June 26, 2022

Rancho Cotate student uses computer repair skills to give back to his community

Logan Ober, a senior at Rancho Cotate Substantial University in Rohnert Park, was presented an open-finished final challenge final 12 months from his personal computer science trainer Kristi McWilliams.

Ober pointed to a drawer in McWilliams’ course, filled with damaged laptops — all regarded junk by the university district. “Can I consider fixing a single of those people?” he questioned.

“Why not?” she reported.

What McWilliams did not be expecting was for the 17-12 months-outdated to occur back a pair times later on with three completely fixed, operating computer systems.

“It’s incredible,” McWilliams stated. “I believe he appreciates additional about hardware than I do.”

While Ober appears like the standard teenager, with a lanky develop and a smile total of braces, he is a computer system wiz with a want to give.

Due to the fact that venture, Ober estimates he’s set and donated about $30,000 worth of computer systems, which includes MacBooks, PCs and Chromebooks, based mostly on their retail benefit at the time of their release. He mentioned he does it since he enjoys it and it minimizes e-squander.

E-waste, discarded electrical or electronic gadgets, is a increasing problem throughout the earth. It has adverse results on individuals and the environment owing to scraps that incorporate guide, cadmium, beryllium, flame retardant and other dangerous materials. So offering absent the computer systems to somebody in need prevents them from contaminating the setting, Ober stated.

In addition he will get to brighten a person else’s working day. A new computer system can open up up additional options for children and teens, he reported — if they desired to try out coding, for case in point. MacBooks can charge upward of $1,000 and are unaffordable for a lot of students, in particular with Apple’s minimal self-services mend capabilities.

Ober does all the repairs on the carpet of his bed room floor — the mess drives his mother and father insane, but they are supportive — or in McWilliams’ classroom.

He transports the chunks of steel and motherboards in the trunk of his motor vehicle and in a rolling luggage bag when in between lessons.

“It gets actually heavy in some cases,” Ober mentioned, hoisting his suitcase up the stairs on the way to McWilliams’ classroom.

Often his schoolmates bully him, leaving crude sticky notes on his vehicle or calling him a nerd.

“I’m used to it,” Ober reported, brushing it off. As a university student with higher-performing autism and anxiety, he said he has struggled a whole lot. It’s his third yr again in public university immediately after attending a distinctive education and learning faculty for several several years.

There are fellow students who demonstrate support and are in awe of his enthusiasm and perform ethic, he explained. Numerous call him with tech-similar issues and requests to aid them with virus detection and maintenance.

“I enjoy remaining back again in regular university — I appreciate possessing my freedom,” Ober stated, in addition his teachers at Rancho Cotate, particularly McWilliams, have encouraged him to continue on his challenge.

The school’s teachers know Ober is the go-to person to when they have a laptop or computer difficulty that desires to be solved, McWilliams explained.

With social nervousness, Ober stated he focuses on the pleasure he will get from repairing a laptop computer and providing it absent. He also keeps himself amazingly active, juggling a element-time occupation at Starbucks, a task at the Redwood Place Young children Club, a laptop class at the Santa Rosa Junior College, track follow after college each day and finishing large university.

Immediately after Ober mounted a bunch of McWilliams’ computer systems, even gifting her 1 of the fixed MacBooks, the school district’s IT department gave Ober six MacBooks that were deemed irreparable. He arrived again with five doing work desktops.

Because then, he has been given desktops donated by SOMO Village, Credo High University, Redwood Region Children Club and far more. He states he possibly presents them back to the corporations or provides them to people he knows are in need of an upgrade.

“It opens up a large amount of choices for these little ones to have far more than a Chromebook,” Ober mentioned. “And when you have an real desktop with a experienced-amount excellent, being able to give it to them for free of charge is in fact truly gratifying.”

He suggests the salvaged tools has arrive, in part, from the Sonoma County Business of Instruction, wherever he attained out to Cody Grosskopf, the chief technologies officer, for computer systems to practice on.

“They were destined for the rubbish can,” Grosskopf explained. “I’m glad he’s carrying out anything with them.”