Computers are complex devices that cannot easily be explained, like say, a delicious Reuben sandwich. Let’s break down and explain your computer, over lunch.
Yeah, we’re having some fun today with somewhat of an inside joke around here due to The Geek’s irrational love of the Reuben sandwich. Enjoy and join the discussion.
Image by kimberlykv
The start of a great Reuben is in the rye bread. Rye bread is a dense bread that is full of complex flavors and comes in many different variations. Think of rye bread as your computer hardware.
You can buy or bake your own rye bread but the general rules are the same; the fresher the ingredients the better the bread will be, or the more expensive the bread cost at your baker the better it will taste. One thing is for sure, cheap hardware is going to be the start of a not so great sandwich.
Your hardware is one of the most important decisions when buying a computer and it is what encompasses all of the software you will pick from here on out. Choose your bread wisely and you will be rewarded in the end.
Image by Everything Etsy
Sometimes you don’t have an option of what sauerkraut you pick because unless you are a gourmet chef and know how to ferment your own cabbage, you probably are just going to get something that is off the shelf or maybe just settle for the over flavored, over loaded kraut that came with your sandwich. You may have still tried to make your own sauerkraut but instead ended up with a bit more sour than kraut and it turned you off to the idea in the future.
I’m obviously talking about your operating system. Your OS is the main supporting role to your other ingredients and depending on your taste buds can be the killer feature of your computer. Your OS can be gourmet, bland, or just the way you like it. In any case, you need to make sure that your OS and hardware can work together, and don’t forget that the longer your sauerkraut sits on your bread, the soggier it will get. A fresh spread of sauerkraut will always taste better than one that has been sitting for days. As important as sauerkraut is, it really isn’t the meat of why you use your computer.
Corned beef is the reason you eat a Reuben. Even if you love the other ingredients in the sandwich, the beef is what you are really there for and if the beef doesn’t satisfy, you will move on. Corned beef is typically brisket that soaks in a brine until it is almost pickled. What does that mean for you? Applications that are cured to perfection and satisfy your every need. Everyone has a different idea of what their perfect applications are but when it comes down to it. A sandwich with just rye bread and sauerkraut isn’t very good.
Image by rick
We still have a couple very important supporting ingredients that cannot be left out of this computer sandwich. A Reuben calls for lots of Swiss cheese. Although it’s sometimes full of holes, and when melted doesn’t have enough coverage, the Swiss cheese bonds your bread to your meat and kraut.
If you haven’t caught on to what I’m hinting at, Swiss cheese is your drivers and firmware. It isn’t enough to have amazing hardware and software to back it up; if your sandwich falls apart when you try to eat it, all your really have is a couple slices of bread and some tasty innards. Your drivers and firmware hold your computer together. With crappy drivers your operating system and hardware can have major problems. You need something that will be the glue to make it all work together in harmony, and that glue is layers upon layers of swiss cheese.
Image by cogdogblog
Finally we have come to the dressing, a Reuben can be made with either thousand islands or Russian dressing depending on your preferences and it adds just that hint of completeness to the sandwich. It isn’t an afterthought but it also isn’t as important as the cheese. Your dressing is your monitor, keyboard, and mouse.
The peripherals you choose can be absolutely stunning, and can be the reason you want to sit down and use your computer, but let’s not forget, you still have to use your computer. For a majority of people today, their accessories are in the form of a notebook which has a limited amount of flexibility and very few options when picking exactly what touchpad, keyboard, and monitor they want.
The dressing is very closely tied in with the bread you picked and in some cases, i.e. a notebook, it is inseparable from the hardware. You can further accessorize your sandwich with a pickle spear, chips or fries, and a tasty beverage and all of those things need to balance the sandwich. The only necessary hardware is the hardware that you need to interface with the software inside, and in the Reuben, the dressing is a necessity.
Next time someone asks you how a computer works, or maybe the next time you eat a tasty Reuben sandwich, I hope this analogy helps you see how all of the parts work together and lets you focus on the truly important things about your computer.
Justin is a Linux and HTPC enthusiast who loves to try new projects. He isn't scared of bricking a cell phone in the name of freedom.
- Published 10/27/10