Much of what he did then revolved around services. He dealt with
some local computer sales businesses that didn't have the ability to
actually work on the computer processing units, plus he did service
work for businesses that were using computers in their offices.
The Youngquists moved from a one-bedroom apartment in married
student housing to a three-bedroom. Later they purchased a home and
moved off campus.
With each move, CCA took up more and more space as the business
continued to grow.
Eventually, Youngquist took CCA to a storefront location on
Chicago Street, and later still the business moved to its current
location at 601 Keokuk.
Over the years, the business has evolved somewhat. In the early
days of the storefront, CCA offered retail computers that were what
Youngquist referred to as "white box."
The white box computer was a no-name-brand computer that was
built from scratch by CCA.
Youngquist purchased individual components and constructed the
processing units in-house. The advantage to the white box computers
was that they were durable, reliable and less expensive than
name-brand computers. They were also easier to get, as there were
very few local businesses that sold computers then.
However, when the major name brands came into a new generation of
computers, the face of the retail market changed.
Name-brand computers to a certain degree became a disposable
product. Inexpensively made and with shorter life spans, they were
more affordable and soon began gracing the shelves of all types of
At that point, Youngquist decided to phase out the retail portion
of his business and concentrate more on service. During this
phaseout period, the business still sold white box computers, but on
a smaller scale, and they let the big-box stores run their course.
Today, Youngquist believes that the face of the consumer is
changing when it comes to computers. He believes that with consumers
tired of not being able to get service, not being able to upgrade
their computers and having to replace rather than repair, people are
ready to go back to a computer that is more durable, with a longer
life, even if it initially means a few more dollars invested.
To that end CCA is going to once again put a push on their retail
lines. Along with new, made-in-house white box computers, the
business will also offer refurbished products in excellent working
order with the latest technology and software for a fraction of the
cost of new.
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Another product that will soon be available through CCA is a rugged-ized
laptop manufactured by Spartan. These laptops are made with metal
bodies, have been drop-tested and can withstand an impact onto a
concrete floor from 26 inches. These laptops are also spill-proof so
liquids on keyboards will not destroy the unit.
In the Spartan line there is also an option to purchase a laptop
with a screen that is visible in sunlight.
The computers will be heavier, perhaps a little more burdensome
to carry, but will outlast the popular lightweight plastic bodies by
"What we want to do is give the public the offering of a computer
that will last for years, perform well and be affordable,"
CCA also offers recycling of old CPUs. Youngquist said there is a
small fee for taking the unit, but it is not a profit for the store.
The fees charged cover the cost of having the units hauled away by a
And for those who hesitate to turn over their old CPU for
security reasons, CCA also offers what Youngquist referred to as a
"CIA Pentagon-strength scrubber" that will erase every molecule of
your personal information from the hard drive."
Whether or not Youngquist will call himself successful, the fact
remains that CCA has been around 25 years and CCAonline for 14. With
that kind of track record, Youngquist must be doing something right.
One of the things he's done right is that he's put together a
team of employees he can count on.
On the CCA side there are nine employees in a mix of full- and
part-time positions. Youngquist said that they all play an important
part in the business, and perhaps the most important thing they do
is work in his stead.
As the owner, Youngquist said that he needs to be able to do
everything in all the businesses, but he can't do them all at once,
so he has to have people who are capable of doing the work and
representing him as they do it.
He feels that he has that in his group of nine and that they
daily contribute to the overall success of the two businesses.
[By NILA SMITH]
Computer Consulting Associates celebrates 25 years)