The Right Tool

A few months ago my car wouldn’t start. I narrowed the problem down to the starter motor. After doing a little research online, I decided I could perform the repair myself. I ordered the motor and expected the replacement to take a couple of hours.

If you’ve ever replaced a starter engine, you know that getting to the starter is often the most time consuming part of the project. It didn’t take long to realize the tools I had on hand were not tailored for the job.


I’m a lot more comfortable around computers than I am cars. But I figured with detailed instructions in hand, I’d have my car up and running soon. That wasn’t the case.


Each day I speak with customers who come to Puget Systems because they need a computer to perform a very specific task. Here are few examples:

  • A customer who works for the Forest Service ordered a high-end Traverse Pro laptop because it was powerful enough to run her weather modeling program.
  • The business owner who ordered an Obsidian that would be used as a licensing server for his engineering firm.
  • The scientist who ordered a Genesis workstation to run Bitplane 3D imaging analysis that is used to detect cancer in the early stages.
  • The real estate agent who asked us to build a Serenity that he would use to create and edit photos and videos to help him sell more homes.  

One major benefit of the PC platform is how each system can be tailored for a specific task. Many programs work best with certain processors or graphics cards. Likewise, some server tasks require fast drives and a lot of RAM. You don’t want a computer that’s built for gaming running your web server. That’s not the right tool for the job.

A few hours into my car repair it was clear that, while I owned a number of general purpose tools, I didn’t have those that would allow me to replace the starter. I made a call to a friend who is more comfortable around cars than computers. He showed up with a bag of tools, most of which I’d never seen before.

Within the hour, my car was running again.