It’s no secret that Corvallis is very tech-savvy despite being such a small town, and where there’s tech, there’s broken tech, ripped-out hair, and sometimes robust, cascading waves of panic. But fear not. Relatively new on the scene is upstart Corvallis Computer, who can not only tackle an almost disturbing variety of computer-related issues, but brings an uncommon level of candor to a table that’s not widely known for it.
Introducing 19-year-old owner and operator Nico Cropp. An autodidact of the first degree, Cropp’s coming up seems almost like a hacker movie cliché. He fixed his first broken computer at age seven (subsequently installing alternative operating system Ubuntu Linux on it) and spent the next 12 years hitting book after book, reading PC magazines religiously, modding his iPod, breaking through parental controls on his family computer, and was even kicked out of high school for circumventing the firewall (for innocent purposes, I assure you). In full possession of his obsession, he fired up Nico’s Computer Repair in 2013, making his first house calls by bicycle, and rebranded as Corvallis Computer just last year.
A one-stop shop, Cropp offers everything from security software checks, tune-ups and optimization, hardware swapping and repair, networking, cloud integration, and business-grade systems implementation. Additionally he works on video game consoles, smart homes and security systems, drones, servers, and “pretty much everything.” Have a tablet or phone that’s sluggish or has a cracked screen? Need remote help or help with live streaming an event? Yep, he does that, too.
“If it can be done with a computer, it can be done here,” said Cropp.
And apparently those words ring true. It’s no secret that Corvallis can occasionally be home to some, shall we say, strange encounters… and when you run a business with clientele as diverse as Cropp’s, the amplitude is turned up a bit.
“I’ve repaired a computer for a dominatrix, seen a number of punched-out laptop screens, and have heard from a lot of conspiracy theorists about the effects of WiFi and cellular signals. I love the unique encounters and wouldn’t trade [them] for anything,” he said. “A lot of people are concerned about anonymity, in their browsing habits and elsewhere. There are no judgements here, and that’s how it should be.”
Among Cropp’s favorite projects were a custom build for a power, Pepto-Bismol pink gaming tower and a configuration job that set up a PC in an arcade cabinet.
While Corvallis Computer has experienced steady growth, there are still a number of challenges that face such a young business.
“My biggest challenge so far has been finding my customer base in a town with other related businesses that have been around for years. I’m still lining up new services, expanding the website, and more,” Cropp commented. “It’s tough, but rewarding work.”
And where will Corvallis Computer be in 10 years?
“That’s easy,” said Cropp. “Whatever stage the business is in, I just want to be doing something I can be proud of.”
If you’re interested in seeing what Corvallis Computer can do for you, check out www.corvalliscomputer.com for contact information and more.
By Johnny Beaver