Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
It's funny.  Laugh. Hardware

What Was Your Worst Computer Accident? 1542

Posted by timothy
from the you-mean-besides-the-railgun dept.
Anonymous Writer writes "I learned years ago to backup regularly and never keep a drink on the same table as a laptop. I accidentally spilled a drink onto my laptop's keyboard where it drained into the laptop's innards, ruining the motherboard, CD-ROM, and hard drive. Thousands of dollars and all my data disappeared in a flash. Considering that there are even people out there that intentionally damage hardware, I was wondering what kind of disasters Slashdot readers have experienced."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

What Was Your Worst Computer Accident?

Comments Filter:
  • by Zorilla (791636) on Sunday July 04, 2004 @02:48PM (#9607247)
    I'd have to say one of the worst computer accidents I had was ruining my Slashdot ID by attempting a first post.
    • Honest (Score:5, Funny)

      by soloport (312487) on Sunday July 04, 2004 @03:00PM (#9607349) Homepage
      Purchasing Windows 98.

      After more than 15 years in Unix-land, why did I make *that* move? What was I thinking? I'm so glad that it was about that time that Linux made Unix accessible "for the rest of us".
    • by bigman2003 (671309) on Sunday July 04, 2004 @03:43PM (#9607741) Homepage
      In 1987 I was a hardware tech- went around to our customers, installed equipment, network cable, etc. etc.

      I had put in my two week notice, and on my very last day of work, I had to install a UPS (uninterruptable power supply) at a customer's office is Los Angeles. (The place I worked was in Orange County)

      So, I cruised on over, and started the install. This type of UPS actually used car batteries, wired in-line. 8 of them went into the unit. I set it up, tested it, and all I had to do was finish up...

      Well, while putting the case back on the UPS unit, I dropped it, and the metal case hit the + and - terminals. The thing was sparking like crazy, the case got burnt, and one of the batteries was bubbling up on top. And the fuse (50 amps) blew.

      Since this was about 3:00, and I still had to drive back to OC (geez, people actually associate OC with that crappy show now) and it was my last day. I just plugged everything back directly into the wall, closed the door on their equipment closet, and told them everything was cool.

      Went back to the office, got my final check, and of course, didn't mention anything to the boss.

      To this day, I still feel bad about it...

      (My wife is standing next to me, wondering what the hell I am doing posting this inane story on /. on the 4th of July...when our neighbors have a warm batch of chocolate chip cookies with our names on them...so, sorry if I can't go back and edit the post...I'm being rushed...)
    • by No_Weak_Heart (444982) on Sunday July 04, 2004 @03:49PM (#9607774)
      I peed on the internet.
    • by Piobaire (754547) on Sunday July 04, 2004 @04:01PM (#9607881)
      My worst was as a linux newbie. I was running linux from Win95. While in linux, I accidently installed LILO. My wife needed win95 and I didn't know how to boot into it; there were NO instructions in the SuSE manual and nobody at SuSE's support center that could tell me to hit the TAB key. It was a very bad day.
      • by Tim Browse (9263) on Sunday July 04, 2004 @06:15PM (#9608717)
        Well, I for one am amused by the fact that after the posts by all the Linux fans saying "Win98 - worst accident ever! hahahahahaaaa!" there is a post from one Linux user who mistyped a command and vaped his hard drive when he was trying to copy some data onto a floppy, and someone else who accidentally installed a boot loader and disabled an OS.

        Let's just say that again: accidentally installed a boot loader.

        But Win9X is the big accident, oh yes ;-)
    • by mdamaged (708238) on Sunday July 04, 2004 @04:10PM (#9607958)
      Thinking I could save space on my (at the time) harrdrive I tried:
      cd /lib ; strip *.so
      cd /usr/lib ; strip *.so
      It worked, saved all kinds of space, until the next time I tried to run a program and boot :\
  • mkswap (Score:5, Interesting)

    by seann (307009) <notaku@gmail.com> on Sunday July 04, 2004 @02:49PM (#9607253) Homepage Journal
    mkswap /dev/hda1
    instead of swapon /dev/hda3

    hda1 = data
    mda3 = swap
  • Mouse Pee (Score:5, Interesting)

    by AngusOg (750443) on Sunday July 04, 2004 @02:49PM (#9607259)
    December 23, 1998 - Before leaving work I tried connect to my home web server to transfer some files. The connection timed out. That seemed odd. I was just on a couple of hours ago.

