04/03/2007 @06:27:50 ^07:11:16

Lack of updates is due to new hardware and thus forcing me to upgrade to Etch. Except that it's not all that new. Things were broken and I couldn't work out how. In fact it's a bit like that series of updates I posted a few years ago...


I had been planning for some time to build another machine and in October 2005 I finally got all the bits for it. But when I tried to put it together the case seemed to be just a couple of millimetres too small to get the motherboard in. That is to say, when it was fitted in place it was fine, but while trying to make the necessary manoeuvers to get it into place, various bits on the inside of the case were in the way.

Long story short, the corner got a bit scratched. Some of those gold connector lines you get on PCBs (I don't know what they're called, I don't know about electronics) got a bit scratched.

Well you can guess what's coming. It didn't boot. I had no idea what was wrong - they keep redesigning CPU sockets so you can't just try the other components in a different motherboard. Thinking "you broke the motherboard when you installed it, moron" I gave up. It sat in the corner of my room for months.

Then a chance experiment. I noticed that if you powered up the motherboard without the CPU plugged into it, you could hold the power button down for 4 seconds and it would turn off again. But with the CPU plugged in, it didn't work and you had to turn off the power supply itself.

I began to suspect it might be the CPU that was broken, and it turned out I was right - I recently had the opportunity to test it in another motherboard, which did exactly the same powering-off thing.

Fortunately they give you 3-year warranties on CPUs these days so I could return it. Dabs were very nice about this and their returns procedure was relatively painless which I must admit was unexpected. Even more fortunately I was refunded the value I paid in 2005. The replacement cost about 40% of that! A piece of luck, for a change.