Zia Hassan

Building A Computer

When I was 11, I visited my uncle in England. We were moving into his house and he told me he was ordering a new computer. I got really excited to play games on it.

When it arrived, it came in various boxes. It turned out my uncle, to save money, had ordered computer parts. With very little time to deal with the computer, he tasked me with building.

“…build a computer?” I asked.

“Just put the parts together. Can’t be that hard.”

I waded through the boxes and pulled out foreign looking objects like memory cards and internal hard drives and fans and what not.

I don’t quite remember what happened after that. Some force took over, one that I hadn’t experienced before but became addicted to thereafter. It was the feeling of feeling a “flow” mixed in with intense curiosity, persistence, and a glimmer of the beauty of success, somewhere off in the distance.

I put all the parts together to make a computer and it felt glorious. Not only was the success sweet, but I had learned how to put something complex together. It showed me that it was possible, that there was value in the process. I believe this event woke the DIY demon living dormant in my soul. I have since been addicted to taking complex, seemingly impossible problems… things like writing an app, learning jazz guitar… and breaking them down into modules, and tackling each module with all my might.

May we continue to have experiences like this one – ones where the task at hand is so compelling that it drives us just crazy enough to be victorious.