    Got home. The screen's frozen on the computer. Ctl-alt-Del...Nothing. Reboot... the monitor doesn't even come on! Ok, take the cover off, get out the canned air, blow dust off the components, see if anything is loose.

    Holy shit! I see a mouse wandering around inside the computer!

    I think about getting something to kill it, but don't want to mess up the hardware, so I shake it out. It drops out and neither the cat or dog see it as it scurries under the couch.

    After about 30 minutes of sleuthing I find that the Ethernet card is blown. It's got a nice little burn mark on one of the chips where the mouse apparently PEED on it!

    Well a quick trip down to Compu USA and everything is back in order. The cat's still sleeping on the couch -- but it's only a matter of time before one of us frag's that mouse!

    Lesson: Don't leave any of your slot covers off the back of your computer.
    • by jZnat (793348) on Sunday July 04, 2004 @02:53PM (#9607284) Homepage Journal
      I'd also recommend that you don't feed your computer. Computers are _inatimate_objects_, not to be confused with pets that need food and water. I know you might think you'll get an extra MHz or 2, but that food is _really_ unneccessary...
      • by martingunnarsson (590268) * <martin&snarl-up,com> on Sunday July 04, 2004 @03:40PM (#9607714) Homepage
        What?? The manual for my computer said I shouldn't leave the computer in the sun, I shouldn't use water to clean it, I shouldn't make a small fire on top of it and not keep a huge magnet close to it. It said NOTHING about not feeding it with live animals! I'm off to court, I'm gonna sue their asses off!
        • by broller (74249) on Sunday July 04, 2004 @03:50PM (#9607784)
          The manual for my computer said I shouldn't leave the computer in the sun, I shouldn't use water to clean it, I shouldn't make a small fire on top of it and not keep a huge magnet close to it. It said NOTHING about not feeding it with live animals!

          Are you sure that's the computer manual and not your Mogwai [google.com] manual?
      • by cide1 (126814) on Sunday July 04, 2004 @09:03PM (#9609750) Homepage
        I'd also recommend that you don't feed your computer. Computers are _inatimate_objects_, not to be confused with pets that need food and water. I know you might think you'll get an extra MHz or 2, but that food is _really_ unneccessary...

        I think my sig says all that is needed...
    • Re:Mouse Pee (Score:4, Interesting)

      by GaryOlson (737642) <slashdot@ga[ ]lson.org ['ryo' in gap]> on Sunday July 04, 2004 @03:09PM (#9607448) Journal
      Same problem once with variants:

      The mouse built a nest on the HDD to stay warm. The PS fan had sucked in some of the threads, feathers, grass, etc the mouse used for the nest. The PS smoked, I think the mouse panicked, and pissed on the NIC.

      With all the mouse turds scattered across the motherboard, old hot HDD, toasted PS, and scorched NIC, I tossed the whole system. (And upgraded it to Windows 98! those were the days)

    • Re:Mouse Pee (Score:4, Interesting)

      by danamania (540950) on Sunday July 04, 2004 @04:02PM (#9607888)
      I've told this one on /. before, but it doesn't hurt again. It was slightly luckier than your case.

      I bought a used Mac on eBay - $10 including monitor, and I thought that was a bit lucky. It arrived, and I understood why the description was "sold as is".

      It'd not only been through a flood (silt and leaves all through) but had been used as a nest for mice for a good while. there was nesting material, mouse turds and pee all through the thing as well.

      Thankfully, all this had happened while it was in storage :). With a rather long involved clean that included washing a motherboard under running water for ages, and completely disassembling the PSU to wash everything out, it worked. Even the HD was happy. There was a good bit of corrosion over some of the tracks and IC legs, but it doesn't seem to be getting worse after a spray over with furniture polish.

      And now, I own a pet mouse [danamania.com]. One that's just kept right out of the insides of computers :)
    • Another Story: MICE (Score:4, Interesting)

      by deathcow (455995) on Sunday July 04, 2004 @08:34PM (#9609615)

      I went out of town for 3 weeks on vacation, some field mice got into our house while we were out. They found a nice warm place to set up a nest.... in my Polaroid SprintScan 4000 film scanner, which was pretty new and damn expensive at the time.

