Saturday, December 12, 2009

Miracle Meets Sandwich Maker

Part of me knows I'm witnessing a miracle. I'm sitting at my desk, laptop a-working, uploading photos to Uncharted with only a "wireless" connection between my laptop and the outside world. Little microwaves, or radio waves, or photons, or Klingons, or what have you -- I don't precisely know how all of this works -- are zinging from my computer to the router, which is then shooting the information up a wire to the antenna on the roof, which is shooting the information with invisible waves to some other tower, which is in turn shooting it to some other kind of object -- most of the time my computer says it's communicating either with another computer in Orem, Utah, or in Cheyenne, Wyoming (I prefer Orem; they're all business down there. Cheyenne tends to take the cowboy way with my data and make it take longer to upload, for some reason). And at the same time it's allowing me to construct ridiculously complex sentences like the preceding one.

Part of me knows how Arthur Dent felt. He made sandwiches. He was the best sandwich maker on the planet, sharing his lore with the knife-maker and the bread-baker so as to find perfection with the other tools of his trade. Sandwiches were his trade because even though he came from a planet with wireless technology, computers, 767s and such, he only knew how to make sandwiches.

I'm getting a little better with technology. I dare dabble in a primitive way with basic HTML. I know how to open a computer to stare at all the wires inside, perhaps install some more memory, take out the working parts and chuck the rest. I can build things and hook them up, but if you handed me a pound of raw silicon, some soldier, and bits of plastic, the best I could do with it would be a lousy free-form sculpture I'd call "Raw Materials For Something I Cannot Make, Version 2.0," which isn't bad, until you realize it's going to be slow enough you won't even be able to play Minesweeper on it.

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