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Dynamic duo offers free weekly classes for Mac users

By Staff | Aug 18, 2011

Bobby Lozoff leads free Macintosh classes at Lahaina Cannery Mall on Thursday afternoons.

LAHAINA — Are you a new Mac user?

Do you need help switching from PC to Mac?

Are your grand kids sending you pictures you can’t download?

How are your social networking skills?

Most important, would you rather talk to a real-live person, rather than being processed through that impersonal “support system” thousands of miles away?

Well, West Maui, help is literally just around the corner at Lahaina Cannery Mall with Macintosh classes held weekly on Thursday afternoons — for free!

The weekly lessons are led by local Mac whiz Bobby Lozoff with the help of his trusty sidekick, Rick Lantz.

A Bay Area migrant to Lahaina in the 1970s, Lozoff was the manager of a trendy Front Street nightclub, the Blue Max.

Self-taught, Lozoff described his evolution from the restaurant scene to the computer screen.

“In 1980, I started playing with Apple computers at home. By the late ’80s or early ’90s, I bought a Macintosh; and, on Maui, I found out that if I had to fix a program and work with it, I was totally on my own.”

With finely honed skills, Lozoff turned professional and worked for Media Systems “for quite a while.”

He’s retired now with time on his hands, “so I’m giving these classes,” he said.

“The main thrust is when I get called to fix a computer these days, I find computers don’t break too often. It’s usually an educational process that’s required teach them to use which program when, where and how,” Lozoff explained.  

Lantz is a self-described techno-geek from Orange County, California.

“My wife and I both retired last year, and we moved here last July,” Lantz said.

“Shortly after moving here, I read a short article in the Lahaina News where Bobby was offering these classes. It was around October last year that I saw the article, and I e-mailed him and asked if I could come to one of ’em. From there, we created a real friendship where we ended up teaching and helping the students with different issues,” he said.

Sandy Schwettmann is a part-time resident who joins the dynamic duo on Thursdays at the mall when she’s on-island.

“The classes are very informative. I had just switched to the Mac from a PC at Christmas and really needed help with the transition. The two men who run the class are experts and dedicated. I would gladly have paid them to attend the class, but they do it for free… they like to inspire the attendees with their enthusiasm for the Mac,” Schwettmann remarked.

Sonny Baraoidan is another satisfied student.  

“I have been attending computer classes at Lahaina Cannery Mall, together with my fiancée, since last year. I looked forward to attending classes, because every week I left with very helpful and useful information. 

“I am not a very computer literate person, but since these classes, I have gained more confidence in the use of my computer. Every question that I asked was answered in detail and explained in ‘plain English,’ not high-tech words that I wouldn’t understand,” Baraoidan said.

The loosely-formatted course is held from 2:30 to 4 p.m. weekly.

“We leave the subject open to any questions — things that are frustrating people. In our spare class time, we try to teach people problem solving on the computer; that’s the ultimate. In the meantime, we’ll help out — show them how to operate the standard programs like mail, music, browsing, using Internet Explorer or Safari,” Lozoff commented.

Lahaina Cannery Mall donates the space.

“My friend, Gus Gianulias, owns the Cannery Mall, and it’s pretty nice of him to let us meet there. Lots of parking… air conditioned… It’s a complete classroom in that we do provide an Internet connection and a monitor to watch it on,” Lozoff added.

To register for the class, e-mail cannerymacclass@gmail.com.

“I will respond to everybody,” Lozoff said.