About Me

Lenny loved working as a school teacher in New York until he discovered computers. Before a marketing stint with Apple Computer, he worked as a computer retail store manager. At Apple, Lenny was responsible for business development for their 4th largest retail account.

Lenny has been enthusiastically promoting the possibilities of the Internet since 1993. Charnoff was selected by Microsoft Corporation as one of four Internet entrepreneurs to be featured in the television series “America At Work- Road Map To The Internet”.

When Lenny is not in front of his computer, he enjoys walking, swimming, digital media, spending time with his wife, children and  grandchildren.

Lenny received his B.S. from State University College at Oswego, New York and his M.A. from State University College at Stony Brook, New York.

Lenny, his wife Sharon and their 2 cats are  presently living in Cuenca, Ecuador.

Email: graygeek@gmail.com  Ecuador Cell: 099 122 1238 U.S. MagicJack #: 503-895-6417

I’m available for Skype Consulting relating to your upcoming move to Cuenca. We can discuss Tech, Pet or other issues.

$30 per session via Google Wallet

I am also available to visit your home or apartment in Cuenca to help with iPad or Macbook issues at $25 per hour


55 thoughts on “About Me

  1. Hola Lenny;
    I will be moving to Cuenca in the next few months and I’m delighted that Apple is alive and well in Ecuador. My first Apple was an Mac XL I bought in 1984 and have never looked back. Currently I have a 21.5″ iMac, a 2007 Macbook, an IPad 2 and IPhone 4S. I also have a ROKU HD box that I will bring. I have 2 questions; 1. I understand that if I jailbreak my IPhone, I can use it in Ecuador by installing a sim card. 2. If I have a ROKU box, what benefits will the Apple TV have for me?

  2. Malcolm. So far I have not found anyone using a Roku box in Cuenca. I have a post on the Facebook Ecuador Expats Group to see if anyone is using it successfully.

    I don’t have any experience with Roku but I’m thinking you’re going to need a VPN. I’ll post more here when I find out.

    I use my Apple TV mostly for Podcasts and to project my IPad 2 on to the 40″ HDTV.

    Saludos de Cuenca

  3. Hi Lenny, I appreciate all the great info you have shared here. I am also moving to Cuenca but it will be later in the summer right before schools start (have two school age kids coming with us). We were down there for a scouting trip last July. I will be relying heavily on the internet for my business. When I was down there, speeds seemed to be hit and miss. Was wondering if you have specific suggestions on services to use and any tips or tricks for the internet service providers to use in Cuenca.

    • Omid, thanks for the kind words on the blog. Yesterday, the Cuenca Ipad Users Group used the first 30 minutes of the meeting to discuss the frustration that some of us were having with Internet speeds. One of the members said that TV Cable was now offering and delivering >7mbs down. Keep watching this blog for confirmation of those speeds and good luck on your move.

  4. My wife and I have been following your blog for some months now and enjoy it very much. We are currently travelling in Ecuador and are in Cuenca right now. I foolishly forgot my iPad charging cable and plug in at our last hotel in Guayaquil and am wondering if you could tell me where I might find one for sale in Cuenca.


  5. Hi, Lenny:
    I just stumbled across your blog and already have found it very helpful. My wife and I are moving to Cuenca the end of June, and I have a couple of questions. I will be gutting my desktop here in the states and bringing the MB, RAM, HD, etc. to Cuenca. Do you know if computer cases are sold in Cuenca? Also, should I unblock and jailbreak our iPhone 4 phones or wait until we get to Cuenca?


    • Paul, they do sell cases here. Better to wait to jailbreak here. It cost $15. Most electronics are 30% to 40% higher. No Kindles to be found here and only one Apple Reseller in all of Cuenca (500,000 people). Feel free to ask any tech questions.

  6. Lenny:
    We finally made it to Cuenca. Can you tell me where I can go to get our iPhones unblocked and jailbroken? I stopped into a place yesterday, and the guy quoted me a price of $100/phone!!


  7. Lenny,

    We’ll be moving to Cuenca next month and are shopping Craig’sList for factory unlocked iphones. Do you have any specific recommendations for best model numbers? I’m thinking that a 4S is probably more than adequate…Is 3G or 4G even available in Cuenca? IOW, is paying the premium for later model iphones worth it? Also, any recommendations for things to beware when buying used phones (water damage, etc.)? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!


      • I can get factory unlocked 4S 16 GB iphones that pass all Apple “Genius Bar” diagnostics and with no cracks in screen or case for $200. How does that compare to Cuenca prices for a new iphone? And are the advancements in a new iphone worth the difference in price?

      • Karl,

        Go for it. I’m perfectly satisfied with the 4S in Cuenca. There is no 4G or immediate plans to have 4G and the iPhone 5 bigger screen is not a big drawer for me.

        We have an active iPad & iPhone Users group in Cuenca. I used to work for Apple. Shoot me an email or call when you get here. Email: graygeek@gmail.com Cell: 099 122 1238

  8. Lenny,

    Just stumbled across your blog. We are an Apple household and I was hoping for an Apple expert in Cuenca. Thanks for being available!

