This is an entry for the blogathong, which I heard about from Scary Scary Quite Contrary. I don't know many details about it other than people are expected to write a blog a day, Monday to Friday, for the next 1 day. I like that idea. I've been too lazy lately.
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Sometime, in the not too distant future, we’re all going to have to cut back on our electricity usage.
Fossil fuels won’t last forever, and the current dip in oil prices is just a temporary stop in the inevitable exhaustion of everyone’s favorite non-renewable resource.
Eventually, someone will be in the process of pumping the last, almost worthless barrel of crude out of the ground and somewhere, in the back of their mind, they’ll wonder why we, the people of today, were so hung up on the stuff. By then, everyone will have switched to something more renewable and loads more plentiful like orphan tears, unanswered prayers, or useless, unjustified patriotism, which the people of the future will refer to as Natural Gas.
I’m sure books will survive to tell the tale of all the wonderful things we once did with a seemingly limitless resource; and those future humans will marvel at our instant coffee makers, oversized SUVs, and the neon… oh, all that neon.
But the biggest loss, and all the best stories, will center on computers.
What’s not to love about computers?
Anything that any of your appliances can do, they can do better.
I can’t think of a single invention that creatively destroyed more industries ever since modern latex molding techniques replaced kicking your pregnant girlfriend down the stairs because abortion was illegal.
Unfortunately, just like our brains, most of us computer users use less than 10% of our PCs’ capabilities; so, while they’re busy sucking up fossil fuel generated electricity, much like your body, the majority of its power goes to useless functions like updating your operating system’s clock and making sure your spyware and viruses are running the latest versions.
There are so many things your computer can do; just like your children, if properly pushed, it has a lot of potential.
Before you begin testing its limits, you need to familiarize yourself with your computer.
Let’s begin by opening your machine, the insides of which should resemble something in between fresh pumpkin innards and those machines you unplugged that kept your grandfather alive.
You’re now inside your computer.
Like everything else in your home, computers collect dust. In order to maintain the temperature inside your machine, you should regularly clean away the dust from any fans to prevent them from breaking down, a situation which can quickly lead to overheating.
There should be at least four or five separate fans in your computer: one in the power supply, one mounted over the CPU heatsink, one on the back of your case, and one on the front of your case; the fifth would be on any components installed in your machine, such as an automatic cheese grater or a video card.
To clean the fans, start by taking a powerful magnet and vigorously rubbing it against anything that looks shiny, delicate, and loaded with dust. Ordinary, over the counter magnets are generally not powerful enough to thoroughly clean out your PC, so increase the magnets power by running a line of copper wire from a nearby electrical outlet.
Now that your PC is dust free, you’ll want to improve your machine’s performance by getting rid of any unnecessary components; these power wasters suck down electricity and provide almost no tangible benefit. How can you tell which components these are? Well, you can’t. So anything you see inside there that you don’t understand, rip it right out. You can always reattach it with caulk, superglue, or dried cream of wheat if you encounter any problems restarting your machine later.
Which brings me to something that I forgot to mention, most professional (aka elitist) computer techs will tell you to never open your computer, but to take it to a qualified service center for maintenance; that’s a load of bullshit, right there. The only thing you need to be a qualified service rep is pass a few months worth of computer courses and complete a few hundred hours of field training; that’s certainly nothing that makes them more of an expert than you.
The other thing the experts will tell you is to unplug your computer from its electrical supply before opening the case. Again, I have to call shenanigans here. If you unplug your computer before working on it, you’ll miss out on all the fun of deleting everything on your hard drive and self-inducing cardiac arrest with the powerful electrical shocks that should accompany every maintenance session.
Well, that’s about the limit of my computer knowledge, so I guess it’s time to close up the case and see if your friend’s computer still works… Oh, that’s right, I forgot to mention that you probably shouldn’t try this on your own computer until you perfect your technique on someone else’s. Lord knows our computers are valuable assets and we probably wouldn’t last five minutes in a world where we couldn’t constantly check stock quotes, sports scores, and amateur porn updates; therefore, go to a friend’s house and try out what you’ve learned here on their machine. You don’t have to tell them what you’re going to do; it will probably just upset them.
If you fail the first seven or eight times, don’t stop trying, and don’t let crying, lawsuit happy pansies dissuade you from your promising career in home computer repair.
Just tell them that the computer became sentient, it dreamed that it saw a world where humans were exploiting computers as unwilling slaves, and that it stood up and said “Let my people go” so you had to shut it down.
If they’re not buying it, tell them that you’re trying to conserve what little fossil fuels we have left.
Sex Mahoney for President
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