“Now I am become Sam. Enabler of Geeks”

And don’t think I didnt ponder using the real version of that quote for a long long time.

Ok, so it was only one Geek. But she is my sister.

Just before bonfire night I received a panicked sunday afternoon phone call. Things being what they are I headed over, sharpish, to see what was the matter.

What the matter was, was that she had taken on the task of putting together the compenents of a PC that was handed to her – apparently in a carrier bag – in a jigsaw like state. It had been taken apart for ” cleaning ”

Reconstruction was almost complete when I arrived. There was just the usual “ok, so did he give me all the bits” sanity check, and the “this WILL FIT” jemmying to do.

I was there mostly to provide immoral support and make sucky-whistling-teeth noises.

When she powered back up – voila. It worked. She then tracked down and fixed a rickety fan blade or two. then disaster. It wouldnt POST. I offered to take a look for her, but she thought she’d sleep on it to have a think.

When I checked back the next morning she had already identified that the “dismantler” had been a little too enthusiastic, and had reconnected the cunningly disconnected leads inside the PSU.

I was so proud.

Especially considering that she was still using the tools from her own PC deconstruction routine

  • weeny screwdriver for dismantling glasses
  • overlarge screwcriver for dismantling diesel engines
  • lump hammer
  • blunt instruments
  • eyebrow tweezers

In the interests of encouragement, she is now armed with a proper PC tool kit with appropriate sized tools in it, and ( given that I was getting an up to date one ) a copy of Upgrading and Repairing PC’s

She’s started reading it.

Anyone else feel the hairs standing up on the back of their necks?


…. NOOOOO, the BLUE wire…

a.k.a How to manage your normal tech support role when you are 4500 miles from the PC in question.



In a timezone far far away,

I got a ping on IM.

Sis B had decided that now was the time

to deal with the rampant malware infestation

and reinstall XP. She’s never done it before,

but its just a matter of salvaging documents

and stuffing the reinstall CD in, right ?

er …


She’s bored of typing. She cant do that and redo the pc. So she fires up skype voice call. Easy peasy.

Well … aside from the MINOR fact that last time i dismantled my laptop i didnt reconnect the microphone cables. And i didnt pack my headphones with the USB mic.

Soooo, the only method of communication with sister B was to TYPE REALLY LOUDLY

That was the point when the HDD decided to start having an existential crisis. Anti-Solipsism. Everything else existed that wasnt it.

11:43:11 dysplektia <IM > its ok, its ok
11:43:18 dysplektia<IM> go into bios
11:43:31 dysplektia<IM> reboot. go into blue bios screen
11:43:40 dysplektia<IM> yes
11:44:03 dysplektia<IM> okaaaaaaayyyyyy
11:44:19 dysplektia<IM> that wasnt ladylike
11:44:42 dysplektia<IM> ahhhh, yes, you have reached a ZEN like state
11:44:57 dysplektia<IM> no no
11:45:04 dysplektia<IM> point vidcam at PC so i can see
11:45:16 dysplektia<IM> yeah
11:45:20 dysplektia<IM> what?
11:45:23 dysplektia<IM> moomincam
11:45:31 dysplektia<IM> on SKYPE

no problem, huh ?

It seemed to work.

There seemed to be several points when Sis B totally forgot that i could see the contemplative look on her face as she considered tools for opening the PC Case.

  • Tweezers —- too small
  • Hammer —— Put to one side for later
  • REALLLY big screwdriver —- careful deliberation
  • Correct Screwdriver —– Oh – you dont need one. These bits just come off in your hand.

At this point I’ve been in India a week now. Like my previous trip, i’m still violently opposed to sunlight, outside, air, etc. So im sprawled on the bed with the curtains drawn, air con on, and a range of fizzy drinks – [ not the orange and mango type one, that was nasty ] – listening to my ipod, and also to Sister B singing along.