    (Our household is currently in the States but that could change)

    I was wondering about iPhones. My wife has a 4S on Sprint. Is it true the 4S will work without issue in EC as it is both CDMA & GSM? I have a Sprint iPhone 5 so it would seem I will need to replace it for a GSM iPhone, most likely back to a 4S as I agree the larger screen isn’t a draw without LTE/4G. Would it be smart to bring my own sim card cutter to trim down a sim card for use in the iPhone 4S?

    Thanks for your help.

  9. Hi Lenny,

    Just wondering; we are considering spending next summer in Cuenca – we are self employed and would be working. For this we need our MAC(s), and we would rent a furnished apartment. Can you give me any insight into security, risk of house theft, risk of having our computers stolen? Any tips to minimize this risk, or is in fact no riskier than anywhere else? Due to our livelihood being tied to our computers, would you perhaps go so far as to suggest renting in a more upscale condo with ‘security’ or would we be probably just as ‘safe’ in a more low-key rental situation?

    • Monica,

      I think Security is an issue anywhere you live in the world. My wife an I have lived in Cuenca for 2.5 years. First year in a furnished condo and our present residence is a rental house. We have a double locked gate and a double locked door. We feel very secure.

  10. Hi Lenny, thanks for your reply. I guess that means that you feel as safe in the furnished condo as you do in your rental house – which answers my question.

  11. Hello! I just arrived in Cuenca for the first time yesterday and bought a Claro sim for my unlocked iphone4s. When I put it in it says invalid sim. How do I unBLock it for use here? Many thanks in advance!

  12. Hi Lenny,
    I’ve been in Cuenca for a little while now (5 months) and am having trouble finding computer parts. Do you know of any good computer part stores in Cuenca? I need high end parts of everything from processors to graphics cards, right now my problem is finding a monitor that isn’t crazy expensive, or finding one that is decent. I’ve been to Computron and have shipped a few things from Guayaquil, but if there’s a local store that would be much more convenient, any info would be much appreciated. Thanks!

  13. Hi Lenny
    Stumbled upon this blog looking for something else and I’m glad I did. Glad to know there’s a tech group there (I’m moving to Cuenca this summer). Want to do as one of your readers and break down my desktop and bring the innards (I use Linux) but I may also be able to purchase a Mac laptop, as well. I also have an iPhone 4 which I got when I had AT/T service (and do not have now). I’m not quite sure what jailbroken means but is that something that would enable me to use my phone there? Currently I just use it for other features — facebook, camera, music, surfing I’net, etc. Would not mind using it as a phone again when I’m there, if I can.

    • Jailbreaking is essentially taking away the lock of the previously contracted phone service provider. You can do it here in Cuenca for about $20, thus allowing you to use one of the two cellular services in Cuenca (Claro, Movistar)

  14. Thanks for all the time you spend answering questions. I think my question has been answered but just in case here it is: Can an iPhone 3GS on contract with AT&T can be jailbroken and then set up to use with Claro?

  15. Hi Lennie,
    I’m coming back to Cuenca the day after Christmas. The last time I was there, I only had an IPhone 4 which had no chip to take out. Now I need to update, but don’t know if I should upgrade here or just buy a cheap phone in Cuenca. I’ll be in Cuenca for three months. Presently, I don’t have a contract with Verizon, but if I upgrade, I’ll have to sign a two year contract. I couple be living in Cuenca by then. Hmmm. what to do?

  16. My husband and I (seniors) are under contract to sell our place and if it goes through, we hope to visit Cuenca sometimes toward late summer. We are both very dumb with computers or anything tech. Turn it on, search, send an email but that’s about it. Terminology, etc….it may as well be in French. Do you teach any classes or can you recommend computer classes (Apple) in English

  17. Lenny, I will be visiting in August to investigate moving there and setting up a part time Mac repair business. iFixit.com rates me as their #1 repair answer man. I have been doing it since 1979. Since my Spanish is very limited at this time, do you feel there would be enough demand for my services via the ex-patriots to make a living?

    • At the moment there are 2 authorized Apple resellers who do a hit/miss business. There are several part timers that work at Mac/PC. Make a living by American standards… Maybe. As you know I run the iPad Users Group and hear about ipad and Mac repairs. My guess is there is a need for a good repair service but I don’t know if there is a full time living here. Get in touch with me a week before you come and we can arrange a coffee. Good luck.

  18. Hi. Will be in Quito, mainly Cuenca, and Guayaquil for about 20 days. I gather from the comments that My IPad should work anywhere with WiFi, correct? My IPhone 4 does not work there, correct?

    Thank you.

  19. I forgot to ask what kind of adapter I need for charging the IPad. The international adapter I bought says it cannot be used for an IPad since it is rated 2.1 not 1A.

  20. Thank you so much! Your prompt response is greatly appreciated and it was helpful to go to a site where others have had a variety of experiences. Thank you for providing this forum.

  21. Hey Lenny! I was wondering, do you know where I might be able to procure a drawing/graphics tablet in Cuenca? I’d be willing to pay up to about 200$ for one. If you know a store, do you know if they have a website where I might be able to check them out so I’d be able to check reviews before purchasing?

    Thanks in advance!

  22. Hi I am visiting (from the states) my mom I’m Cuenca and my iPhone charger went out on me can you recommend a good place to purchase a replacement.


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