Black Magic

“Show me what you tried,” Timmy asked. He knew the procedure well, he’d memorized it years ago, answered every question about it on the CompTIA A+ tests, made sure the procedures for the IT department matched the industry standard troubleshooting procedures. Start by gathering information. Asking the human to duplicate what they did.

He watched each step Callie took, each menu option selected, each keyboard item selected as she recreated the problem, step-by-step, resulting in the screen going white for a few moments, then returning to the desktop, with her document closed. “It does that every time!”

“OK. My turn.” Timmy sat at the computer. He put his USB drive in a port, and ran his custom PowerShell script. Windows flashed on the screen. “This will clear the caches and the temporary files, reset any damaged network policies in the registry, that kind of thing.”

Callie watched the screen, “Wow.”

“It’s a standard problem with clients on our network, where network security applications limit the size of the Windows Page File, which forces applications to use more memory, causing memory to run out.” He smiled at Callie. They watched the windows flash, then the machine rebooted.

Timmy let Callie sit back down, “Try again.”

Callie repeated all the steps she’d shown him. This time, the screen did not turn white, and her document didn’t close. Timmy asked, “That better?”

“Yes. Thank you.”

“You understand what I did, right?”

Callie laughed, “You waved your hands at it, and chanted some mumbo-jumbo, and cast some magic spell.”

Timmy laughed too, “Yep. Black magic.” He pulled the USB drive free. “It’s what we do.”


It’s April 2nd, the second day of the 2015 A to Z Challenge. As a participant in the challenge I’ll be writing twenty six peices in April, one for each letter of the alphabet. Days off from the challenge are Sundays. As the month progresses, I’ll be posting a few clips from Heartsong, my work in progress. As for a single theme for the challenge, no. I don’t have one. I don’t like planning ahead. This is the second of the twenty six peices for the month, for the letter B. Tune in tomorrow and we’ll both find out what I’m writing for the letter C.

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