Wednesday, September 04, 2013

The Voyage of the Pennsy: Crisis Averted

The Worst Did Not Happen
The crew awoke this morning to unpleasant news from engineering. The ship's computer failed to power up. There was a moment of despair when I considered the consequences of trying to continue our voyage without a reliable command center, but then I recalled a similar situation many years ago when I was "the I.T. guy" in a small company. I had been given that title by virtue of the fact that I was the only one in the office who knew how email worked.... by default, I became the computer expert. Upon discovering that one of the engineer's computers would not power up, I made some desperate phone calls, and the consensus among my counselors was that the power supply had failed. Whatever that was. I made a trip to our neighborhood computer parts store and purchased a mysterious box with a Gordian bundle of wires sticking out the back. By some sort of divine intervention, I was able to remove the old part and replace it with the new one without blowing the device to smithereens.

I never expected to use that knowledge again. I'm glad it was back there in my memory. My fears of life without a computer - or life paying back whoever would lend me enough money to buy a new one - were not realized. I was able to procure and replace the power supply in my Dell with minimal expense, and we were soon back under sail.

The afternoon brought clear skies and exercises on deck, followed by a short training run. The crew performed admirably, and enjoyed a hearty supper of coffee and beans. In spite of the menu, I expect there'll be no trouble sleeping tonight on the good ship Pennsy.

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