February 28, 2006

Holding on with PTG

PTG seems to have a handle on just about every profession you can think of. And if you should come up with one he doesn't know anything about that won't stop him from talking about it as if it was the love of his life. Trying to pin him down, though, can be worse than trying to pin a college wrestler. One thing he knows quite well is computers, and when mine started making some noises under the hood I rang him up and was given a menu of diagnoses that pointed to the various fans.

My first impulse was to pull off the side panel like I've seen PT do a few times and trace it down. Listening thru a rubber hose stethoscope, which works quite well on Chevy's, I detected a noise coming from the processor fan. I called PT back and told him I'd like to fix it. He didn't try to dissuade me but cautioned that one spark of static electricity in the wrong place and I would be shopping for a new computer. In NW Iowa you can find all the static electricity you ever wanted in February.

Too many miles to the feedlot to impose on his expertise. Besides he's quite busy right now doing legal work for a friend, medical assistance for a couple others, and kitchen duties for someone else, being he's quite the gourmet cook. Think I'm exaggerating? Perhaps a little, but then I haven't begun to describe the many hats he wears.

I took my ailing tin box to a locally owned and operated computer store in my hometown called Hyde Computer Systems, which has no web site. I've been there before but have never had cause to do much business as it was always more fun to drive 200 miles to the Feedlot and watch PT tear into it, all the while listening to more details on what actually makes computers work than I'll ever understand or even want to understand. Ultimately I don't think he cares much about them at all. It's just as easy for him to rhapsodize on ancient and obscure aspects of the history of the world as if he was there and remembers clearly, for example, the rise and fall of a given culture.

At Hyde Computer Systems building, selling and fixing computers is what they do. Of the half dozen or so men and women I've noticed around there nobody is trying by their appearance or demeanor to pressure the customer into doing business with them. The store hasn't been around more than five years but is already filled with computer equipment that you just don't see anywhere else, suggesting much of it is built by them. As you get to the rear of the store it becomes comfortably cluttered in a manner that suggests that they are there to stay. I don't think anybody there is trying to make a lot of money. I find it an appealing form of capitalism. Whatever happens I'll bet these people will figure out a way to hold on.

The processor fan was replaced and they discovered the power supply fan was noisy and called me to see if I wanted it replaced and did I want the nice Works unit? Sure. When I picked it up (same day) they had also discovered a slight noise from the chipset cooling fan. They were apologetic about finding all these problems, as if they were the cause of my sick computer, and had gone ahead and replaced the chipset fan at half price since they hadn't called me first. Well! The total bill for all that was $108. I took it home and started it up and was amazed at how quiet it was, and at how gradually it had gotten noisy in the last year or so that I hadn't noticed it.

PT congratulated me on a good deal and assured me that my computer would now be "utterly obsolete" before it falls apart. I suppose, because he's so *busy*, he suggested I blog this experience. And so I have and now you know a little more about PTG.

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