I’m not much of a morning person; despite having an early flight to Orlando for Day One of the HP Social Support Summit (#HPS3), I hit the snooze button on my 5:00 AM alarm. “Better, Faster, Stronger, huh? Gimme another 10 minutes…” I rolled over and smiled, remembering where I was 17 years ago today. I was in labor – 12 hours away from holding my son for the first time. That thought nudged me out from under the covers. We celebrated his birthday twice last week, during Spring Break, but this will be the first time we’ve spent his actual birthday apart. There was still one birthday treat I could muster before leaving: An Egg McMuffin meal. And a hug.
Fortunately, he’s no longer charging me a dollar a hug towards future rent when I’m old. Come to think of it, he hasn’t done that since the day he found me sitting on the living room floor in tears, replacing the GPU on one of the early HP All-in-One units. “I don’t think I can help with this,” he said, looking around at all the plastic panels and screws and fiddy bits that lay on the floor and coffee table. “Would a hug help?”
A hug, and a search of hp.com for something resembling disassembly instructions for a part that, by now, I was pretty sure was never meant to be “user replaceable.” The first thing my son found was the WEEE disassembly instructions – basically, how to take the PC apart for disposal and recycling. I was pretty sure I could reverse the process, even though the WEEE instructions aren’t intended for PCs until they’re headed for the scrap heap. I was so jazzed that it booted up that it took me a good fifteen minutes to notice I still had five “extra” screws and a pretty good idea that they belonged deep in the bowels of my All-in-One. I got another hug, and we took to calling the screws “spare parts.” I am thrilled to report that the HP All-in-One PCs are so much easier to upgrade and service, these days.
I can only try to answer questions and find solutions to problems when they come up in the HP Forums. But for a quick boost of energy and attitude adjustment, I highly recommend hugs.
I left the house this morning in the dark. I am not accustomed to early morning rush hour traffic, and fought back a brief rush of nervous energy. Crawling along the Beltway at about 20 mph, I wondered what I’d forgotten to pack. “Can’t be your toothbrush,” replied the little voice in my head. “I saw you pack THREE of those.”
Aside from traffic, everything went smoothly – parking was a cinch, they even picked me up at my car in a little tram and drove me over to the elevators. Security was kind; they did not make me remove the boot. They did, however, swab it carefully for explosives; it is now quite clean. As many times as it has traipsed through hospitals and doctor’s offices, I’m surprised they didn’t have to call a HAZMAT team.
I ran into a couple of my coworkers at the gate. Moments later, we were boarding our plane to Orlando. Timing couldn’t have been more perfect. It’s a fairly full flight, but amazingly, I even had an empty seat on one side and an aisle on the other! What a great start to the day.
Here’s the view from my room:
I have spent the afternoon unpacking, unwinding, and meeting some of the amazing people who volunteer their time in the HP Support Forums – both customers and employees. One of the cool things about social media – for me – is the way people who know each other online just instantly hit it off in person. There’s little or none of that initial awkwardness.
I don’t know about you, but I’m guessing this does not look like rain. Some of the events – well, a lot of the events – are outdoors. And granted, the forecast says things like “overcast” and “chance of rain,” but as any true Floridian knows, daily storms blow through fast. Unlike Houston, where it’s either weeks of unrelieved drought or a constant month of deluge. I am betting on perfect weather – but regardless, it’s going to be an amazing week.
The Summit officially started with a poolside reception. Not only did we have great weather, we had fireworks from nearby theme parks. It was great to finally put faces to names and real names to screen names.