She loves computer guts

Nicolette Battenfield

Not every woman loves to tear down a laptop and replace parts. But Nicolette Battenfield, the new (as of May) owner of PC-MD, a long-established Chico computer-repair business, enjoys tinkering with computers and making them work right. Battenfield, a personable, 29-year-old divorced mother of two, enrolled at Butte College a couple of years ago to complete transfer coursework after two years searching unsuccessfully for a job. She spied a posting on the school’s job board for a computer-technician position at PC-MD, got the job and rapidly learned the business. When the former owner told her earlier in the year that he wanted to retire, Battenfield jumped at the chance to own her own business. (Go to Facebook or to learn more about Battenfield’s business. She can be reached at 345-3371 or at the business, 2117 Esplanade.)

How did you first learn about computers?

My dad was a big computer geek and had an older computer he loved messing around with. He was also using computers at work because he was in the military. He would always pull me over and show me DOS language and that kind of thing.

What happened when you had your own computer?

Once I was out on my own, my dad bought a computer for me. I quickly got my computer infected and had to deal with it myself, so I started to do research and figure it out. It [working on computers] was a lot of trial and error. Over time I got better, and family and friends came to me for help. I think a lot of my ability to pick it up is that I like to research. I like to figure out the resolution to the problem, whereas a lot of people don’t want to take the time to figure out what to do.

Why aren’t there many women doing computer-repair work?

I don’t know. I haven’t personally met many other women who can tear a laptop down and replace parts. To me, it doesn’t seem very complicated, but I guess maybe in reality it is, and there are a lot of things you have to pay attention to.

What’s your strong point as a computer technician?

Where I start to shine is when somebody comes in with something that’s not familiar. Then I have to really dig in and solve the problem. One of my favorite problems was when someone wanted to network two computers with different operating systems. That was a big learning experience, and I was able to successfully do it. When I saw that I could, I was ‘Yes!’ Solving the problem is the greatest feeling.