Ode to a Musicbox or Curiousity

Twinklebox from Aaron Bradbury on Vimeo.

Several months ago my brother-in-law showed up at a celebration with a musicbox for his mother. What a wonderful whimsical gift. A modern version with no key just a small electrical motor still the simple tunes bring a smile to our faces each time we hear it.

Music boxes have a bit of history with my family, you see. My brother and I were talking about curiosity and The Musicbox came up. Turns out he still  has it. One morning the family came into the living room to discover that the heirloom musicbox that had been sitting on the TV was in pieces. It hadn't worked for a few months. He really liked listening to it and so he tried to fix it. It's still in pieces but he has it. And he has intentions one day of restoring it to its former glory. The experience was an early introduction to fixing things.

We both had lots of Lego and Meccano. And they were all pieces in the puzzle of understanding the way things worked.I had a laptop screen go on the fritz a few months ago. $270 quote and at least two weeks to fix it. I had just spent $130 to buy the extended battery for it. But regardless it was clearly time for a new laptop. A chance conversation, a bit of googling and I discovered that the problem was not the screen but a little chip, a $7.00 chip to be precise. There were great instructions on how to install it. So I got the part (It took two weeks to arrive from Taiwan.) and fixed the machine. It's working well.

I have been driving old cars for as long as I can remember and keeping them running has become a bit of a challenge. Still I love the sense of accomplishment that comes with digging in and solving the challenge. First thing I do though these days is buy the Chilton's manual for the car.

Somehow as children we were infected with this curiousity and it stands us both in good stead as we work in the software industry solving problems. We have both learned to read the manuals though and we have the confidence to plunge into the unknown and trust our instincts to solve all kinds of problems.

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