10:10am, 16th December 2015
Techromancy: A Definition in Story
There is an art, a delicate gift, to the act of bringing dead technology back to life. It is an art I know well. Let me tell you of it.
(This is something I posted a few months back on EduGeek, and--with no small sense of irony--am summoning back from the depths in response to a story by Stewart C. Baker.)
Techromancy is the act of going into the storage cupboard--no, not that storage cupboard, that storage cupboard--and pulling out some ancient monstrosity of a machine to fulfil a dark purpose of which you have only just been informed. When your door is darkened by the office manager, sneering in the thin light of your paltry office and deigning, at last, to inform you that "Tracey here's started this morning and she needs a laptop, can you sort her out?" when your budget has already trickled through your fingers and seeped into the dust like a dying man's blood into sand.
And so you venture out, scurrying through the shadows of corridors and hoping, praying above all else that you can avoid the watchful eyes of the End Users, lest their bellows of "WHILE YOU'RE HERE" haunt your every step. At last you reach the safety of the other storage cupboard, the one down slim steps and filled with equipment that could not possibly have made it around the bend in the stairs and so must have been here when the foundations were first dug, must have had the school built over it. You clamber over the precariously balanced pile of CRTs four monitors deep, you reach through the dangling vines of co-ax cable that grasp at your eyes, you stretch out your arm and you recover... the laptop.
Safe in your office again, you carefully dissect the offering, cleaning it of dust and spiders and things unspoken. You offer prayers to the Tangled Cupboard and somehow, somehow, find the correct power adapter in the Discarded Box. With infinite patience and an extra 2GB of RAM, you coax the poor thing back to life, you give it the gift of Windows 7, and you send it out to do battle once more with all the sadness and sorrow and strength you can muster, guilty that you have stolen what little rest it had earned, knowing that this time it may not come back to you.
But you do these things, because you are the Techromancer.