      The SS4000 has a nice opening on the back where you can get in and out, and a nice warm area for building a small rodent residence... above the hole for the optical lens...

      The SS4000 was thoroughly screwed up by this, and was filled with mouse poop to boot.
  • by ArsSineArtificio (150115) on Sunday July 04, 2004 @02:51PM (#9607269) Homepage
    Er, that's it, really.

  • by unwiredmatt (780760) on Sunday July 04, 2004 @02:53PM (#9607288)
    Hiding cookies in my power suppy never turned out good...
  • The Worst. (Score:5, Funny)

    by jellomizer (103300) * on Sunday July 04, 2004 @02:54PM (#9607289)
    Well It was a pretty productive week at work and I was at full force with no time to backup. After finishing about 2000 line HTML and Javascript file I went to the command shell I figured Ill just delete some data files that my tests made. I did an
    rm -rf *
    I hit enter. Then I Went D'oh! It took me 3 hours of searching threw the Browser Cache to get them back up (then I had to reformat them for my program) I was damn lucky that the browsers kept a cache.
    • by bwhaley (410361) <spam4ben@ g m a i l . c om> on Sunday July 04, 2004 @03:05PM (#9607414)
      I had a similar problem once. Up until about 2am finishing a TCP/IP simulator program in C for my networking class. Had the project basically finished, was just cleaning up, and did "rm -rf core *" instead of "rm -rf core*" (note the space!). I was using a box with ext3 instead of ext2 - doh! Can't just unmount the filesystem and go find your file with ext3. I had to vi the entire filesystem (~12GB) and patch together pieces of the file. The program never did work right again and I ended up with a B on the assignment (only B ever in that class :(). Needless to say, I learned my lesson and now use Snapshots [mikerubel.org].

      In a somewhat unrelated (and more painful) story, using my vast intellect I once attempted to replace a PCI card (of some sort) in a running computer and shocked the shit out of myself. Twice . In less than ten minutes. Apparently I didn't learn that lesson.

      - Ben
      • Re:The Worst. (Score:5, Interesting)

        by TMLink (177732) on Sunday July 04, 2004 @05:43PM (#9608541)
        In a somewhat unrelated (and more painful) story, using my vast intellect I once attempted to replace a PCI card (of some sort) in a running computer and shocked the shit out of myself. Twice . In less than ten minutes. Apparently I didn't learn that lesson.

        During my first job as a computer tech, we had a string of AT cases come through that had bad power switches. Unfortunately, we had sold these cases for about 2 months before the problem started showing itself with the switch. This ended up causing us to do a lot of 30 second switch replacements.

        Anyway, one of the computers with the switch problem had come in with some unrelated software issues. I had just turned off the computer after looking at the problem and decided to replace the power switch while thinking some. So I pull out the needle-nose pliers and grab the first of the four cables plugged into the switch.

        Quick lesson for those of you that didn't experience working with the AT standard. The power switch on an AT computer is hooked directly to the power supply and works like a light switch. Which means that when the power supply is plugged into a wall socket, power is always flowing to that switch.

        Now note that I didn't say I unplugged the power cable from the wall.

        I yank the first connection, no problem. I grab the second connection and pull it out. As I get it off, I feel this dull buzz in my finger. That dull "I've just touched electricity but I'm not grounded" buzz (which I had felt before due to an old crappy fan power cable). I let go of the connection with the pliers and step back a second, stunned. I then proceed to pull the third connecting wire out.

        *sigh*

        I unplug the connecting wire and let it go. A split second later there's this big *FLASH* and the power goes out in the workroom as the wire touches the side of the grounded case.

        Somehow nothing was damaged in that computer...except for the giant burn mark on the insides of the case. And SOMEHOW, even though he was just in the next room over, my boss never said anything to me about it. I still doubt that he didn't hear it...maybe he was just laughing too hard to say anything.

