Today was a bad hardware day.

It isn’t the first one of such. My computer seems to be preprogrammed to die just as I run out of money (See The Bad Fortnight starting there, and reading on until 24th). Today’s exercise, however, was a little more fun…

I bought a new case at Christmas because the old one was dead and I was upgrading everything else anyway. One of the problems with the new case was that the power switch wasn’t seated properly, and so I blu-tacked it into place and ignored it for six months. Last weekend, just before going to see Eurovision, I tried to turn on my computer and it didn’t, because the switch had worked it’s way into the blu-tack and was now stuck.

Sunday, when I was back from Eurovision Meet, I ripped off the front of the case carefully and used the micro switch manually until I had time to fix it. Time to fix it came this morning, when I accidentally broke the switch by pulling out a wire. Attempting to put it back (stripping wires, reattaching them, etc.) didn’t work so I toddled off to Maplin (Electronics Geek Shop. USAians can think “Radio Shack”) for a new wire. Nope, seems my micro switch is special. Bugger. New case then.

So, I have a new case. Not only does it have a front mounted LCD temperature sensor panel, it also has a side-window and a cool blue-lit fan. It’s the cheapest they had, and it looks neat. So I carefully removed all of Maelstrom’s internals from the old case and placed them in the new, built up the power-chains, double checked all the jumpers, plugged it in, and turned it on.

Nothing happened.

I turned it on again.

Nothing happened.

I flipped the switch at the back, turning the power supply on.

I pressed the power button.

Each fan – of which there are four in the box – moved exactly four millimetres clockwise, then stopped.

I pressed the power button.

Nothing happened.

I pressed the power button.

Nothing continued to happen.

Stuck in a somewhat panicked loop now, I pressed the power button again.

Nothing happened.

I started to wonder if I had imagined the whole fans thing.
I waited a little while.
I turned off the power supply.
I waited a while.
I turned on the power supply.
I pressed the power button.

Each fan moved exactly four millimetres clockwise, then stopped.

I logged on to IRC via lonecat’s laptop, and asked for suggestions.
They thought it was the PSU.
I borrowed the PSU from reef – the server – and tested it with Maelstrom.

Each fan moved exactly four millimetres clockwise, then continued to spin.

I went back to Maplin, and bought the only 300W+ power supply they had in stock. This PSU has five important attributes:

  1. It works
  2. It has two fans in it
  3. It is a 450W power supply
  4. It still works
  1. It’s gold plated.

    I’m not joking. The only PSU they had was a gold plated one, I feel like King Midas or something. I also bought 4 AAA batteries to put in my digicam, so you could see the results of all this in all it’s cool blue glory.

    So it’s a real shame my camera takes AA batteries, isn’t it?

    As I say, a bad hardware day.