I have the Knack. Always had.
I opened up our VCR when I was about 8-10 and correctly diagnosed a dirty head. I’m a whiz with computers and technology of most kinds. More recently, I made an audio mixer work having never used one before. I’ve fixed pocket pc’s, again, without having used them before.
As far as I can tell, I do it using two things:
- I have a very good ability to abstract space in my head. I imagine the inner workings of whatever I’m currently working with.
- I remember a few principles, such as that someone made this thing for being used a certain way. I remember the function of the overall item, then try to figure out the functions of the sub-parts. I also piece together a lot of stuff from things I’ve overheard. For example, we’d had to have the VCR’s head fixed earlier, too, so I remembered that.
- I just play with it, and quickly learn the core ideas. This is how i’ve been able to learn complex computer programs like Photoshop, CorelDRAW and others without really having ever used them or any other sort of graphic design programs before. Ze Frank also weighs in on this issue, here.
Notice how awesome I am. That’s right. :-p
Seriously, though, I like to feel proud of myself, every once in a while. There’s a fine line between being genuinely proud of yourself and being arrogant, and I think too many people assume there is no line.
Note: I like comments. They tell me someone’s out there.