Monday, September 10, 2012

MacGyver Is A Verb

I grew up on MacGyver. At least, my early teenage years revolved around it. I got a Swiss Army knife for my 14th birthday (which I mysteriously lost on my 24th birthday) which was my pride and joy for 10 years. When I was in the Navy, I used to say I did more than half of my maintenance on the Close In Weapons Systems (CIWS) I worked on with that knife.

Unfortunately, I just can't watch MacGyver anymore. A fictional character who was my hero when I was 12 just doesn't seem the same in my late 30's. But still, I enjoyed it while it lasted.

Where I work, we use smart cards to log into our computers. Our current distribution is HP laptops. Some people have Dells, but they're old. The card reader on the HP model is exactly above the DVD tray. That means, it's easy to accidentally stick the smart card into the DVD drive. When that happens, the only way to get it out is to unscrew the screw holding the DVD into the laptop and pull it out. No amount of shaking the laptop will get the card out of the DVD when it's too far in to pull out with your fingers.

So I was talking to some of my team members today, and saw our Enterprise Architect shaking her laptop. I knew exactly what to do (because it's happened to me before). I walked up with my utility knife out (It's not Swiss Army. It has a U.S. Navy logo on it. I think my wife or my in-laws gave it to me for Christmas one year.)

So I walked up with my knife out and said "I know how to handle this." I unscrewed her DVD tray, pulled the smart card out, and put the tray back in. Then somehow we ended up in a discussion about MacGyver. I'm not sure how. And another person in the office commented on how great it is I just happened to have a knife handy.

Somehow from the time I was 12 and now, "MacGyver" has become a verb. I can verify that, because in the first episode of Richard Dean Anderson next famous show, Stargate SG1, another character says "I'll have to MacGyver it..." about a piece of equipment while his new character looked on with a funny look on his face.

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