Brandon Trask - Systems Administrator @ Willamette Dental
Where and when did you have your first contact with StRUT?
My first contact with StRUT was in 2001. I was a freshman at North Medford High School in Medford, OR. I had casually been in to computers before high school and immediately signed up for the Computer Hardware courses as an elective.
Did you ever take a trip to the StRUT warehouse? Details?
I did not. However I do remember coming in on the weekends and helping our teacher unload the rented truck.
What was your technology instructor doing with the Strut Computers at your school?
They were used to teach basic skills such as hardware troubleshooting, Windows install, basics of DOS, and other special projects. Most of the equipment stayed within the class and used projects by students.
How did you end up working for Willamette Dental Group?
Due to my knowledge gained by working on donated StRUT material, I was recommended and got a job working with the Medford School District IT department. During periods with no classes and summers I was out in the district helping the techs service the technology. From there I was recommended to a local ISP and worked my way through a few jobs. After a short stint working at Intel (What geek would turn down a job there?) I heard of Willamette Dental through a coworker.
Any teachers you want to thank?
Absolutely. Michael Paul was the instructor that taught me the foundations of troubleshooting, repair, and all things IT. The freedom and direction given to me and my fellow students was a tremendous jumpstart in the field. Unfortunately we have lost touch throughout the years but I still credit him for where I am today.
Other thoughts about StRUT?
I was blown away as a student from the gear we received from StRUT. Some of the more notable hauls: Three complete pallets of IBM desktop computers, two Intel engineering sample servers running dual Slot 1 Xeon processors, and a half pallet of Intel networking gear (With the hubs we accidentally caused a packet storm which took down half the school network, whoops). I was happy to hear that StRUT was still around and providing much needed hardware to schools. I hope it continues to input materials into education to aide in the output of great minds into the IT world.