        I wish I had that case, now...would love to keep that burned carcass around to remind me of how stupid I get when I don't pay attention.
    • by nxmehta (784271) on Sunday July 04, 2004 @07:12PM (#9609095)
      I was up all night in the computer lab at school writing a program, and wanted to delete all the .o files manually. But instead of typing "rm -rf *.o" I did the ol' "rm -rf *" mistake. However, since rm was aliased to "rm -i", I had to confirm every file I deleted. In my stupor I said yes to delete every .c, .h, .o and anything else in the directory. It was at that point that I decided to take up drinking coffee.
  • Well umm (Score:5, Funny)

    by MrP- (45616) * <rob@elCOBOLitemrp.net minus language> on Sunday July 04, 2004 @02:54PM (#9607290) Homepage
    This isn't really an accident like spilling something, this is a programming accident.

    Several years ago, I was running Win95 I think.. I have this friend who I wanted to scare so I wrote a little app in VB that when he ran would pretend it was erasing his hard drive. It worked good but there was no disk activity so you could tell it was fake. So I decided I'd try opening the files I was listing as being deleted. I tested my code on 1 file, it worked. So I ran the whole program (which would cycle through each directory on the drive, but not sub-directories). When it ended, I was happy because it worked, I had lots of disk activity.

    Then I tried opening a program and it said it was corrupt, then I noticed lots of files were corrupt, then I noticed EVERY file on the main directories of my drive were 0 bytes.. That's when I realized my disk activity code was opening every file to have data written to it (the output function in vb i think)..

    So basically every file on the root of my drive and in all the main directries (not sub-directories though) were erased.

    That sucked.
  • by emmastrange (768051) on Sunday July 04, 2004 @02:54PM (#9607294)
    $100 to replace the *melted* keyboard. note to self: never remove nail polish near a computer.
    • by Colonel Sponsz (768423) on Sunday July 04, 2004 @03:19PM (#9607540)
      Whoa. Never had that happen to me, and I use acetone quite frequently for cleaning computers... the inside of them at least. It's an extremely good solvent for most things you want to remove from, say, a CPU or a connector (like dirt, grease or thermal paste - especially the residue left by thermal pads from cheap heatsinks is hell to remove normally), it usually doesn't harm what you are cleaning and it isn't that toxic or flammable.

      Spilled a couple of drops of lemon juice on an old Microsoft Natural Keyboard once though... and it actually ate deep pits into the plastic. Hmm... maybe I should try and see what acetone does to it - it is a Microsoft keyboard, and this is Slashdot after all ;-)
      • by Suchetha (609968) <suchetha&gmail,com> on Monday July 05, 2004 @06:16AM (#9611879) Homepage Journal
        let a drunken room mate use your computer to get on irc... we did.. and woke up from our drunkewn stupors to find
        a. mIRC open to FIVE cybersex channels
        b. 7 different cyber PM sessions
        c. odd streaks on teh monitor
        d. puke all over the keyboard that had eaten away the plastic membrane (puke is ACID)
        e. roomie lying face down on the keyboard in a puddle of puke with his dick in his hand

        Suchetha
  • by robolemon (575275) <`nertzy' `at' `gmail.com'> on Sunday July 04, 2004 @02:56PM (#9607303) Homepage
    Not exactly the worst thing to do, except that it was to someone else's system.

    I did a

    chown -R root:root .*
    on my friend's machine, in order to change permission on all of the hidden directories and files. I didn't think that ".." and all of its subdirectories would also be traversed, which coupled with the "-R" changed ownership on every file on her computer.
  • by Lucas Membrane (524640) on Sunday July 04, 2004 @02:56PM (#9607315)
    I was working a summer job programming a departmental minicomputer in a large (NYSE) company. As I was tidying up my work on my last day, returning to college the following day, I started a re-org on the hard drive. A few seconds later, it occurred to me that I wanted to do something else, so, I hit the reset switch on the machine's front panel.

    Hitting reset in the middle of a re-org is a bad idea. Department lost everything, except that it didn't really lose everything. Everything was still in files, but the files were scrambled. They printed out the contents of each file, figured out what file each fragment belonged to, and typed it all back in.

    Fortunately, this hard disk was only a megabyte or so.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 04, 2004 @02:56PM (#9607318)
    Once, during the 70s, I accidentally spilled Pepsi on the control panel at the Two Mile Island nuclear power plant, and Jimmy Carter came to fix it, and he was irradiated and grew to over 50 feet...

    Boy that was embarassing.
  • by flinxmeister (601654) on Sunday July 04, 2004 @02:57PM (#9607330) Homepage
    I learned the hard way that backing your data up to another hard drive does no good when the power supply freaks out and fries *everything*...including BOTH hard drives.

