The green and silver bits

The other night I nodded off with my laptop on my knees, and woke up to hear it crashland on the floor. I was using an  external wireless adaptor, the kind that looks like a USB stick, and the weight of the machine shattered it. If you’ve ever wondered what these things look like inside, here’s a photo taken as I was trying to put it back together.

At one point in my life, back before Ireland and the rest of Europe went all tech-happy and then tech-dependent, I worked in a factory in Germany that manufactured circuit boards. They were like the green and silver bits inside the USB stick, only bigger — more like the one below. Sometimes in the production process a blob of silver landed in the wrong place. My job was to scratch off those silver blobs. I remember asking which bits to remove, thinking maybe they’d give me a diagram or something, but the answer was, “The silver has to be either a line or a circle, nothing else. Take away anything irregular.”

I guess it was a kind of editing, in a way.

You want to know if I got the wireless working? Well, I jammed the pieces in the plastic sleeve and plugged it back in. It sparked to life briefly, then sort of sagged and died on me. At Tottenham Court Road I’m betting the advice will be, it’s obsolete now and why don’t I get a whole new machine…

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7 thoughts on “The green and silver bits

  1. Pingback: Technology » The green and silver bits

  2. I’ve got a USB memory stick that used to be a keyring only the end broke off, exposing the inner workings. One time I left it in a pocket and it went through a wash cycle in a washing machine and after all that it’s still working now. (A Reader, Clapton)

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  3. Had I the heavens’ embroidered circuitboards,
    Enwrought with silver of solder and flux
    The boolean half charge of decision scores
    Resistors and matrices of maybes and mux
    I’d encrypt there the tales of Arabia for you
    But I being poor have only my wee jests
    Tread softly for you tread on my jesticles.

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  4. Pingback: Green and silver ditty « Lane7

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