Aaron Andrusko, the one-man show behind Broken Gizmo, was hanging around with the Geek Squad in the Warehouse District by age 11.
“I was cold-calling computer repair shops to get computers they couldn’t fix,” he said.
Once he scavenged the computers, he’d take them apart and get them working again.
“It takes a few years before that becomes a successful endeavor,” he said.
Andrusko now repairs Mac, PC, Linux, iOS and Android devices from his shop at 2 E. Franklin Ave.
He often finds himself working with customers who are frustrated with big box outfits that ship computers out of state, for a fee, to repair them.
“Computer repair doesn’t have to be expensive and scary,” he said.
Andrusko plans to install an office projector so he can shop for parts with customers, and he charges $1 per minute for his time.
Every month, he door-knocks in areas of South Minneapolis to reach populations that may not traditionally have access to quality computer repair.
Andrusko has spent time working with small businesses, but he most enjoys jobs for individuals.
“You learn what people are working on and what their goals are,” he said. “I encounter a lot of people who are trying to start a business.”
To-date, he’s been able to recover data for every client who has faced a potential data loss situation.
But he has a word of advice:
“Make a backup today,” he said. “Make a backup before you need it.”