Knowing Where to Put It

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.


I was reminded of this not long ago when after an hour of research, I made a change to one check box to fix an issue for an user.

One day in the early days of computing, General Electric had a problem with their computer. All of their engineers took a look at the problem. Although each was wise, they were unable to understand the complexity of the machinery and repair the error. A call was made to the retired engineer who had helped in the original set up of the machine.

The retired engineer walked around the machine for a few minutes, just looking it over, not touching anything. After a few minutes, He took out a piece of chalk, walked over and placed a large X on one particular part of the machine. He then said' "Tap it here with a hammer, just once."

After the one tap, the computer roared back to life and began working!

A few days later, GE received an invoice from the retired engineer for $10,000! This was a lot of money in those days, so they returned it to the engineer and asked that he itemize his invoice.

A few days later, they received an itemized bill which read:

Chalk for one X mark - $1.00

Knowing where to place the X - $9,999.00