Let me see if I can explain this thing on my desk at work that’s been gathering dust for the past 8 months. It requires power and is hooked to a cable coming from the wall. On top of each button you’ll find little painted numbers, icons or symbols. Some buttons are black, a few are blue and one is red.
This device also has a dark LED screen that flashes stuff I don’t understand. My favorite is one called /rc/sipSO.LD. I start each morning by looking at the screen which commands me to “reboot” the system by pressing one of the smaller, darker buttons. Doing so sets off a chain of events such as several more flashing lights followed by the screen flickering on and off a few times. It reminds me of the computer seen on the first season of LOST where I’m never quite certain what my actions may bring, but that red button may or may not fire a nuclear warhead. I pretend that it does and duck for cover.
It took me a few days to realize that this device wasn’t just a desktop decoration. It also includes a slice of plastic about the size of a small shoe which is attached to a cord that’s a hoot to play with. I like to wrap it around my fingers while I push the “Menu” button and scroll through items until I find the “Do Not Disturb” option. Over time, I’ve learned that if I don’t have that set, it will try to entice me into paying it attention by beeping a few times during the day. I hate when that happens.
Today I sent an email to my boss telling him that I no longer have room for this office pet. I inherited a color printer and need to make room for it and a new set of speakers. As much as I’ll miss its svelte shape, colorful tone and chirping voice, it’s time we part ways.