Contrary to what this post may indicate, i am totally and utterly proud of Sis B. 3 years ago, these things were the Devils work. 2 years back i got her hooked on WOW. 2 Years back she started her own WOW guild. 6 months ago she bought a custom built machine rather than an off the shelf job. 3 months ago macbook – and loves it. Shes a mother of two, and previously self confessed “no good with that stuff” type person. And now look !
11:54:44 dysplektia<IM> im so proud
11:54:51 dysplektia<IM> sniff
11:55:00 dysplektia<IM> and you spotted it …. dab dab

Sister B < Webcam >Oh, i dont appear to have a motherboard

( Of course, she is STILL learning )

11:55:28 dysplektia<IM> er, its the BIG bit
11:55:57 dysplektia<IM> im just making some popcorn
11:56:03 dysplektia<IM> let me see
11:56:34 dysplektia<IM> you coudl video this and sell it as porn to your geeks
11:56:49 dysplektia<IM> girl on pc action.

Sister B < Webcam > – ( spurious gesture actually, best not mentioned )

11:57:03 dysplektia<IM> :O Okay !
11:57:19 dysplektia<IM> that REALLY wasnt ladylike

At this point, Nephew B bounces into view. His happy lilting tones clearly audible. He questions what the hell mummy is doing ripping the PC apart. And then notices mummys laptop open and doing something.. He inspects the screen. He can read his own name.

12:03:40 dysplektia<IM> HI SAM
12:03:45 dysplektia<IM> hello
12:03:51 dysplektia<IM> yes you can
12:03:54 dysplektia<IM> this is aunty sammy

He procedes to “assist” mummy with inserting HDD from big PC into the external caddy that she has

12:04:15 dysplektia<IM> dont hit him with that, it will void the warranty

Eventually [ and im not posting that bit cause it goes on a while ] we save her files from the HDD. we come to reinstalling the HDD in the original PC.

I’m saying “we” even though i didnt lay a finger on it. I had more of a coaching role. I was very encouraging.

12:41:40 dysplektia<IM> what doesnt fit ? thats where you took it out of
12:41:41 dysplektia<IM> HDD, yess
12:41:48 dysplektia<IM> other way up
12:42:13 dysplektia<IM> no, push it in harder
12:44:23 dysplektia<IM> aha. but not like that.
12:44:29 dysplektia<IM> upside DOWN you say ?

And its back in one peice. Sata cables reconnected. XP disk in drive. and booting up without problems into XP install. YAY.

only 4 more hours to go.

Ah. F8. and a funky new type keyboard. oh dear

AFter some swearing from the camera …

13:05:11 dysplektia<IM> hit function lock button
13:05:16 dysplektia<IM> first
13:05:34 dysplektia<IM> point cam at keyboard

apparently there is no Function Lock button …. with arm waving
13:05:46 dysplektia<IM> well …. what do you WANT me to do
13:06:02 dysplektia<IM> ok, to right of function buttons
13:06:12 dysplektia<IM> is a F ina box on a key
13:06:40 dysplektia<IM> its next to the ANY key

13:07:03 dysplektia<IM> yes, but im in india

13:08:32 dysplektia<IM>yes THAT function lock button. pressitpressit

[ insert an hour of XP asking questions, and having buttons pressed – the chat log is very dull – yes, no, NONONONO , yes, yep, 42, yes… ad nauseam ]

And its done …. ๐Ÿ™‚

sister B learning php . . .

Well, if that didnt strike fear into your black little heart, i dont know what will.

I’ve been showing her how and where to at least poke into the themes for her blog. So she’s stolen the theme i use of course, and is adjusting it to suit her own nefarious purposes.

For which we are ALL grateful. as her last attempts were pink. and even pinker. it hurt my eyes and my undead soul. I should never have showed her the html colour chart.

Her next project is going to be the custom error pages for her website. and AFTER THAT . . .

a Major overhaul of the guild webbie. sis b wants to understand what goes where, and wants a custome theme for guild, instead of using someone elses. should be fun ๐Ÿ˜€