A Magazine about the Hudson Valley’s local economy, published by Hudson Valley Current.

Jerry Brady of MacDiagnostic

Compiled by Jodi La Marco

Jerry Brady of MacDiagnostic does more than just fix Macs. Electromagnetic frequency (EMF) pollution is becoming ubiquitous, which prompted Brady to help clients mitigate or eliminate dirty electricity in their homes. When he can, the entrepreneur also likes to pay it forward—pairing unwanted computers with people in need.

How did you get your start in Mac repair?
I started 26 or 27 years ago. When I first started, it was pretty much Macs only. If you swung a cat around you’d hit 30 PC people, but there were basically no Mac people. I started repairing Macs out of self-preservation. I had a Mac and no one could work on it. Or if they did, they’d charge me hundreds of dollars and the problem wouldn’t be fixed.

What services do you offer?
Sales, service, and support. If you have problems, I can straighten them out. I can fix hardware, I can fix software. As a rule, I don’t repair machines for more than I can replace them for. I refuse to do that. I try to treat everybody else’s money like it’s my own.

The rest of what I do is multifaceted. Part of what I do is to look at the environment. I have people calling me up who are EMF sensitive. Or perhaps they’re sensitive to LED screens and to blue light. I have several clients who can’t be near Wi-Fi. The new smart meters give them migraines. People of all ages are starting to experience things like migraines, insomnia, and sensitivity. There’s more and more evidence of this. The medical community is finally starting to catch on.

Here’s a free tip. On your phone, turn on the blue light filter. Almost all phones have a blue light filter now. The blue light that comes out of an LED screen messes with your internal clock. It’s one of the reasons why so many people have insomnia now. A lot of people aren’t aware of this. LEDs can really affect your eyes, too. The human eye is designed to be aided by light, not to stare into light.

How does your business fit into the larger community? Is there any way in which you like to give back?
Yes. When someone brings me an old computer, I try to find it a home. One of my favorite things I’ve done was when the Buddhist monks from the Zen Mountain Monastery out in Mount Tremper brought me a carload of computers. I cleaned them up and brought them to a troubled youth shelter in Poughkeepsie.

There’s an awful lot of computers out there that are perfectly usable. People are throwing them away because they can’t watch YouTube videos or Facebook doesn’t load right. To me, that’s like throwing out a car because the floor mats are dirty. You can give a computer like that to family of Woodstock and it’s perfectly fine for some middle schooler to write her homework out on. To me, it’s even better to give a middle schooler a computer that can’t go on the Internet.

People will bring me computers that have things like broken hinges. I know a guy who is a survivor of 9/11. He suffers from PTSD and he can’t work, so he has no income. Somebody brought in a laptop. It was fine but the hinge was broken and the owner didn’t want to repair it. This person with PTSD needed a computer, so I said hey, I’ve got this laptop with a cracked hinge, but if you just leave it open on your desk it won’t be an issue. I cleaned it up, billed him for my time only, and gave him the laptop. I’m not out to make my next million from anybody.

Why did you decide to start accepting Hudson Valley Currents?
I have a problem with money being taken out of areas and not being put back into them. I like the idea of Currents. I also like the idea of cryptocurrency. I honestly see that as a need, and I like the technology behind it. I don’t like the banks and the games the banks play. If you bring a check to the bank, they’ll give you a story about how it takes three to five days to clear. How long does it take an email to get somewhere? That’s how long it takes the bank to know whether or not there are funds there.