The Book - Bart Beck

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About Bart Beck

KICK IT

I have been disillusioned, brother, have I been disillusioned.

One of our sons who had, very successfully, completed engineering and business administration courses in a highly regarded engineering school, has gone on to become extremely successful in the electronics field. At least, we have been led to believe that he is a success in a field that I know very little about. When I have asked him to explain certain things pertaining to the world of Micro Processors, ASCII codes, MS/DOS or Basic Programing, he has done so with great enthusiasm and with a conviction that has led me to think that those years in that college had given him the impetus to do great things.

Many times I have asked him questions and after he had carefully explained the various alternate solutions and his recommendations for a correction, I have been left in a fog that has, on occasion, lasted for days. But now I understand the reasoning behind some of those far out answers that he gave me.

It all simmers down to the fact that, "he didn't know where to kick it", and he used those elaborate descriptions to deliberately confuse me.

It may be of little consequence, at this point, to say that I am a High School drop out, but it does give me the privilege to offer my in-put on a subject that has intrigued me for the greater part of my life. Some time ago I had been experiencing more than a little difficulty with my computer crapping out with a MS/DOS error. I thought, man, this is no problem, I will just explain it to the college graduate the next time that I talk with him. He will tell me how to bring everything back to normal. I did and he did. However this is where the disillusionment entered the picture.

He told me that when it did that, I should hit it a sharp blow on the left side, and then re-boot the system. I did that and it worked. Now, he didn't say that I should hit it at some particular spot, he just said "hit the damned thing a good crack on the left side." I thought that when he told me to strike that computer a good rap, on the left side, that he was giving me an outlet for my frustrations, and once that was done, I would accept the machine's idiosyncrasies and live with the problems.

I have, in the past, seen people strike cigarette machines and newspaper vendors. I have seen them caress and cajole slot machines, in Las Vegas, and I have seen them kick ice machines, in Motels, but I always thought that they were just venting their frustrations. Little did I know that they were highly trained engineers that actually knew what they were doing.

You may be assured that if I had known, all of those years ago, what I have just now found out, I would not have sent that kid to college. I would have taken him out to the garage and shown him where, and how hard, to kick a 1950 Chevrolet to make it start at a temperature of five degrees below zero, Fahrenheit.

I am now convinced that, in order to get ahead in this modern world of high technology, it is not who you know or how much you know, as long as you know where and how hard to KICK IT.

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