A Journey to the Best

It’s been a while, but I’m pretty sure I promised several months ago that I would dive into more detail about how the BOXX Production Department works. I’m a little late, but I’m doing better than George R. R. Martin, right? That’s something.

So, how does production work? Well, let’s begin at the beginning. It all started with the Big Bang, 13.8 billion years ago, before time and space even existed. The entire universe was condensed into a single point, and—okay I’m being told to skip ahead here. I’ll summarize: galaxies formed, several other things happened, and now we have things like tigers and roller skates and Netflix. And, since that one fateful day in 1998, BOXX Technologies.

As an assembler, the first time I see a system order, it’s in pieces, neatly unassembled in a tote. After I check to make sure the parts match, my next step is assembling it, and I do so with the expertise, care, and attention that is matched only by 13th-century Japan’s legendary swordsmith, Gorō Nyūdō Masamune. While there are common configurations, each order is unique, and therefore requires special attention. Lately I’ve been building a lot of our newest model, the APEXX 4 6301, which uses AMD’s brand-new 16-core Ryzen Threadripper™ processor. Digital content creators can’t seem to wait to get their hands on one, and I don’t blame them. I’ve seen it rip threads up close. Those things are vicious.

After it’s all together, I make the media kit, which includes manuals, any peripherals, and everyone’s favorite freebie, a BOXX t-shirt. Then comes the fun part: I get to turn the machine on for the first time. That low hum is a surprisingly rewarding sound. It’s at this point I pass it along to the technicians, who start with a quality check, essentially making sure I didn’t do anything stupid, which never, ever happens. The system is then moved to the run-in area, where the motherboard’s BIOS is updated and, on certain models, overclocked based on engineering specifications (AKA “BOXXified”). Then it’s onto diagnostics. This tests the basic health of the components by doing things like checking the millions of capacitors and transistors in every stick of RAM, and every bit of data in the drives. It’s a tedious, but vital (and thankfully automated) process. Next, systems are stress-tested, or “burned in,” to make sure they can handle the hefty computing tasks our customers demand. Finally, each system is asked a series of probing questions and forced to swear fealty to the mighty BOXX gods.

Once the hardware has been fully tested and its allegiance secured, it’s time for the software to be installed, which, again, is tailored to each customer’s needs. This is the point where a BOXX system truly comes alive for the first time. It gets a fresh operating system, the latest firmware, and all the device drivers it can eat. Once it has its fill, every port on the machine is checked to make sure there are no unhappy surprises.

After a technician finishes a system, it’s placed on the rack to be packed and shipped. As an endlessly talented human being, I do this part sometimes too. I slap a door on it and wipe the case down to give it that fresh computer smell. Lastly, each system is briefly nuzzled by an African sulcata tortoise, as these wise and ancient creatures symbolize hope, and prevent power cycling.

I hope that gives you a mostly accurate idea of what the BOXX Production Department looks like, from start to finish. In retrospect, it may have been easier to use pictures. Maybe next time we’ll use pictures.

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