Sunday, February 21, 2010

There's geek, then there's Geek.

I'm proud to count myself among the rank and file of geek- and nerd-dom.  Most of my closest friends are also in that group.  We're not in that land of crazy where we dress up like cartoon characters and disparage others for not knowing the difference between Mr. Fusion and a dilithium crystal (although I would find it sad if you didn't).

Every once in a while, somebody out there steps up to the plate and says "Look what I can do!"  These are the people that buy a Delorean and rebuild it into a time machine.  Or remodel their apartment to look like the bridge of the Enterprise.  I am in awe of these people and their dedication to their craft.  They are like modern day artisans or monks, toiling over each item until perfected.  Their creations represent hundreds of hours and sizeable chunks of cash to create, and you have to be in awe of someone that would risk their entire lives and opportunity to ever be intimate with another human being to do it.


I just found this guy who did something that is obviously possible when you consider it, yet seems impossible.  What did he do?  He built a CPU


For those non-tech savvy readers out there, the CPU is the brain of you computer.  Without it, you don't have a computer.  They are immensely complex and very very small.  There are lots of people that build computers from parts, every computer I've owned since 1999 has been a homebrew.  But I've never tried to build the parts that make a computer before.  It would be like deciding I wanted to build an airplane.  It's possible, but come on. 

It's got thousands of wire connections that he made by hand, linking all the chips together.  And we're talking TINY connections (you can tell I mean really small by the fact I put that in caps).  Connecting and testing each one. 

Then, once that was out of the way, he still had to get it to work.  You don't just load Windows on a CPU that you just built, it would never work.  So he took an operating system called Minix-2 and rewrote it to work on it.

I salute you crazy geek guy.

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