Offering IT Contractor service since 1995, we specialize in unique projects and inspiring client/buyer confidence. Extremely versatile, we are up to speed quickly on any call, any site, any situation. Our ideal client is small to medium business, utility or health organization (Symplr credentials). We offer IT consulting, a wide variety of direct, sub-contract & onsite/remote IT services, as well as hardware and software development.
PC Labs is a sole proprietorship owned/operated by Ron D. Crowe and assisted by Dylan A. Crowe
It would be impossible to overstate the value of the partners who assisted in our origin and growth..the DNA of PC Labs. It is with some modesty that I document here the achievements made possible by those I recognize not only as my peers, but my betters. Words fail to provide justice to the legendary feats you made possible on a daily basis.
Thank You - no finer group of friends and supporters exists
Born the same year as the Internet, Ron was part of the first generation to grow up with a home computer. His best friends father worked for Sperry-Univac and participated in what might equitably be referred to as an "enthusiast group". Frequently arriving home with floppies filled with every application imaginable - a remarkably comprehensive (if illicit) introduction to what computing had to offer. It wasn't long before hacking games became the order of the day, an informal introduction to Basic programming. Soon came the IBM compatible and the BBS flourished. One summer day in 1991, manually using AT modem commands from a DOS prompt, came the first connection to an online service..Compuserve. This rapidly evolved into a job with Prodigy membership services as one of only two people also cross-trained in technical support (Ron supporting DOS, Win 3.1 and his compatriot supporting Mac). As initial support was added for Usenet and email addresses on other networks, Ron authored much of the technical support documentation for the original DOS & Windows versions of Mail Manager as well as the first version of Prodigy for Windows while learning to build and maintain computer hardware.
Late in 1992, employed as a technician for a local computer store, he soon progressed to service manager. Meanwhile, Prodigy had evolved to provide very basic Web access. What had started with a reseller account and an unquenchable thirst for free internet evolved into the unshakeable commitment to help shape a new frontier.
In 1995 PC Labs opened as the first local ISP in Carter County TN with a partner network spanning the entire LATA, providing residential as well as commercial internet access. Clients have included Raytheon (Missile Systems Division, Bristol), the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, regional Fire and Police Departments, Manufacturers, Electric and Water utilities as well as many other medical, civic and private organizations.
In Q1 1996, PC Labs became a technology partner of Magic-Lantern Studios, one of the first commercial web page design teams in the region. PC Labs provided the facility, network, development hardware, support, testing, consulting, internet connectivity and web server hosting. PC Labs interest in Magic-Lantern Studios and it's clients was sold to US Internet in 1998.
In Q2 1996, PC Labs began providing IT equipment and services for Colonial Machinery to computerize and network their existing facility. Lotus was used to to build a database containing equipment, customers and vendors. Colonial Machinery remains a satisfied client - all systems remain operational, maintaining highly acceptable levels of performance and reliability while applications and data have remained portable to new hardware and operating system solutions.
In Q3 96, PC Labs became a technology partner of Sirius Games, a software development firm. Sirius Games focused on the design of what would become one of the first conceptual MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game). PC Labs provided the facility, development hardware, support, testing, consulting, internet connectivity and game server hosting. Sirius Games ceased operations due to insufficient funding for long term development, but proof of concept was established and we remain excited to have taken part in the genesis of one of the most financially successful forms of entertainment in history .
In Q1 1997, PC Labs completed a negotiation of merger with U.S. Internet (USIT), a Knoxville based ISP of significant reputation. Our Internet access provision ceased, as by 1999 we were one of the most successful resellers and consulting partners affiliated with USIT.
In Q3 1998, PC Labs became an Authorized Consultant of USIT, and by Q4 1998 PC Labs was recognized as one of the organizations Top Performers, as well as Most Improved Sales of the year. In Q2 1999, USIT was the model for the consolidation of over 30 nationwide ISP's, which became known as Onemain.com (ONEM). In Q4 of 1999, PC Labs observed Onemain.com performance as one of the most successful Internet company IPO's during its Quarter. In Fall 2000, Onemain.com was acquired by Earthlink (ELNK) , 2nd only to AOL in subscribers at that time
In Q2 of 1998, PC Labs partnered with Quantum Studios, a multimedia spin-off of Magic-Lantern Studios. Operated by Scott Nave, QS focused on multimedia presentation development, with an emphasis on audio arrangement. Projects included international presentations for the 3D Construction Company, streaming media advertising components for a manufacturer of firearms safety products and web-site development for the regional electric company. Quantum Studios ceased operations after completion of the projects for which it was developed. PC Labs provided the facility, network & hosting.
