I’ll start by drawing the reader’s attention to figure 1. This is the Windows 7 file properties report for the most fundamental of files stored on my HP mega-laptop, the 20″ HDX 9000 Dragon that was popular late in the previous decade.
As we can see from the image, the boot shell command file is the very spark and quintessence of this machine – this is the last saved “image” of the freshly manufactured machine’s on state – a recording of the device’s “soul”, if you will. And you will, won’t you, because people love to anthropomorphize everything around them, so why should a pile of various materials arranged in a particular, repeatable pattern like a major appliance be immune? But this is the digital version of the Fountain of Youth: this is a copy of the current OS-install start-‘er-up data that will, once done doing what it does, return my Dragon Lady to her original factory splendour, young and vibrant and showing-off her sexy Windows Vista operating system.
At least I think so – who really knows? (Seriously does anyone know what this file does? I’m considering upgrading the old girl to larger-yet-faster SSD drives and doing a bottom-up Windows 7 Pro installation.)
I believe that system life begins at birth, not at inception. Inception is a remote and often rather random process of collating and storing a clean-burned system image for production in a massive factory in China, when billions of renminbi are on the line and orders are pouring-in from America, Europe, Asia, India, Canada, the former Soviet Union, and Mexico but not the rest of Latin America because they’re too poor, being underpaid to produce whatever’s left-over that isn’t made in China now.