    Luckily, I had bought matching drives for use in another computer (a total of 4 HDs). By removing the controllers from the good drives and carfully placing them on the fried drives, I was able to get everything back.

    Word to the wise, backup and keep off box and off site!
  • by kunudo (773239) on Sunday July 04, 2004 @02:58PM (#9607338)
    A friend of mine stuck a screwdriver in his computers power supply because the fan was "making too much noise"... He used it with the screwdriver blocking the fan for maybe 6 months before the entire thing blew up and fried every single component in the computer...

    Then he asked if I could fix it...
  • Being robbed (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ugodown (665450) on Sunday July 04, 2004 @02:59PM (#9607346) Homepage
    The worst 'accident' I had was letting people know I had a kick ass computer. There is absolutely no data recovery when you computer is stolen and it's not physically there anymore.
    • by quantaman (517394) on Sunday July 04, 2004 @11:09PM (#9610312)
      That's why you rewire the "SLEEP" button to turn on the power (I mean who uses sleep anyways) and rewire the "POWER" button to a small explosive. Unlikely to help with your data recovery but at least you won't be the only person concerned with recovery :)

      p.s. You might want to inform your friends that they should never turn your computer on or off... well your good friends at least.
  • by RoTNCoRE (744518) on Sunday July 04, 2004 @03:00PM (#9607351) Homepage
    In highschool I did a project on animal behaviour for a biology class, which entailed imprinting a duckling on myself, and carrying it around everywhere for the duration of the project, and observing. I was working on my computer, with the duckling on the desk in front of me, and it started doing its 'I'm gonna dump walk'...stepping backwards, wings outstreched and ass up. Next thing I knew, the keyboard was hit around the F keys with a wet one, and it gave out almost instantly. I wonder if anyone else has lost hardware to a duck?
  • by eatenn (572604) <enntee@@@localgod...net> on Sunday July 04, 2004 @03:02PM (#9607377) Homepage
    About 7 years ago I decided to give Linux a try. I ordered a bunch of distro's off the web and my irc friends urged me to install Debian.

    Debian, especially back then, was not a good newby distro. After installing it, I was left at a blank terminal thinking, "Okay, now what."

    In my frustration trying to set up X, I decided "to hell with it, I'll install Slackware," and I hastily did a "rm -rf /"

    As I listened to my noisy hard drive chug a long, I remembered that I had mounted my Windows partition.

    "But surely Linux will know I only wanted to rm the Linux part."

    Yeah, I was wrong.

  • My poor 486 (Score:5, Funny)

    by MadCamel (193459) <spam@cosmic-cow.net> on Sunday July 04, 2004 @03:02PM (#9607384) Homepage
    Way back in the day, when a 486dx/66 was *hot stuff*, I had an interesting day. I started by inserting the CPU backwards. It emitted a large puff of smoke and a horrible squealing sound. Surprizingly enough after correcting the CPU orientation it still worked. Later in the day while fiddling with it, I bumped the tower and it fell out the second story window on to a concrete pad. Since it was not screwed together properly, it took the fall rather well, the only casualty being the case (Bent to hell), and the massive-for-the-day 2gig harddrive, which still worked, albeit at less-than-floppy speeds with a horrible click-clack sound every 10 seconds. Recovering my data took 10 days, with the computer living in a cardboard box. I had this bad habit of heating cans of spaghetti-O's on the CPU, but nothing ever came of it (thankfully).
    • More 486 (Score:4, Funny)

      by Angry Toad (314562) on Sunday July 04, 2004 @03:29PM (#9607633)
      I bought myself a nice new 486 DX4/100 chip and went to insert it in the motherboard. Annoyingly, upon insertion I bent one of the pins and it wouldn't work.

      I reached out for the nearest pointy thing with which to ever-so-carefully bend the prong back into shape.

      It turns out a pencil was not the best thing to use - I rendered to entire motherboard useless via graphite shavings.

      All the same, with a new motherboard the chip itself worked fine...
  • Back in my first year or two of programming full-time, I deleted some LIVE data belonging to a customer, because I forgot the "where" clause. For those not familiar with SQL, you'd say the following to delete only certain rows from a table:

    "Delete From SomeTable Where SomeTable.SomeField > 500"

    However, if simply you type:

    "Delete From SomeTable"

    ...that will delete all rows from that table. (Actually, I did type the WHERE clause, but I had only part of the statement highlighted, so that's the only part that got executed.)

