Non Sequitur Fridays

On Building a Computermachine

This post is part of our Non Sequitur Fridays series, which will feature a different Wistia team member's take on a non-Wistia-related topic each week. It's like our "employee of the month" but less "of the month"-y. This is Mary Schmidt's first Non Sequitur post!

Who is this Mary you speak of? Is she a lion? Yes! But she is also a developer! Crazy, I know. The past few months I've been writing code for Wistia (specifically for this blog), and now I'm writing a blog post! Oh man.

Adventure time!

Since settling in at Wistia, I've gone out on a limb to do something I've wanted to do for quite some time: I built a computer! And I didn't do it alone… I had some serious help from Clay, my lovely assistant. He'd probably say I was the lowly assistant, but this is my blog post so you're stuck with my side of the story. Muahaha.

I've wanted to build a computer since I was but a wee Mary. Growing up in the '90s, I got to see my family computer evolve from that ugly thing in the living room that let me play Podracers to more advanced (read: sexier) machines that let me play even cooler games. The family computers grew up with me (they even went mobile when I started driving!!), and I'd say all this madness had a surprisingly formative effect on me.

Fast forward to the land of Today. Here computing's my job, gaming's my hobby, and curiosity's my plague. I've asked friends so many times what it was like building a computer and would always get the most pathetic, noncommittal answers. "It's cool, y'know" … No, actually, I don't.
To me, building a computer meant poking my fluffy head somewhere it didn't really belong (the magical land of hardware) and then stomping around until I'd made something awesome. Seriously, is it so bad to do something just for fun? I certainly don't think so. What's the point of being an adult and having disposable income if you don't use it to fulfill your childhood dreams?

Spec'ing and ordering parts was massively boring, so I'm gonna gloss right over all that and jump to the part where we unbox things. It was just like Christmas! And yes, it was in July.

In just a few minutes, my tiny apartment became littered with packing material. And then the fun began! Processor, cooler, motherboard, RAM.

Parts! Assembly! Science! Engineering!

It was engineering nirvana. Admittedly, I would've been lost without Clay, but that's what friends are for, right?

When everything was all set up, I smiled and punched the giant power button. Lights came on, fan blades whirred, and my computer started making all those noises computers like to make when they start up. It was working, and I was flabbergasted.

Why? Because we didn't just manage to fit all these pieces inside their cage, but also managed to power them all, and also somehow wired them up them properly? HOW DID WE DO THIS?

Seriously, I was so happy.

In the end, I named the computer C2. And damn right I named it after an anime character. She's awesome and loves pizza. Duh.

I'm working on a little stencil to jazz up the side of the case with a splash of neon green. Somehow, this project has pulled together all my favorite hobbies, and I couldn't be more happy with the way it's turning out.

So what?

Just because you're "responsible," or an "adult" doesn't mean you can't have fun or be a kid in some ways. You should. You need to. It makes you and everyone around you happier. Smiles and laughter are contagious, after all. :)

Besides, life can be hard sometimes, and we all get beat up, but what makes us human is our capacity to change and surprise everyone, even ourselves. So if you aren't happy (and maybe even if you are), make a change. Recapture the little kid in you. Let the fluffy lion out (cue picture of Mary as a lion, or maybe a dinosaur) and have some innocent carefree fun, even if it's not "necessary" or "responsible." You'll be glad you did <3

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