Now that most of us rely on our computers the way we rely on, say, our kidneys, the quest for trustworthy computer repair is akin to seeking out the city's top surgeon. Tom Igoe, multimedia-lab manager for ITP (Interactive Telecommunications Program) at NYU, recommends Tekserve (155 West 23rd Street, fourth floor; 929-3645; www.tekserve.com), whose old-school flavor -- hardwood floors, 10-cent-Coke machine -- extends to the quality of its service. The shop gives free estimates and has a fixed price for any kind of hardware problem (software repairs cost $90 an hour). Work is done on a walk-in basis only; you'll join a casual gathering of Mac-loving techies swapping stories about their motherboards. Tekserve is also one of the few places that does data recovery.
For PC repair, the NYC chapter of Webgrrls recommends Crocodile Computers (360 Amsterdam Avenue, near 78th Street; 769-3400). They do it all (at $65 per hour) and even make house calls ($90 per hour).