    What a nightmare. Obviously it was my own stupid fault, but to make matters worse, the IT dudes weren't performing nightly backups as they'd promised, compounding the problem. Recovery of the table from the transaction logs proved impossible for several reasons. It cost our company a few thousand dollars to re-conduct our client's survey and we had to endure a lot of screaming.

    I consider myself lucky to have done this early in my career, on a small job that amounted to thousands of dollars instead of 5-, 6-, or 7-figure dollar amounts. I figure it's the sort of thing that everybody does once and never does again. ...Right? :P I've continued to work with SQL databases for the past 7 years, and I literally NEVER execute a DELETE statement without thinking about that fateful day. Never ever, even if it's data that doesn't matter.
  • by Fished (574624) <amphigory&gmail,com> on Sunday July 04, 2004 @03:06PM (#9607425)
    When I was in college, I would (once or twice a semester) drink ... to excess. This was in the early 90's, I had a Linux box, and I was pretty stinking impressed with myself for having 'root' on it. One night, stinking drunk and stinking impressed, I created a directory called '*' in the root directory of my hard drive. I was utterly impressed with my own wisdom and capabilities and /power/, being young, drunk, and root.

    The next morning, I wake up, somewhat hung over, and decide that this directoy was a /stupid/ idea. So, I execute the obvious command:

    rm -rf /*
    I then wander off in search of some tylenol, and come back with two term papers irretrievably lost.

    The obvious moral of this story is, "don't root under the influence." (From my more mature perspective, I would like to suggest that drinking less might also be a good plan.)

    • by Komi (89040) on Sunday July 04, 2004 @04:01PM (#9607884) Homepage
      Just last week a friend from work was setting preferences in this programs and told it to grab files out of $HOME. The program didn't know how to do variables substitution, so it created a local directory called $HOME. So my friend saw it there and ran 'rm -rf $HOME'. Afterwards I explained a couple of points to him:

      1) don't be too hasty using rm -rf

      2) you must escape special characters like $

      He actually killed the rm early on, so he didn't lose too much.

      He felt kind of silly doing this, but then I explained what I once did. I was testing a kickstart script so I kept reformatting this machine. I decided to do a rm -rf / just to see what would happen. I did that Friday night and came back Monday morning. When I got in, everyone in our group was complaining that their home directories were missing. Then I relized my own lesson to be learned:

      3) Always unmount the NFS directories before reformatting a computer.

  • by krhainos (637354) <js58@noSpAm.uakron.edu> on Sunday July 04, 2004 @03:08PM (#9607444) Homepage
    Worst accident has to be accidentally dropping a (still running) webserver powered off a UPS (which I was also carrying). The hardware damage and data loss caused wasn't worth the uptime I was trying to keep :-/
  • by Devil's BSD (562630) on Sunday July 04, 2004 @03:09PM (#9607451) Homepage
    10. breaking off the contact part of a PCI card while trying to extract it. The PCI slot is still unusable to this day. Not that I use that old computer anymore though.
    9. Sitting on a brand new Pentium 4 accidentally, bending all the pins
    8. Not getting a UPS/surge strip/voltage regulator. Over time, the voltage irregularities caused my power supply to literally catch on fire.
    7. Installing Windows.
    6. Falling for the "hey, try rm -rf /" trick
    5. Dropping a monitor down the stairs
    4. Taking over an NT domain accidentally by running samba as a PDC
    3. Leaving a P4 laptop running inside a closed, insulated laptop case. Literally everything overheated.
    2. "Accidentally" adding DELTREE C:\ /Y to a Windows NT Logon script. Ah, the good old senior pranks.
    1. Posting this list on Slashdot.
  • by Limburgher (523006) on Sunday July 04, 2004 @03:10PM (#9607461) Homepage Journal
    I was transferring a large amount of data from a Quantum Fireball hdd that was beginning to act up to a new Western Digital, via IDE. I had the case laying open, and the Quantum was not mounted in the case, but just laying on anti-static foam on the desk next to it.

