Rattle & Repair

In the olden days (that to you younglings is like twenty years ago) we used to joke that the easiest way to repair a computer is to throw it out of the window from the 2nd floor, pick up the parts and reassemble them. Back then hardware was quite heavy and bulky and was made of thick cables, connection plugs that looked like they could survive 10000 Volts and circuit boards that were so thick and robust, you probably could have used them to board up your windows before a hurricane, the whole thing would probably have worked. On a lesser level it still seems to work even today. Guess what – when I was turning on my computer this morning like I do every day, it crashed multiple times, citing an nVidia kernel failure in addition to drawing funky colored stripes on my screen. Of course I thought “OMG WTF!?” and used creative language, but to my own surprise I was amazingly calm otherwise and after a few minutes just got down to pulling out the cables, propping up the casing on my table and opening it up. After the usual dust-busting (amazing, what those fans suck in) I had a long hard look for fused resistors, melted diodes, exploded capacitors and loose cables, but nada! So I rocked my graphics card a bit in its PCI slot and tugged on the cables and somewhat frustrated closed up the whole thing again, hoping it would have repaired itself. Re-plugging the cables and flipping the power switch I waited for it to boot and what can I tell you? It worked like nothing ever happened. Strange magic! Of course I still have this bad feeling, that one day everything will go belly up and I will feel uneasy every time I hit that power button, but at least fo a while I may be safe…

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