Friday, November 12, 2010

The Inner G In Me: Bill's Song

So here is a little story about Bill. Bill started out as just a suggestion in passing. Once agreed upon, it lingered in the back of our minds, slowly materializing and coalescing. As time progressed, it became a topic of discussion from time to time. Then, before we knew it, the time was now. Now. In a fury of searching and gathering of knowledge, the suggestion became a reality.

Orders were given and acted upon.

The suggestion soon materialized and became a physical reality. The day was filled with excitement and joy at what was brought into this world.

Then, to much dismay, it had appeared a critical component was left behind in the planning. In the rush to form the idea into reality, the one thing to keep ones head cool was forgotten. Looked over and dismissed like an awkward, vision impaired teenager in gym glass.

Once realized the issue was quickly resolved. And with what seemed like mere minutes the CPU cooling fan arrived. Again, much rejoicing was evident. With careful planning and intricate execution, the the physical manifestation of the suggestion began to evolve into a single component.
It what seemed like weeks of labor, my tired eyes and weary mind gazed upon an almost completed realization of a dream forged ages ago. We still lacked an optical drive. The idea was to salvage a drive from the aging machine to be replaced, but as the strategy was formulated a new hurdle came into view.

The graphics card. More importantly, the optical nerve needed to deliver the visual manifestation was not present. Once again, the rushed research and planning had reared it's ugly head. Morale began to crumble, it seemed an unknown agent was beginning to make itself seen. What other critical pieces of the puzzle slipped by? With growing resolve, I vowed within myself that I would overcome. I would gather my resources and leap this new hurdle. With a bounce in my step I proceeded to obtain the cord needed and also a new optical drive. Again, fate seemed to favor us and the arrival of the needed puzzle pieces came into our possession.

With renewed spirit, assembly continued on the physical manifestation of the suggestion. In short time the single component was done.

All that was left to do now was to supply the power to bring the manifestation to full reality. With excitement, I eagerly awaited to see the visual accomplishment. My heart raced, my breath quickened. My finger poised over the button, the bringer of life. Click. The almost silent sound of the fans spooling like a gentle sigh. My eyes steady on the monitor as I longed for the messages to triumphantly declare that I am not a failure. I am a technical god!

No. No. No. This cannot be happening. Suddenly my heart was in my throat. My stomach churning and twisting, nausea sweeping through my body as I suddenly went cold. NO no no no no. Quickly I cut the life from the single component and sprang into action. My hands shaking as I removed the panel. My eyes devouring every last piece, begging to identify something out of place. I scanned the wires that bring life blood to the motherboard. Did I miss something on the video card? Maybe, just maybe. Yes! I missed supplying power to the video card. I'm It sustains itself from the motherboard. Like a leach it syphons power from another source. My heart began to sink slowly. Doubts swirled within.

What have I done? What did I miss? My head was pounding like the drums during halftime of a college football game. What did I miss? I picked up the manual and retraced my steps. All was in order. Nothing was missed. Everything appeared in place. I appealed to the manufacture and all signs began to point toward a faulty motherboard.

A sadness swept through me. A sadness laced with obsession. No true signs were apparent. More importantly no sounds were heard. No gleeful chirp when the power was first given to the component. I did miss a simple thing, the case speaker. The Oracle. The item to give me the signs needed. I scoured my supplies and found no speaker. I then decided to salvage the old oracle from my previous machine. This will tell me what I needed to know.

My hands shook as I installed the speaker. The plug did not match, but I was determined to know what had went wrong. Two plugs, four pins. What is the combination? I feverishly tried many combinations, but to no avail. The component would not speak to me. I was done. No longer able to think.

Physically drained from the sudden abrupt release of excitement and anticipation, I dragged my weary body to bed. I would have to tackle this on the morrow.

When I awoke the next day, I gazed longingly at the Physical Manifestation Of A Suggestion, knowing it would be late into the day before I could lovingly lay my hands upon it. I had other responsibilities to attend to.

I availed myself of my peers for advice and received many responses throughout the day. The knowledge and encouragement lightened my steps and instilled a new resolve. A new strategy was formulated and once again I vowed to leap this new hurdle that the unknown saboteur agent had thrown in my path.

Once I was home again, I quickly found the required speaker supplied by the manufacturer of the case. It was within my eyesight the whole time. This was a huge victory for me. My hand shook with trepidation as I installed the speaker. Again, I powered the Component up. Waiting, my ears straining to here the Oracle speak her wisdom. Nothing. I quickly choked down my growing fear. NO! I will not be defeated! I shall overcome! A growing anger started to rage. I have done nothing wrong here. I was careful. Methodical to the point of crazed obsession assembling you. Why are you not responding to my commands to come to life? This was not the way, I told myself.

Taking deep breaths, I quickly obtained a number. I shall consult an expert.

His name was Bill. His southern drawl immediately soothed the growing rage. I quickly explained the unfortunate events leading up to my call. Pull the memory, he responded. Power up the machine, he commanded. No sound, no visual clue, that life ebbed through the machine, this hunk of metal, bane.

He calmly explained two potential faults. First, the speaker may not be plugged in. Secondly, there may be a fault between the power coupling and the CPU. In my eagerness to prove that I was right, I quickly pointed out the speaker was indeed installed. He then stated calmly and clearly that there must be a fault in the power supply to the CPU and that was why I was not seeing the Component power up correctly. He then drew my attention to the 4-pin connector that is to supply the CPU.

I was dumbfounded. Could it be that simple. It usually is, but I rarely fall victim to such sabotage. I could hear the Unknown Agent snickering in the background.

I had missed a simple step. The empty 4-pin coupler shined from within the case like a beacon of hope on a dark night. I quickly found the required umbilical of life needed to power the CPU. My hands shook as I installed the memory once again.

As I powered up the Component, I could hear Bill smile as I told him excitedly that life was breathed into the machine. Visual confirmation sprang into existence on the monitor. My heart soared with gratitude as I thanked Bill effusively.

The Unknown Agent skulked away as the world brightened. The Physical Manifestation Of A Suggestion had become a reality. As I rejoiced with my peers who had given me advice earlier, it was suggested that I name the Component after it's saviour.

Welcome to the world Bill.