I hate hardware: For want of a nail…

Of the developers I mentioned in an earlier post, one is not yet a partner in the company as we have only recently been introduced (online by Ken, a partner) and had our first phone chat before the holidays. Bonnie will sign up to be an owner of the company after we give it a little time, if we both think that makes sense. It must be before the company has a value, however (I applaud all those of you who understand the SEC and its rules). 

I mention Bonnie because when we chatted before Christmas and got her machine set up with Cache’ Studio, got all ids and passwords,  and got her logged in, I was very hopeful based on our first discussion. She seemed to have the background and personality type to dive in and start learning so she could contribute soon enough. She had a desktop and a laptop in her home office (I use the words “home office” synonomously with the word “home”). 

I sent Bonnie a couple of e-mails when I returned this year and was starting to think she was on vacation now and I simply did not have that information. It did not appear she had done anything hands-on yet, and I had no questions nor responses back from her. Until today. 

Apparently she gave her laptop to a relative over the holidays and then had her desktop go belly up. Drat!

I made the decision not to have the company own or supply client hardware or software (nor office furniture, nor phones, not even nice shoes). If you want to deliver pizza for us, you need to have your own car.

That is an obvious decision for a company with no money, but I’m thinking that might even work for the long haul. I prefer to work on a machine I selected than one that a company chose for me, provided I have the dollars to put into it, of course. Some might also be more stewardly with personal dollars than with corporate bucks. On top of that, no one can make policies for what software I can have on a computer that is really is mine. But that does pose a risk to the company. You don’t want to be unable to deliver pizzas for a night because an employee’s car is kaput.

Bonnie is working to get her computer functional again, and I cannot speak for her, but I know how frustrating it is for me when I have problems with my laptop.  It is like having car problems. What a hassle! I feel somewhat at the mercy of machines. Where the average person does not expect me to fix my own car, there are many around me who think I am a “computer person” so I ought to be able to fix my computer, and perhaps even enjoy doing it.

I am not a hardware person. I only like computers to the extent that they can help me get something done or that I can help make them help others get something done. I put in my time soldering RS232 thingys and crawling through ceilings with wire. I’ve fiddled with lots of printers. I have hand-threaded tapes on tape drives (before it was automated). I have grounded myself and added memory to this or that. I’ve plugged in routers. But it’s 2009 and that’s it. In this second half of my life, I’m gonna go on record and say “hey, everyone, I’m a girl, and I don’t do hardware.” (You can decide whether you think there is a correlation between those two facts.)

That said, someone has to deal with hardware. In spite of hating hardware, I definitely try to respect it, while I cross my fingers. I need to stick a “positive thinking” phrase in my head now, because after I read about the downed machine this morning, what popped to mind was  “for want of a nail…the kingdom was lost.”

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2 responses to “I hate hardware: For want of a nail…

  1. Except for the part about being a girl, this post perfectly sums up both my experiences and dislike for all things “hardware” over my 25 year career in MV. But you did leave out the part about flipping sense switches on the front of a Microdata… 🙂

    • Yes, good point. In fact I removed a line before posting about flipping switches into the boot config before booting a Pr1me in the late 70’s, but I thought perhaps all those youngsters reading this (?) might think I was going over the top with the nostalgia. I skipped paper tape too, and I simply forgot to mention swapping out huge memory boards or large portable disks (I have a platter in the basement).

      It is good to have someone from one of the other genders indicate such a dislike for hardware too. While the distaste for hardware doesn’t break along gender lines, I suspect there is a higher percentage of women than men in computing who dislike hardware so much, but I have no figures to back that up. Cheers! –dawn

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