When a young man’s fancy turns to thoughts of. . . Building a new machine.
I have no idea what I would do with it. I started out thinking about just upgrading the motherboard, processor and video card.
But then I thought, “Well, then I’d have this perfectly good motherboard, processor and video card not doing anything.”
At some psychological root level, I just want to build one.
I enjoy building machines because it is something physical, something tangible. I have spent over two decades shifting bits, tiny ones and zeros. Insignificant and yet immeasurably significant to our daily lives.
I have seen it come full circle in terms of transferring information. I used to bring plastic magnetized disks to a friend’s house. After that, it was dialing up to an electronic bulletin board. Suddenly it was over wires to a server. Then the wires were gone.
Now, I carry it around on a disk no bigger than a stick of gum that I bring over to my friend’s house.
On off on off. It’s so silly and incomprehensible and magical at the same time.
I do not even pretend to understand how it all works—I merely believe.
Which is why I enjoy building new machines. It is a time to ground myself and put all the parts together. It’s a time to set master slave, to connect a power source, to firmly seat RAM, to connect wires, to screw a motherboard into a case with brass fittings (although not necessarily in that order) and finally end up with a computer that boots up and passes POST.
At the end of every workday I produce no tangible “product.” For me, producing a physical manifestation of my trade is very satisfying.
That, and it can serve as a home theater PC.
That would be totally awesome.