The old computer

“What is this?” He says to his father and points to an old tower, “It’s an old computer, with keyboard, monitor and hard drive, if I remember correctly. This was something that your great, great grandfather used to use. I think also connected to the internet back in the old days”, Sam says. “The internet? What was that?” David says, “It was a communication network for the 20th and 21st century, it was closed down in the early 22th century when people lost interest in it” Sam says to David, that is now even more intrigued about this old device. “What year is it from?” David asks, “I don’t know, maybe we can find out, why?” Sam says to David, “I want to turn it on, if that is alright with you” he says. “Sure, no problem, if you can get it working again, but I don’t think we have a monitor for this old computer here, but I can check if someone has one from their grandparents or great-grandparents” Sam says.

Few days pass and David brings the old computer up from the basement, opens it up, cleans out all the old dust in it and checks the connectors for any fault that he can find. He finds out that the power supply in the computer is not working, due to old age. He manages to fix it with some older spare parts he gets from older computers that are not working, he also buys old capacitors and replaces them. This all takes two weeks and in week three he finally gets a working monitor for the computer, good size too, that is 24″ and its a oled screen with compatible ports, since the screen was few years younger than the computer, it might even be ten years younger than the computer.

After few more days he is ready to start the computer. David has Sam in the room, since this was a computer that his grandfather had used at one point. They didn’t know what they would find, they hoped it was not something awful or bad. It had at one point been connected to the internet they thought, but since there was no internet any more they had to skip that part. They both hoped it would not be a problem for them.

David presses the power button, the light on the monitor changes and name of the manufacturer appears, “Quantas computers, 15-June-2038, UEFI3 version 5.44.3” and some other information. The operating system starts to run, it says “Debian 34” on the screen. “What is that?” David asks Sam. “Let me check”, Sam says, “I got this book from our library, its about computers of the 21st century, history and how to use them”, Let me check Sam says, “found it”, Debian was an open source operating system at the time, it was free of charge, “Nice”, says David. “The best part is that it doesn’t require and internet connection to operate, as was common at the time with the operating systems that you needed to buy, specially something called Windows and the other one called Apple”, Says Sam to David “that is good to know” says David to Sam.

The computer takes few moments to boot and in the boot process it complains about wrong date, asks for permission to correct the clock to the correct time, with a simple yes no answer. David presses yes. A prompt shows up, asking for password for the user “I know, I found this old paper note inside the computer, it had that user name on it and a password”, David types in the password and is logged in, suddenly prompt shows up, “for next step, please connect audio speakers, please do not power down the computer, since this is not going to run this program again”, it says on the screen. “I know what this is, wait a moment” says Sam, he runs down to the basement to get the speakers from an old box and connects them to the computer, “is the message gone?” Sam asks, “no” David answers. “I’ll try the next port” Sam moves the connector, “Make sure you turn the speakers on”, says David, “right” says Sam and connects them into the power converter he has for this old computer, and David presses the on power button in. “Is the message gone now” asks Sam, “no” David answers, “it must be the next connector”, Sam mutters to him self. Suddenly a sound i heard from the computer and a voice says, “please stand by, video is loading”.

“Hello, if you’re seeing this video it means that I’ve been captured, I’m dead or both. While I might not be able to tell you what happened to me. I can tell you what is happening to the world right now”, the man in the video says. “I’m Sam, I’m 29 years old and the year is 2044 and the date is 23rd of August and the clock is 06:14 AM”. It has now been seven hundred and nineteen days since the Tukeln came to Earth, offering us peace and a world without war and poverty. That is all a lie, I’ve been working with the government on this and with Tukelin since day three hundred and seven and by chance I found this data on their computer system. I can’t copy the data directly from their computer systems, since they are not compatible with our computers, the best I can do is to offer this images of what I found. They can be found on the hard drive, under the folder tuklen-images” the man in the video says. “I’ve also collected documents from the around the internet about this, intelligent gatherings and other information, they can be found the folder documents” Sam in the video says. “It is best that you copy all of this data to an usb stick to keep it safe, since if this data is lost, its not certain that it can be recovered”. He pauses for a few moments and then continues.

“The Tukeln have a mission and that is to enslave the human race. I don’t know for what or how exactly, I know it sounds insane since they offer peace and world with out disease or war. It however is all a lie, all a scam and we are the bait” he says in a nervous tone on the video. Suddenly he stands up and walks to his window and then back to his computer. “I got company, the police is here at the request of the Tukeln on prompt up charges that I was going to harm them or something, I’m not sure. I can’t record any more video, since I have to make sure the computer is secure before the police gets into my apartment. Goodby everyone and good luck. I hope we win the coming war.” He says in the end, the video turns black and is turned off and the recording ends. An audio file is turned on, it is short, around a minute long, cops are heard breaking into the apartment, shouting and arresting Sam. Then silence falls and the computer turns off on its own, ending the recording of the audio file.

“Sam, do you know who Sam is?” Asks David. “I think it was my grandfather friend, he vanished in or around 2045 according to my grandfather, if I remember correctly. He didn’t say a lot about him, at least not to me” Sam says. “Can you find the files he spoke of”, Sam asks David, “let me try, I don’t think the hard drive is working well. I found this 10TB old usb5 stick, I can copy the data into the to so we have a copy”. David says, “Do it”, says Sam, “I want to see those old files” Sam says, “why” asks David, “My grandfather never liked the Tukeln, but he never explained why that was, maybe I can have an answer now”. Sam says to David that copies the file into the old usb stick. It only takes a moment, the image folder is large, around 230GB worth if images in it. Other files are larger, they appear to be mostly text documents and such. “Copying files..finished” it says on the screen and the copy files information window turns off.

Few moments after copying of the files has finished and David unplugs the usb stick a warning message appears on the computer screen. “Warning: Erasing all data!” That only takes a moment and then suddenly the computer is rebooted. This time around the boot screen says “Debian 36” and it logs in automatically into a user with no sign of the earlier operating system or data. It looks like a normal computer and nothing special about it. “This is why they didn’t find this data” David says, “What has happened?” Sam says to David. “The computer rebooted and the data is just gone. I don’t know what happened” David says. “You got the copy of the data?” Sam asks, “yes, but I don’t we can do anything with it. None of the software used to create it exists today, not even in the library” David says. “The oldest software they got is from 2080 and nothing before that. Soon after that computers did mostly go out of fashion with the pubic” David says. “We can try to see what we can find” Sam says.

Over there house, a patrol by the Tukeln fly by and is unaware of this discovery that has been made. Discovery that might change everything for them and there presence on Earth.

Disclaimer

This story might contains errors that are going to be correct once this is story is published as an e-book at Amazon.

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2 Responses to The old computer

  1. Allan Jensen says:

    A nice little teaser for sure. The crowd wants more!

  2. Jack McIlveen says:

    Great start Jon good to see that your still able to write with all that your going through with your move! Keep up the great work.

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