Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Turning a frown upside down.



When you own a house - you get pretty used to playing "what's that sound". You play it all the time. Usually it's the sound of running water where there shouldn't be any. Things go a little like this.

Me - why does it sound like water is running?

Mr S. - I don't know.

Me - There is nothing on in the house.

This begins me running around the house to find the source. Once something broke in our garage and it was flooding the whole thing. If we hadn't have been home at the time I can't imagine the water bill I would have gotten. Water was cascading down our driveway. I hope one of the neighbors would have taken upon themselves to shut it off at the curb. But you never know.

Anyway. When you have a house - this also means you have a house full of electronics. You are always playing "what's that sound". They have all sorts of unique sounds these days. Like our juicebox actually talks to you.

"What's that sound" can often turn into what's that smell. Which is what happened last night right before we went to bed.

Me - does it smell chemically in here?

Mr S. - Yes. Yes it does.

And this is how I found out that my machine had suffered the blue smoke of death. I was pretty bummed out actually because my machine is only two years old. I wasn't tired of it yet and it wasn't too slow. Plus it's not as easy to find a machine not preloaded with Win 8.

It wouldn't turn on at all, so we figured either my power supply had failed, or I'd fried my CPU.

For the first time in history, Mr S. and I actually have exactly the same machine. We swapped out the power supply with no luck. I didn't actually think that was it since it didn't smell burnt enough. Even with the windows and doors open for hours last night, the house still smells like burnt ozone today. He was going to swap out my CPU which I thought was hopeless. This is when he discovered my graphics card had a sweet burn scar on it. If we didn't have identical parts to swap - neither of us would have diagnosed a graphics card flame out. Usually that doesn't cause a machine to refuse to turn on at all. Neither of us would have checked it because a graphics card problem acts differently.

So instead of buying a new machine today - I just had to buy a new graphics card. To the relief of all involved. It takes a lot of work to find a machine you are going to live with for 2-5 years. Not to mention the expense. And the nominal improvements don't make that an exciting thing. The good news is tower machines are totally caved out. You can buy one for half the price of what you paid just two years ago. If you can't live on a laptop or tablet. Which I often can't. Try running Lightroom on a tablet.

It's the first time I've literally burnt up a graphics card. And I wasn't even overclocking it.

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