Wednesday, February 13, 2008

And Now For Something Less Political Than Yesterday

Also, with disapointingly less pornography. Let's all talk about computers and how they can drive a person mad, both the angry kind and the new jacket kind. My computer started working randomly on Monday night. The circumstances under which it died were odd enough but this is just damn peculiar. The day it died, I had booted it up, checked my email, and logged onto World of Warcraft. Two minutes later, it seized in mid-flight and would not respond to keyboard commands or reboot. I turned it off with the hard switch on the back, waited a few minutes, and tried to boot it. It would get about 2 seconds into the sequence after I hit the power button and then stall out. I blew out the dust and tried again.

After conversations with friends, I suspected that the power source might have died and the hard drives didn't have enough juice to spin up. When I tried again, they hummed like they were spinning and had the right kind of vibrations, so no dice on that idea. I then figured that it was good and broke and it was probably the chip and just left it to sit and not-think about what it did. Over the next week, I tried once or twice to get it to work, to no avail.

This past Monday night, I tried again and it booted up fine and has worked for the last two days. One of the Brothers of Indeterminate Number thinks I may have had a bit of dust that caused a jump between two capacitors or resistors, possibly even a mis-aligned samoflange, causing the computer to stop startup. By not turning it on for five days, I let the power drain out of the electro-flimflam and the sparking-wangdoodle and the computer was able to boot properly gain. This sounds more like magic then the way computers usually behave. I suspect witchcraft and I now who to blame.


dontEATnachos said...

Here is what I'd recommend. Take your computer into a hardware store, have them put it on the paint shaker and that will jar all the gremlins loose.

There may be some that are still barely hanging on, that's why you'll need to stop by a self service car wash and hose down the computer to get the rest of them off.

If the computer has problems after that, it's probably because the gremlins already laid their eggs so you should probably get rid of it as soon as possible. If another queen gremlin hatches, you could be in big trouble.

Kathleen said...

sounds like you need to skill up your engineering to me.

Brando said...

I recommend taking it in for repairs to Baba Yaga's Magic Computer Hut.

billy pilgrim said...

You obviously are too young to remember the days of SCSI chains.

Now that was black magic, very powerful and incoherent.

dontEATnachos said...

SCSI was brutal. I mean, people got confused with Master/Slave IDE drives (BTW, Chuckles has admitted to running his black bezeled DVD drive in Slave mode), I'd hate to see SCSI chains and terminators come up.

The Uncanny Canadian said...

Chuckles, a very very similar sounding thing happened to my first iPod a couple of years ago. Even though at times it seemed fine, it was doomed. Backup if you can and see if you can donate it. It is FUBAR.

Chuckles said...

Backup, UC? When we are so close to victory? I think not.

I remember watching my Mac friend messing around with SCSI drives and trying to keep those things all working long enough for us to finish a game of Civilization in one sitting.

Two tasks that would both defeat us.