Ever Killed a Computer?
Every computer geek has a story about the most stupid thing they have ever done to a computer; often making you wonder at the intelligence level of those people. However, some of the stories, usually the most entertaining, boarder on idiocy. You may even consider Electric Shock lunacy but some computer geeks think nothing of it.
This is a story about a The Graphics Card Genie and a Dead Nerdbox. It is the stupidest and most bewildering computer experiences I’ve ever encountered; and it happened to me a few days ago.
Setting up a computer the other day, I was came across a cheap 9800GT I had laying around and had never put to use. It was actually the most powerful graphics card I had at the time and I was itching to get my dollars worth out of it.
It was a Galaxy 9800GT 512 megabyte and a bit of an oddity at that. It has two six pin power connectors which isn’t usual for a card of its type. It didn’t come with instructions when purchased so I didn’t know which power connector to use.
It can’t be that hard I thought; just try each one to see if it works. I was impatient and didn’t bother turning the computer off and on to unplug any of the cables. That, as you can guess (wipe the smile off your face, it gets better) is where I went wrong.
Mostly it was the fan, audio and sata cables being unplugged, but a power cable ended up being one of them. I knew what is was, and knew I shouldn’t but just thought I could get away with it.
So, I had the power cable to the 9800GT in hand and gave it a short yank … and POP! There was a loud crack and everything shut off; dead.
It was quite a loud noise actually, accompanied by smoke escaping in several obvious white wisps; just as if the graphics card Genie was saying “I’m Free … I’m Free.”
I was a bit of a stunned mullet for a minute or so. I waited for the smoke and spark to turn into flames; for the burnt plastic smell to get stronger; and for the shock I just felt to subside. It was all rather emotional. My media PC and the most powerful graphics card I owned had now gone to the gods; back the great circuit chip maker in the sky.
I didn’t touch anything, didn’t move, just held the power cable in hand, stared, and waited, hoping beyond hope for some miracle; then got up walked away bewildered to make a cup of tea; abandoning the dead carcass of a puter sitting on the floor of the room. There was no hope for it. Not with that smoke, smell, spark and the jolt I got.
Half an hour later whilst trying to come to terms with the computer crisis my wife comes up behind me, patting me on the back saying ‘there there NerdBox … there there NerdBox’ (her pet name for me is NerdBox Pro) ‘… it will be okay.‘ She was grinning like a Cheshire cat whilst she says this. Then came out with ‘Have you tried turning it back on?‘
I’m like ‘What? …. What … do you think you are talking about. THERE WAS SMOKE! There was a spark … and a POP… and the smell of burning plastic. I just zapped myself! … Have I tried turning it back on!’
She smiles again. ‘You could try.‘ she says encouraging me, still rubbing small circles on my back. It was all a bit much to take at the time so, still a bit stunned I get up all set to try and spite her and show her what a stupid idea it was of hers to try and turn it back on. I wanted to show her in no uncertain terms that the reality of electronics, electricity and physics don’t play according to what she thinks.
I’ll Show Her!
Fortified with resolve to show her up I go back in to my dead nerdbox, plug in the cables and press the switch … theres a lone beep, and I’ll be damned - the thing starts up! It bloody well starts up – boots perfectly fact; my graphics card and the rest of the puter doing exactly what it’s supposed to. It’s called humble pie somehow. This is what makes a married computer geeks bite the bullet and go and apologise for a stern voice at his bunny of a wife. Unfortunately I was almost more pissed off that rotten computer was working and the shock of almost blowing it up was all for naught.
Anyway, smoke or not, that nearly dead nerdbox is working now. I’m not sure what blew up but there was a spark; don’t know where the smoke came from but smelt burnt plastic; and have know idea what made the tortured circuit noise, but what I thought would be a dead computer is playing music in my living room as I type these words.
My nerdbox came back from the dead. I can’t figure it out, and for that matter, I no longer care, its working now and that is all that matters.
Thank you graphics card Genie, for coming home; and sorry darling, for doubting the genius that was your sympathetic advice.
Be grateful for the advice you get, even if you don’t wan to hear it. Sometimes, it’s the best thing you can possibly hear.