Wednesday, 10 December 2014

What's an FM Unit?

~IT~ Is Not What You Know ~IT~ Is What You Can Show

Beardecember 10th, 2014

(nü Icon campaign report - Day 1 of 8)

Freelance IT tech journal day 26 years and counting...

Had to see a Spring Bay client today and enjoyed a sunny drive to Mindemoya for smoothie supplies (nominally unavailable in Gore Bay) afterward.

Client was pleased and I finally got to see the renovations to the new building; which are stunning. With excellent light and acoustics, I kept thinking that it would make a delightful performance space.

This was the first time in ages that I could have just kept driving. Like I had been hibernating for so long that it was finally time to awaken from winter's shell. But as usual could not think of anywhere interesting to go and so returned home

Picked up wife from shop and stopped in to check on dad. We've been working on a new project and have been enjoying the opportunity to spend more time learning from each other.

There was a time I didn't appreciate his mentor-ship nearly as much as I have come to in the past couple of years. One of the many reasons I remain committed to Whytes and by extension our home town and the Island as a whole.

After discovering how many artists Laura Hollick interviewed over the years, I would love to arrange for a discussion style interview with her and my father. For this one I'd cast myself behind the camera in order to create a record of the conversation. Be one heck of a documentary!

It seems that no matter where I am or what I'm doing, the more I attempt to attract richness, the more I am either obligated to repair malfunctioning technology or discover trü gold in the form of some aphorism or wisdom.

As I drive, switching between the Moose and Q92 to avoid non-music, I think back to one of my many mentors and the many long drives to his central Manitoulin home/office nearly 45 minutes from my base of operations at the time.

He was a military technician going back to the 1950's. Honeywell in the 60's. CB Radios in the 70's and eventually PC's in the 1990's. One day he shared the best definition of a tech that I've ever come across;

"The trouble is that most people think that their technology contains an FM Unit." He said.

We stood examining some DOA technology. We were trying to figure out what message we were going to convey to the soon-to-be grieving client.

"What's an FM Unit?" I asked innocently.

"Fuckin' Magic!" He replied, "See, most people don't want to think about all the little details that go into making their technology work. They just want it to work when they want it to work or we get the call."

Pondering I asked, "Like the mathematicians, scientists, engineers, architects, etcetera, the ones that do the hard work?"

"Exactly." He said, "So relatively, what we do as technicians is translate what we know about the reality of how technology works to the (mostly delusional) user / end consumer."

"So, essentially we're translators?" I replied.

"You are catching on. It's all geek to me; the technomancer's mantra." He revealed.

I paused, pondering some more. "It's all geek to me." I just let those words sink in.

Finally I said, "kind of like Arthur C. Clarke?"

His bushy white caterpillar eyebrows perked, "How's that?"

"Something like, any sufficiently sophisticated technology is indistinguishable from magic?"

We both had a good laugh over that one and got back to the work at hand. Like so many mentors I've crossed tracks with over the years I'm not sure what happened to my friend.

After we parted ways his Expertronics were responsible for the first two print editions of The Art of Chainmail.

Which were produced from his basement office that by that time had nearly fully evolved into an early DIY print-on-demand service. Plus early delving into early e-commerce with an online jam and jelly outlet that I helped build from the ground up.

Ironically like myself, this mentor was also an armchair spec fic author. We would often discuss his latest sci-fi tales during lunch breaks when away from the office setting up networks. Such as the original network configuration at what was the newly-constructed Wiki highschool. (Please don't ever ask me to tell tales of the days spent in their server closets attempting to install NT 3.5" from floppy disk. The tedium is simply too terrifying to recount.)

Since leaving the island for London, I never talked to him again. Once I thought that I may have spotted him and his wife zoom past on the main street. They looked at me, but didn't stop. So either it wasn't them or they didn't recognize my countenance at the time.

I have run into him a couple of times in my field of dreams. Once he was just a distant voice on the telephone explaining how he didn't like his current residence very much.

Later I visited him and his wife in their new home. A sunny affair with big glass windows and lovely  garden.

He had apparently gotten into cloning and created numerous (if somewhat flawed) clones of himself. This meant that the house was filled with all manner of strange aberrations. Including one dude who carried a Siamese clone of himself around in a wheel-barrow.

Back to reality this evening, sitting down like Deadwood's Al Swearengen to plot my next move; wondering if perhaps something more calculated is in order. Then received email with first contribution to the Dylon Whyte - nu Icon campaign on IndieGoGo! W00t!

Was quite shocked to receive $20! With only $5977 to go, that means that if everybody was part of my social media network or the nü Icon Movie Facebook group donated just $3 (enough for a cup of coffee) I would be able to cover the nü Icon tuition without a second thought!

In honour of this, let's have a double-double question of the day:

Do you think ~IT~ is possible?


If not the nü Icon Program, what kind of project would you like to see me engage in next?

No comments:

Post a Comment