In Q4 1998, PC Labs developed and implemented a new, dual processing/RAID array workstation design for Non-Linear Digital Audio/Video editing. 2 Prototypes were developed for Shaken Not Stirred Productions and were used well beyond their reasonable life-span :)
In Q2 1999, PC Labs began research and development in streaming audio technology. Our prototype web radio station participated in the development of syndicated programming on several popular internet radio appliances. The first of these being SonicBox (subject of several articles in major PC magazines and national news outlets like CNN), whose technology was later licensed to Philips and Acer with the introduction of the Acer I-Tuner. Features included remote tuning & listening via a pager sized portable audio unit.
After these innovations, our test station once again expanded syndication with its inclusion in the programming of Philips Streamium set top boxes such as the the Philips Streamium FW-i1000 and Philips Streamium MX6000i. Both were small component stereo units that allowed the listener to integrate high quality Internet Radio using a traditional hardware form factor. These boxes were considered to be forerunner of todays Web 2.0 devices, as they combined Internet Radio services from various providers through simple controls in both the device as well as through the home PC. In Summer of 2000, the final evolution of our test station Celtic Grove Radio hosted the first live web cast of the Grandfather Mountain Scottish Highland Games, globally the largest example of any Highland Game. Celtic Grove was rated a 'Best of Planet' broadcast for its genre 5 years in a row and also provided cutting edge news on the Celtic Music scene. PC Labs continued to provide all technical services, servers and programming for Celtic Grove Radio until it ceased operation March 2013 due to changes in regulations and royalties.
In January of 2002, PC Labs was hired to design and implement a client/server package for processing of low exposure digital x-rays for orthodontic care and surgical procedures. Consisting of a dual processor server and a wireless, independently powered series of workstations, this client was now able to perform dental x-rays at 1/10th the exposure to radiation and process those images in 1/5th the time of a conventional x-ray. Flexibility was recognized via implementation of the mobile viewing cart, which could be relocated to any operatory within 100 meters. PC Labs also designed the wireless network, security and off-site backup measures necessary for this office to meet and maintain ADA requirements
In May of 2003, PC Labs was approached by one of the fastest growing Precipitator and Agglomerator manufacturers in the US, WCI (Fabrication, installation and service of pollution scrubbing mass air handlers for industry,www.precip.com ) to consult, design and implement their entire organizations network, from wiring construction/installation to Network Administration, with the highest emphasis on uptime, security and remote access. This new facility included wiring termination, switch installation, notebooks, workstations, multiple servers, internal messaging, portable solutions, redundant Internet services, backup services and security implementation.
As of February 2010 PC Labs became the IT provider for the First Utility District of Carter County TN Water Department and is responsible for design and implementation of every functional aspect of their business IT including billing and web site design, both onsite and remotely. In December 2014 this client requested a complete restructure of all billing, accounting, printing, telephone and archival functions - to begin January 1 of 2015, This surprise transition was completed November 26th 2015, followed by a site-wide hardware refresh, all with a total of zero downtime. Our partnership with FUDCC has been instrumental in the development of a low cost, low maintenance, high-availability template for modernizing our rural water departments by leveraging inexpensive multi-function cloud services like Google Apps for Government
Since 2007, we've worked with Rubbermaid Health Solutions (now Capsa Health Solutions) to provide both in and out-of-warranty maintenance and repair services for their mobile computing platform (ex: M38/M38e Workstation on Wheels - WoW) used by medical staff at various area facilities. Since then we've expanded to cover a range of similar appliances, trained additional staff, begun offering component level repair and stock a range of spare part solutions. In addition to our expanded coverage of North Carolina and Virginia, we are most excited about our new range of direct-fit/re-fit hardware solutions designed to reduce part and maintenance expense!
PC Labs continues to develop and provide technology solutions. Please contact us for a product review or consulting..
A sample of recent clients include:
VA - Mountain Home
Heights at 1301
US Post Office (Abingdon)
Family Drug of Wheelright (KY)
Fresenius Medical Care
Capsa (Medical Carts division)
Select Specialty Hospital - Bristol and North Knoxville
Hoston Valley Medical Center
Healthsouth - Bristol
Political Dogs (VA)
East Coast Metals
The Childrens Place
Rocky Top Diner
El Mariachi Restuarant
Little Panda (Kingsport)
Shearers Foods, Bristol
Clydes Coffee & Moore (Gatlinburg)
Jeffs Outdoor Power Equipment
Barnes & Noble
Bank of America