About Computer Consultants Group
In 1995 Bill Read and Evans Jenkins founded Computer Consultants Group, Inc. (CCG) one afternoon over lunch at the old Jimmy Dengate's on Rutledge Avenue. These two lowcountry boys, one from James Island and one from Mount Pleasant, had been working together for several years at a computer dealership. Frustrated with the constraints of working for a company that earned its revenue through sales of computer hardware and software, they realized that their advice and support was influenced by the pressure to sell new products, including the pressure to sell specific solutions that provided the most revenue.
They thought there had to be a better way. Bill and Evans set out to start a computer services company that would sell nothing but good advice and support services. More importantly, they wanted to serve customers by getting to know them, their business, and their needs. Evans left CCG at the end of 1996, leaving Bill as sole proprietor. Almost 20 years later CCG is still providing computer support and services to Charleston and the surrounding areas.
The Founding Principles of CCG
- Offer services only, no product sales — we are on your side of the table when it comes time to buy hardware and software
- Get to know you, the customer — by knowing you better, we can respond to your particular preferences; not everyone does things the same way
- Get to know your business — by having insight into what you do, and how you do it, we can offer better solutions that work the way you need to work
- Actively look for ways to improve your business — where useful, we put to work for you the experience we gather from working with other, diverse, businesses
- Acknowledge mistakes and take steps to correct them — we don't hide from mistakes, but we do learn from them
- Esteem above all else respect, honesty, reliability, and hard work
Bill grew up in the waterways and marshes of James Island in the 60's, 70's, and 80's. He attended Porter-Gaud through 6th grade, and graduated from College Preparatory School in 1982. An avid water skier, he can occasionally be found in James Island creek cutting up the water. His main hobby is photography, and he prefers to photograph wildlife and shoot candid photos of people (you can find his work at billread on Flickr; he shot the photo you see in the header of this site, I Miss the Grace). Bill is also an amateur runner, recently completing his first 10k, and the Charleston 1/2 Marathon.
It was in high-school that Bill discovered computers. One day his dad brought home a Sinclair ZX80 computer, which Bill immediately began playing with — treating it more like a puzzle than a computer. Eventually he published his first program, a black-jack game, of which he managed to sell a whopping 4 copies.
Leaving Charleston for college, Bill didn't leave the South. He went to Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia. He set out thinking he would become a lawyer or go into the family real estate business. He took a course in Fortran just to see what "real" programming would be like. After his first term, the writing was on the wall — his only A that year was in the Fortran course. He switched majors and never looked back.
The next year Bill bought his first computer, an Apple IIc. The following year he added one of the first Macintoshes to his quiver. Hampden-Sydney College (H-SC) was one of the first colleges on the East Coast to open a Macintosh Lab for its students, and Bill was quick to sign-up to work in the lab as a computer support assistant. It was his first job in tech support, and he gained an education in supporting the many technophobic liberal arts majors at H-SC. In 1986 he graduated with a BS degree in Math & Computer Science.
After graduation Bill went to work for a local computer dealership, Computer Source/Connecting Point, selling computers. There he was successful selling to government (NAVALEX & Air force), educational institutions (MUSC Apple Rep), and architectural firms. He began to focus on selling CAD systems, which opened up additional opportunities.
In 1989, newly married to his wife, Jane, Bill moved to the U.K. to work selling CAD system to architects in London. He also consulted for and trained members of architectural firms. Bill & Jane lived in England until late 1991, when they returned to Charleston for good.
After hunting around for new opportunities, Bill resumed selling computers, where he met his future CCG co-founder, Evans. The first venture for Bill and Evans was to build the first webserver to come on-line in Charleston in 1994 for A World of Difference (AWOD). From there they began to develop websites for small companies. It was a small step from there to start a computer support company.
Today Bill has over 30 years in supporting Macintosh computers — having hands-on experience with virtually every Macintosh model made by Apple. Over the years he has worked with almost every type of business and computer network, integrating Windows, Mac, and Linux systems on networks ranging from Windows Servers to Mac and Linux servers — including consulting for large organizations to help them integrate Macs into their existing network environment.
