Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Tablet Repair

My Motion Computing Tablet started running some diagnostic that kept me from writing. The ominous screen popped up every other time I booted up the computer. Naturally I panicked. I called Damon Natch Burke, who is the brother of local artist Tracy Burke. "Tracy got all the artistic talent and I got all the analytical abilities." He said. Damon used to work, engineering rocket payloads. A poster in his workshop showed a schematic of one of those rockets.  He now works an Embry-Riddle as an Observatory engineer. He came across the same warning signs and decided to attack the issue from the inside out. First he researched on Google to see if any other people had the same issue. I did the same thing, but he always seems to find more in depth reports. Somehow he hooked his computer up to mine and he ran a barrage of tests.

He let me sit in and sketch as he took the tablet apart. The tiny screws were balanced on top of his own iPad. The pressure sensitive screen was popped off and he finally found a way to inspect the heart of the machine, a tiny hard drive. He approached the problem from all angles. If the hard drive was to blame, he wanted to be sure he ordered the right one. When he rebooted and the diagnostic screen came up again, he asked how long I had let the diagnostic run. I had let it run all night and when I saw it hadn't finished by the next morning, I had assumed it was frozen. As we sat and talked, he let the diagnostic continue. He placed his ear to the machine and listened for movement in the hard drive. I joked that the doctor needed a stethoscope. He actually had one and he decided to use it. "You can't draw me using the stethoscope however." He insisted.

As the hard drive continued to click and whir, Damon suggested I go out and get some lunch.  When I returned, it was still working. I went back home to get all my software disks in case the hard drive had to be wiped clean. In the end, the machine fixed itself. I had just not been patient enough to let the program finish its work. The experience was a wake up call. I need to start backing up all my data. I'll do that soon, when there is more time.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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