Limitless Potential

Afaan Bilal
4 min readJan 17, 2018

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Limitless Potential

Sometimes people ask me why I like computers so much and why I spend so much time learning about them, tweaking them and programming them.

If this question is asked of anyone, almost all the answers would somehow be tied to the use of these amazing machines and the way they have made our lives easy and connected. That is indeed true, but the truth for me is the answer that I don’t give. When I’m asked, I just shrug and smile and stay silent.

During my early childhood, whenever I would be given a toy, I would play with it for just a while — a couple hours at most. Then my curiosity would get the better of me and I would run outside to that special spot in the side alley of my home and take the small round rock that was always there and smash the toy open to see what made it work. I always enjoyed learning the internals of these small trinkets more than playing with them.

As time went on, I moved on from using rocks to using screwdrivers to neatly open and sometimes even put them back together after changing some things to see what I could make. It may seem of no particular consequence but through time I realized why I was so much interested in doing this to my toys despite the numerous scoldings I got after the newest toy would be in pieces before me, scattered all around the floor.

It turns out that I have always dreamed about and wanted to believe that the makers of these tiny things had built some secret features into them which could only be unlocked in some specific ways. I guess what I want to say is that I always wanted more than what met the eye. As time passed, I realized that this would never happen. So I moved on.

I started breaking things, but now, used the parts in making small machines and bots of my own. An LED here, a motor there, a syringe, a few pipes and voila I had a fully functioning excavator!

But I was again limited by the things and resources I had available.

Then came the computer.

At first, it was just another toy or machine depending upon your usage. You could play a new game every day or do all your tedious calculations in fractions of a second. You could write your letters, do your budgets and taxes and everything else but it was just a machine.

I still remember that day when I found, while looking for a solution to some problem online, a page that said “Copy these lines into a Notepad, save as .vbs and see the magic!”.

These were the lines:

Just 4 lines of simple text. No magic, right? I thought the same.

But, just for the fun of it, I decided to give it a try. I copied the lines, pasted them in a Notepad as instructed and saved the file as something.vbs

Double-clicking something.vbs did something that I’d never thought would happen — a window appeared!

The Magic Window

I entered some text, I do not remember exactly what, and clicked ‘OK’. The window disappeared and, for a moment, nothing happened. Then, suddenly, a voice out of nowhere began speaking the text I had just entered. This amazed and fascinated me beyond imagination.

For I now had the power.

The power to do anything. And it took no resources, just a PC, a notepad, and some lines of text. As I learned about the art of programming, the magic of making your computers do anything you could every wish for, I became more and more fascinated.

I had finally found the machine. The machine that I’d always been looking for, the machine that had all the secret features. And what was even better was that I could decide what secret features I wanted and like a magic genie grating wishes, a few lines of code would make my wish come true!

With computers, having the power to program them gives anyone full access to the limitless potential that I’ve only dreamed about. These little machines are truly made to have unlimited secret features that we have literally reformed our complete lives around them. Every single industry, culture and economy has reformed itself to fit into the wonders achievable.

There is no limit of resources. All you need is a computer, and the willingness to learn the language and the possibilities are endless. Truly limitless.

Thank you for reading!

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Afaan Bilal

Senior Software Development Engineer @ Centiment. Co-Founder @ Shmooze. CEO @ Alpha Magnus Studios. Civil Engineer from NIT, Srinagar.