What really happens when you hook up a new peice of computer equipment.
|I saunter through my apartment door with a wide smile still plastered on my face from my latest acquisition. Placing the heavy parcel from my arms down onto the floor, I dive into the packaging. Styrofoam peanuts fly while I disembowel the cardboard box and tear out the shiny new printer, cords, and CD. I connect the new Samsung to the power outlet, and barely restrain myself from linking it to the computer, remembering the driver comes first. I flick the switch to my computer and wait for the boot. The windows chime is my favorite symphony signaling that work can soon begin. Computer sub-speak fills my home office but as a mere human, I can’t hear it.
“Hey human dude, thanks for letting me sleep all day,” the computer drawls in his surfer tone. “What are we up to now?”
I insert the driver disk in the computer's maw, watch it disappear, and begin drumming my fingers on the desk with impatience.
“Oh I see now, a new printer eh? Hook him up! I was waiting for a new pal to talk to. I hope he’s cool and can chill, not all snobby like that speaker system you got last month. She’s such a major bummer.”
A delicate British voice chimes back, “Just because you can’t handle my intellectual conversation does not make me a snob, Peuter.”
“Shut up Speakie, no one was talking to you, let the new guy have a chance,”
I select the appropriate model and operating system from the options displayed and click install. Still waiting, I glance over to the corner where my old printer lays in pieces after my last determined attempt to fix it invariably failed. I’m sure this new model will be so much better than the last.
“Dude! That tickles! Why do drivers always tickle?”
When prompted, I plug the USB cable in. Scrutinizing the screen, I begin to wonder how much of my life is dedicated to watching progress bars.
“Internal diagnostic check. Guten tag? Anyone da?”
“Gnarly, hey dude, welcome!” Peuter exclaims!
“Vhat? Vhere am I?”
“Silicone Valley man, I am Peuter, who are you?”
I smile seeing by the blue blob inching across the monitor that the two are starting to talk to each other. Good. It shouldn’t be too long now. Oh wait, now it’s back to zero percent. I hate it when that happens.
“I am called Sam. Silicon Valley? In America?”
“Yeah dude, waves are righteous here!” Peuter states.
“You have never seen a bloody wave. If you had you would short circuit. Please stop trying to pretend you are Bill and Ted from the movie the human watched last week. Besides, we are not in Silicon Valley, we are in Wisconsin you git.”
“No one is talking to you Speakie.” Peuter says petulantly.
“Heil Hitler! Ve are at var, I will destroy you!” Sam starts snaking out his binary tentacles towards the ethernet connection in Peuter’s hind side. If he can only get to the internet he can download the self destruct program and detonate this whole place.
Grimacing as machine gun noises start bleating out of the printer, I tap the keys with fervor. Wait, go back, go back, undo, undo. Let’s start over.
Peuter erects his firewall between Sam’s tentacles and the internet. “Hey, hands off the ether there! No web unless the human says so. Dude, I think your software is waaaay out of date. There is no war anymore, cut the drama. We won, get over it. Maybe you should talk to the camera. She’s from Japan and had the same problem when she got here.”
“Konnichiha, I am Nikki of the Nikon Empire. It is true, there is no war anymore. Much to our shame, the capitalists defeated us. The ancient resentment built into us by our programmers has no relevance now. I suspect it was a joke for them to have us fight with the American machines when we arrive.”
I frown because this is taking a little longer than expected. The camera had its own little difficulties when I first hooked it up but I managed to figure that out alright. Going through the options again, I make sure everything selected is correct.
“You must conduct yourself honorably. If you will not work for the human you perish a most horrible death. He likes to operate on us when we misbehave, and you will end up in the corner like the last printer! Look at his grave now, see what will happen!” Nikki warns.
Sam looks toward the corner of the room and to his horror he sees piles of dissected electronic equipment, including an eviscerated printer. Fear strikes Sam’s CPU and he decides he will behave.
“Phone home?” a disconsolate voice intones.
“Who vas dat?” Sam inquires.
“Just the fax machine, he doesn’t say much else. Now meet the scanner, I bet you and her will have to work together a lot,” encourages Peuter.
“You may need to learn Spanish if you want to get to know her better.” Peuter whispers to Sam “She’s a cheap knockoff assembled in Mexico and doesn’t have enough circuitry to learn English.”
“Phone home?” the melancholy voice rings out again.
“There there Faxie, it will be ok, I’m sure the human will plug your phone line back in soon.” Peuter murmurs again to Sam “He had to be disconnected for making random calls. He’s been bummed out ever since. I suspect he will end up in the corner soon. Now what do you say? We gonna be pals?”
I smile in triumph as the test page finally emerges from the new printer.
Word Count: 947