Back in high school, one of the nicest compliments I ever got was from our system administrator. He said I was one of the best hardware guys at the school because I was somewhat cautious with the computers I fixed. At first it sounded like a weird compliment – there were certainly other people who knew their way around the inside of the computer better than I did, and I certainly wasn’t always cautious; I broke a few computers around school during that computer repair class, even if I did fix most of them again in the end. I think he meant that I was relatively cautious – I think I fell at a happy medium between so timid I would be afraid to even open the computer and another point at which opening a computer was so routine that being cautious was an afterthought.
I think I find myself at that medium still today. I still really enjoy building computers, but I don’t want to overclock my system because I’m pretty much required to keep the computer in working order for a long, long time. I’m adventurous enough to run Linux 90% of the time at home, but I’m not going to compile all my own software from source. I guess a better motto would be “don’t be afraid to break it any more than what you can fix”. No, that doesn’t sound quite right either. Here it is: “Don’t be afraid to break it any more than what you’re motivated to fix.”