The Crypto Miner
“YOU INSTALLED IT WRONG!” the customer screamed at me.
“Sir, it’s an Xbox game. You can’t install it wrong,” I retorted.
“YOU INSTALLED IT WRONG! I KNOW HOW THIS WORKS. I’M NOT AN IDIOT!” the customer continued to scream.
He was, in fact, an idiot. He did not know how it worked. He paid the store 600Rs for someone else to click “Install”. That someone earned minimum wage and didn’t care.
“I’ll fix it if you leave the Xbox here,” I said.
“I don’t have it here,” the customer answered.
“So what do you expect me to do?” I asked.
“Fix it!” he replied.
What an idiot. We continue the thrilling back and forth for a few more minutes. He stormed off in the end.
I got back to what I actually wanted to do, PC repair. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a masochist. I don’t enjoy wading through malware-infested file systems in the search of grandma’s precious moments, or creating recovery disks. What I like is money. The more, the better. PC repair was a way to make money. Not taxable, minimum wage money. Crypto money.
I did the math. 530 PCs, and I can quit. Each gets a secret copy of my crypto miner. Yeah, I was that good. 530 PCs, and I’d have double my wage without working.
I picked up the next ticket. It was a Mac. Ugh. Can’t install my software on Macs. At least it was owned by a cute co-ed. I was extra thorough in inspecting her photos directory. Didn’t find anything wrong. The computer was fine too. I closed the ticket
Next up was a beat up HP. It was old, thicker than a 2 by 4. Cover was worn, battery slightly swollen. They don’t pay me enough to handle these time bombs. Probably too old to run my software.
I was surprised. The OS was relatively recent, but the setup was weird. There was only 1 file on the desktop. A Manuscript. I hovered over the file. Created in 1992. Updated 3 days ago. Holy crap. 26 years of work in 1 file. I had to read it.
The first page hit me like a punch to the gut. I read on. Before I realized, half an hour passed. It was gripping, it was thrilling, it was like nothing I’ve read before. This was like Harry Potter on steroids. I made a copy.
I rushed home and continued reading. I forgot about dinner, I didn’t notice anybody coming home. This manuscript was mesmerizing. I finished around 5AM.
I lay there in awe trying to wrap my head around what I just read. I had to know more about the author. Unusual name, easy to search. No online presence other than a Facebook account. No other works, no blog, no twitter. It’s like she barely existed. Her Facebook page said she was 89 years old. 89. And she’s worked on this thing for the last 26 years. Would she ever publish it? I couldn’t leave it to chance. I kept my copy.
I went into work tired but excited. The irritable co-worker was already there.
“Yo, I got dibs on that shitty HP,” he yelled as soon as he saw me.
“Huh?” I said, eloquently.
“Lady’s not coming back for it,” he explained.
“Why?” I asked.
“Don’t know. Don’t care. I called the number on the ticket. Some chick said she’s not coming back,” he answered.
That hit me like a ton of bricks. I didn’t even know her. It meant her work will never get published. I don’t even know why I cared, but I did. I realized what I had to do. I waited until lunch and reprogrammed my crypto miner. The latest build transmitted a copy to every remote installation, and from there partitioned it across the blockchain. Someone would eventually find it, and then it would get out. I smiled.