Sunday, September 21, 2014
She sat gently on the floor, as she always does, whirring away with millions of computations every moment, painting my screen with beautiful universes. I'd had her for three years, and she'd always been good to me. I guess I hadn't been as good to her as I should have.
A year or so ago, I noticed her starting to get too hot during those late-night GPU sessions. She'd grind through, but I couldn't shake the feeling that she was struggling to solve those billions of tiny equations with furnace-like temperatures building up on the inside. Like any intellectually-gifted man, I used my mind to solve the problem: I stripped the case off and let the room's air help her stay cool. No, not a good solution. Not at all. Hindsight is funny like that.
The Diet Coke sat where it always does. Dangerously-close to the precipice of my desk, ready and waiting to fuel my constant need for caffeinated fuel intake. Really, at this point, you can already see that the ignorance was rapidly stacking up against me. It doesn't take a genius to see that any parabolic trajectory that would send the coke off my desk would also place it happily within the danger zone of my helpless, electrically-exposed computer.
The funny thing about elbows is that they have a mind of their own. The unfortunate part of that is that their mind doesn't take physics into account. They kind of just do what they want without regard for long-term consequences. They also act with remarkable speed. One minute all is going well and I'm deep into the code flow of my new HUD. The next minute I'm on my knees weeping as I helplessly watch the evil liquid pour carelessly through her delicate, electrical innards. That's the end of it, right here, right now, I thought as my panicked mind tried to cope. LT is never in jeopardy, of course, because my paranoia forces me to keep thousands of on-site and off-site backups of everything even remotely-related to the project (including a small metal USB drive that I wear on my neck chain...yeah...
). But without her...how could I run the game smoothly enough to record an update? Unlikely to happen. Great.
Five hours of painful testing, plugging, unplugging, seating, reseating, and frantically reading hardware help sites later, I had done it. One RAM module fried, but a small price to pay for such an ignorance-laden series of unfortunate events. Very happy that I didn't have to take any of the numerous drastic measures racing through my mind. Very happy that the deities of Diet Coke had bestowed mercy on my poor soul. Yes, I consider myself lucky.
I guess it's true what they say: people never change. When I finally did
get her up and running again, she started making a rather annoying groaning noise. Clearly not too happy with having her life threatened by my beverages. Filled with the confidence of my newfound hardware wizardry, I leveraged my scholarly palm to give the fan a nice, firm smack. The noise dissipated quickly and didn't return. Intellectual solutions triumph yet again, I thought to myself, taking a sip from the fresh bottle of Diet Coke that rested in the usual location.
Tonight she rests back on the floor, innards still exposed, happy to be alive. No one would even know that her life hung in the balance only a few hours ago. All is as it should be.
But while she was asleep, in every act of desperation that I could dream up, I promised her that I'd order a fancy new cooling piece for her if she woke. I pleaded. And here we are, back to our nights of millions of computations and infinite universes. I don't know if she heard me, but I'll make good on my promise. I'll happily order the fanciest darn cooler I can find. I swear I will. She deserves it.*Happily returns to coding*