Bill lives on James Island, not far from where he grew up —just up the creek from his childhood home, now occupied by his older brother. He is married with three children, one of whom attends Clemson. He loves to be able to say "Go Tigers" with complete ambiguity. His wife went to Sewanee, Bill to H-SC — both mascots are tigers, and use the tiger-paw symbol, just like Clemson.
Darius is a voracious reader with a creative bug, a movie buff, a classic poetry buff, a board/RPG/war gamer, and a lifelong computer geek. His creative talents manifest in sketches, illustrations and technical drawings (published). He spent much of his middle and high school years on Radio-Shack TRS-80's, IBM-PC's, and the Apple ][. AT George Mason University he encountered a VAX, as well as the first computer he could call his own, a Mac SE.
A military veteran, Darius spent twelve years in the Navy as a nuclear mechanic. There he gained a deep appreciation for people skills, leadership, and thermodynamics. His learning ability, troubleshooting skills, and attention to detail were honed as a nuclear mechanic and submariner, where no job was too small, and everything had to be done right. Teamwork, leadership, and co-operation were also essential skills, lived on a day-to-day basis. Recognition of his abilities resulted in his taking over the training of the USS Maryland's training program while still a junior mechanic. After five years on a submarine, obtaining a qualification as a universal freon maintenance tech by the EPA, and two tours as a shore-based instructor (which is what brought him to Charleston), he was given an Honorable Discharge from the Navy.
The life of a nuke had little to do with computers, yet it was a phenomenal education. As Darius put it, "it was also, in retrospect, a humbling experience - and I learned a lot more than I realized at the time." He kept his feet in, building and working with computers on the side, and picking up certifications along the way.
After leaving the Navy in Charleston, he landed a computer consulting job with another company in Charleston before joining CCG in 2007. Since then Darius has been supporting hundreds of users across dozens of clients. Some of his clients are multi-site, requiring WANs and VPNs to keep things connected — some across the country. He counts among his clients REALTORS, lawyers, medical offices, auto auctions, architects, schools, manufacturers, builders, and environmental engineers.
Darius is an invaluable part of the CCG team, and can boast of having one of the broadest ranges of experience of any computer consultant. Over the years he has obtained certifications as MCSE, MCSA, MCP, A+, among others. He has taught A+, Microsoft Certification, Cisco certification, and introductory Basic and C programming courses. He has supported just about every commercial computer system, including Windows NT - 8, Mac OS 7 through OS X 10.10, Windows Server NT4 through 2012, Linux in multiple flavors, and even IBM AS/400 systems and terminals. His broad experience with network support includes MS Exchange, OWA, MS SQL, Terminal Services, Citrix, WANs, LANs, Remote Access, and enterprise antivirus, among many others.
Darius lives in Mt. Pleasant with his wife and two daughters. His son attends the University of Pennsylvania, and made him jealous by interning at Google one summer.
Richard is a native of Saint Louis, Missouri, where he studied classical piano from age 7 to 17. While growing up in a family of vocalists, including his mother and father and various other family members, he was introduced to jazz by his father and uncle before high school. He currently performs around Charleston with various musicians.
Richard earned BAs in both Math and Computer Science in 1997 from Saint Louis University. After he graduated, he worked as a programmer/analyst at various companies before following the music to Charleston, SC in 2001 — later that year he joined CCG. While his heart is in the Jazz scene, Richard's "day-job" is a computer consultant at CCG.
His troubleshooting skills are borne of the discipline that a mind which studies math requires. His involvement with music (which has a lot in common with math) has given Richard a range of experience with the intricate details of making diverse systems talk to each other, particularly in the recording studio.
Richard has broad experience working with and troubleshooting Windows and Macintosh computers. Beyond his degrees and programming experience, his clients have ranged from individuals to large multi-platform corporate networks. His patience and easy-going character make working with Richard a pleasure.
Richard lives in North Charleston with his wife and two daughters. When not doing martial arts workouts, you can find him either caring for his girls, or playing Jazz in a club downtown.