Francis Black (francisblack) wrote,
Francis Black

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The Powers That Be (which, I was assured today, are both malevolent and lurking around every corner) must have caught wind of my post yesterday and decided to toss me a case from Hell, or maybe from that Ryleh place or something.

The guy's house was in the middle of nowhere. His house was surrounded by two barbed wire fences. He had guard dogs inside the inner fence, and I think there were land mines on the outside. That should have been my first clue that things weren't going to be pleasant.

I rang the doorbell, and it was answered by a rather unkempt man wielding a shotgun in one hand, a strange symbol in the other, and was yelling strange things at the top of his lungs. He wouldn't let me into his house before he'd finished administering a battery of tests on me. I think he sprayed me with Lysol at one point, but it was hard to tell with the 1000 watt light shining in my face.

The sight of the computer defied description. The case was covered with every sort of occult symbol that I've seen, and many more that I hadn't. Some were drawn on with pen, others painted, and I think there were even a couple that had been welded into place. That alone wouldn't have been so bad, only the case wasn't actually on the computer, but instead was sitting discared to one side.

I've heard tales of those who enjoy modifying the insides of their computers; adding lights, liquid cooling their CPU to get a bit of extra power out of it or using rounded cables to make their computers look nicer. They could have learned a lot from this guy. It seems like he'd carefully cut apart every cable in his computer so that all the wires were separate, and then somehow spun them into a complex symbol that sat in the middle. As though that wasn't enough, it seems like he'd decided to draw on every integrated circuit that he could get his pen on. It's fortunate that he missed the CPU behind the heatsink and fan, or his computer would probably be fried. As it was, none of the RAM had escaped his artwork.

Noticing my reaction (my jaw picking up lint on the carpet), he casually explained that the Powers of Darkness try to spy on his computer, but the various sigils, glyphs and charms kept them at bay. He was concerned, however, since they still seemed to be able to affect his computer enough to make it run slow and crash randomly.

What could I say? I had a feeling that if I told him that his 'protections' were causing his problems I'd end up dog food.

I told him to dump Windows ME. He lauded me at length for the suggestion, and explained that he now realized that Microsoft was conspiring against him. He asked what his alternatives were.

I told him about Linux. He turned it down when I mentioned Tux, mumbling something about being food.
I told him about BSD. He asked what its mascot was. He wasn't too hot with the idea of a daemon running his computer.
I told him about Apple. He didn't trust their hardware.
I told him about Be, and he seemed happy.

He thanked me for my assistance and paid me in cash.
I was just glad to get out of there.

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