I Void Warranties

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Right? Yeah, sorry, that’s never been my motto and never will be.

I was the kid that took toys apart to see what was inside and to see if I could make them do something other than what the manufacturer intended. In the early 80’s, my brother and I had these little battery powered trucks called Stompers and Rough Riders. They ran on one AAA battery and we spent many hours racing them in the dirt in our backyard. They were fun, but we eventually figured out that there was a small magnet near the motor that acted as a governor, limiting the speed of the trucks. If you cracked the case open and removed that magnet, the trucks almost doubled in speed. Battery life sucked, but damn they were fast!

30-ish years later, I still can’t leave things alone. It’s rare that anything electronic or mechanical stays in it’s stock configuration once I have it for any period of time. If there’s any chance that I can make something faster, louder, brighter, more efficient or whatever, I’m going to give it a shot. My wife regularly lambastes me for  not being satisfied with things the way that they come out of the box.

I Jailbreak iPhones, root Android devices, install amplifiers, cut holes for bigger speakers, put bigger batteries in things, take unnecessary parts out and generally just mess with anything that looks like it needs a good tweaking! Sometimes my efforts reap very little benefit. Sometimes I break stuff. But a lot of times I end up with something that’s better than it was when I got it, or at least a little more customized to my tastes.

It boils down to the fact that I love to figure out how things work. I respect a machine for what it is and for what it can do, but after a while I want to see what’s inside. I want to know what makes it work and see if I can make it work any better. I’m not alone in this. What do you think the Large Hadron Collider is? Scientists are using it to hurl sub-atomic particles at each other at near the speed of light to bust them open and figure out what’s inside!

The bad thing about this practice is that it does tend to result in a feeling of never quite being satisfied with how things are. For me, the fun is in the endless pursuit of, and not necessarily in possessing a perfect toy.


About Todd E. Grady

I'm a dad, husband, IT guy and geek of all trades.

Posted on 11.16.2012, in General Geekery, Technology and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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