So just a small recap to bring you up to speed in the ‘Finding A New Partner’ series. Previously I had found myself a new vocation, the best way to describe it. I had begun a foray into the world of ‘Tech fixing and repair’. I had bought some old and dismantled computers and was starting to work my way through them. There was a new program installed in me.
As with anything, when you first start out there can be a steep learning curve. It was no different for me. You might find yo have a propensity for ‘fixing’ cars, so you go out and buy one, fix it, sell it, buy another…the cycle continues until you buy the one that can’t be fixed, loose money..start again. I have been there many times. The thing is, you have to keep going and believe in yourself. Not get me wrong, if you want sell you r own paintings but can’t paint, then you might need a good friend to have a quiet word with you about your career choice.
There were ups and downs, is all I’m saying. Some computers were beyond repair because of hardware issues. Others I struggled with the software installed due to incompatibility issues…Everytime I just carried on, noted the problem and moved on to the next one. One way or another all the computers went to new homes and I had found a new passion.
A Pallet Of PC’s
So enamoured with my own success I bought forty-four old computers… I have no idea what I was thinking… I think I had found the listing on EBay and worked out that the cost per computer tome was about £10…so, you know,there was a margin in there. Anyway I bought them and they arrived on a pallet…there they were on the driveway, all forty-four of them. Deep breath time. What’s done is done.
I’m not sure that there was anyone at home on the day they arrived, probably a good thing. I duly took them, one by one, through the house into the conservatory at the back…it was a conservatory in name only. It was rapidly turning into a repository for computer paraphernalia. Oh well, they couldn’t stay outside and I did need somewhere to work….ummm.
They had all come from an office that had been refitted with new computers, hence why they were so cheap. There were some decent ‘spec’ ones and some lesser so. I was good though, I diligently went through each one and made a note of what was inside and went about cataloging them into an order I could work through. The idea was to make as many good ones as possible and the higher ‘spec’ the better.
OCD Therapy In Action
So there were a few surprised looks aimed at me, well more of amazement. I wasn’t worried, how hard could it be. Wash,rinse, repeat. They were all the same basic models with just a few variations. They weren’t all completely different, so once I had done a couple it was basically replication.
I have a ‘monkey on my back’ in the form of OCD… In some respects we have a little in us sometimes… It’s not always the stereotypical type that people are most aware of either. I’m not constantly washing my hands or avoiding the crack in the pavement. OCD has many, many guises and some reside solely in your head.
Over the years I have managed to conquer it…almost. I would be lying if I said it was a thing of the past… It is insidious and lies in wait for those moments when you are vulnerable… Over-tired, stressed or in the midst of some kind of trauma, be that emotional or physical. It creeps up on you and digs its claws in..and they’re barbed, so the harder you struggle the deeper they go.
All that being said, it can have its advantages if you are able to channel it. For me it manifests in a way I can use..Organising. Doing the same thing time and time again…and not getting bored. So that’s what I did.
Just Like New…ish
I stripped every last one of those computers. I cleaned them inside and out….yes, with a vacuum cleaner and some other stuff. They were filthy. Goodness knows where they had been over the years. I remember being a computer once that when you turned it on you could smell cooked food. No such luck with these, they were just grimy. Still, it’s a very rewarding job.
All clean I set about rebuilding them. Like I said I would, I started with the better ones first. By better, I mean the ones with the quickest processor… I’d done some research and found out which other components would give the best results and went about searching through each and every one to find what I needed.
If I had had workshop or unit, even a garage, I would have done all the stripping and cleaning at the same time, so we would have ended up with numerous piles of components. Alas, that was not the case so I did each one individually and pilfered the parts as I went along. Might have been more efficient the other way but we can only do what we can do.
Done And Dusted
I think it took about two months to work my way through all the computers. You have to remember, as each computer was finished being it built it then had to be tested and loaded with software. Once that was done they would need to be listed somewhere for selling. Then, if sold, dispatched.
So here was a whole new ball game. The software and testing I had already cut my teeth on with the first batch of ten or so. The listing and selling, to be done properly, was a different beast. Bonus as far as the listing was concerned was that they were almost identical. I created a template and just ‘tweaked’ it a bit for each one. The packaging was somewhat more challenging.
Ever tried to wrap a computer, knowing that there’s a good chance it would be man-handled somewhere between point A and point B ?..Bubble wrap, cardboard, 50 metres of parcel tape, extra bits of cardboard here and there to protect little protruding parts. It was like something out of the ‘Krypton Factor’ OK, you might not know what that was, my bad. Just a program with some cerebral challenges on, many years ago.
Break Even And Beyond
By the time I had sold number twenty-two I had broke even and that included all costs incurred up to that point. It was a triumphant feeling. Anything for there on in was going to be profit. Whoop. It was an achievement, I had proved something to myself. I think also it had reassured those around me that I hadn’t bitten off more than I could chew, well at least not this time.
So this little mini-saga is well and truly finished with and I have know idea what’s next… I think I had a break from computers for a while and concentrated on xbox’s and phones and then came back to computers, well laptops.
All of that is another story and one which I think will be part of something else..there’s only so much you can take when it comes to tech… Took it apart, cleaned it, put it back together, tested it, sold it…
Job done for now.