that they’re actually going to use in the real world once they graduate," Apple marketing agent Christopher Hooper said."
Students visit the store to find everything from everyday leisure to the technology needed for success in the real world. English, communication and business sophomore Justin Karnes "just walked right in, saw headphones," not having any for his iPhone, and figured "why not?" However, he also runs an e-mail server and needs to stay updated on the latest software that the store offers.
"Look at the prices," Karnes said. "(Microsoft) Office Enterprise (2007) gives you everything you really need to be successful in college. You buy this at Best Buy and that’s going to cost you $100."
For a complete list of discounted items, visit www.cougarbyte.com or call (713) 748-7201.
Additional reporting by Ruth Rodriguez