    I left the room to fetch lunch, and I heard a loud CRACK! I ran back in, and was confronted with the following:

    The computer was off. The air smelt of ozone. There was a little stream of smoke rising from the Quantum. There was a large chunk missing from the main controller chip on the Quantum's board. 15 minutes of searching revealed that the chunk had flown 12 feet and landed behind another desk.

    I was lucky enough to have a duplicate Quantum on hand whose controlled board I could use, so I swapped it out long enough to finish the transfer. Luckily, the CHS specs were the same, so nothing was lost.

  • by savetz (201597) on Sunday July 04, 2004 @03:12PM (#9607479) Homepage
    I cannot overstate this: get computer insurance. It's cheap and will more than pay for itself if you have a hardware loss. I use Safeware.com, paying about $120 a year for $11,000 of hardware insurance - this covers loss by fire, theft, water, accidental damage, pretty much everything except earthquake and theft from an unattended vehicle. (I could have opted for a more expensive policy to cover those possibilities, too.) Just last week I dropped my digital camera, killing it. That model (Canon Powershot S30) is no longer available, so the insurance company is paying for a new model (Powershot S50) that costs more than what I originally paid for my digital camera two years ago.
    • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Sunday July 04, 2004 @05:43PM (#9608543)
      You understand the ways of economics and bussiness. So allow me to enlighten you:

      Insurance is a for profit bussiness, at least in the US. The make more money than they pay out. That means, on average, insurance will NOT pay for itself. You will pay them more than they give you back. They set their premiums as such, otherwise, it just could not work.

      So why have insurance? Well you have it for things you can't afford to replace, or those required by law. Like health insurance. I pay in $25, and my employer $260, to give me comprehensive health insurance. It covers everything that might go wrong with me, at almost no additonal cost.

      Well, if you do the math, that's $3400 per year paid for it. I have never, not even when I got in a car accident and went to the hospital, spent that much on healthcare in a year. I would be much better off financially if I took that money and put it in an intrest bearing account, and used it only for health care needs.

      So why don't I do that (pretending for this example that my employer would give me their portion of the payin)? Well because my health is important to me, and repairs to my body could easily exceed my financial means. If I got seriously hurt, or a chronic disease or something, the cost could shoot above $100,000, well over anything I could pay even if I saved the $3400/year for a number fo years.

      In all likelyhood, the insurance company will make money on me. However I am willing to allow them to do that for the promise that, if something should go severly wrong, they will loose money on me to try and keep me alive and healthy.

      Well, my computer isn't the same. Supposing the whole thing blew up, I'd need to spend about $2000 to replace it. A financial difficulty for sure, but something I could afford. What's more, it's not critical like my health. If I were without a computer for some time I'd be sad (and end up hanging out in my office to play on the Internet at night) but it wouldn't harm me at all.

      Insurance like this is only worth it if:

      1) The hardware is critical to you for some reason. If, for example, your bussiness relies on it then yes, you want to be covered since the money you loose due to it being gone could be ruinous.

      2) It would be financially extremely difficult or impossible to replace the hardware yourself.

      If you don't meet those two conditions, you should probably not waste your money on insurance. Instead put that $120/year away, and you'll find that you probably can pay for any failures AND have enough left over to get better hardware.
  • by rworne (538610) on Sunday July 04, 2004 @03:13PM (#9607487) Homepage
    Back in 1983 or 1984 when I was in my last year of high school, we used to carry around our 5 1/4" floppies in plastic boxes. Those of us that were quite proficient on the Apple II were assigned as teachers' assistants and had our assignments plus pirated games on these disks.

    The problem was, while we were helping other students, some people would steal disks because they were expensive and we had all the coolest games.

    One day after my entire box disappearing, I sat in the lab pissed. I wrote an INIT program for the Apple DOS that would ask for a password, two wrong guesses and it would trash the disk and erase itself from RAM. My first attempt was pretty much done, but I had no disks because they were recently stolen. So I saved it on the classroom disk everyone stores their work on. I named it "DO NOT RUN THIS PROGRAM" and left for the day.

    The following day, I arrived and the instructor grabbed be by the shirt and shoved me up against the wall and shouted:
    "Did you save a program the the class disk called 'do not run this program'? Because some little asshole decided to run it and we lost all the assignments and all of my grades for the semester!"

    I did what anyone would do in that situation. I lied my ass off.

    Another example:

    Flash forward 12 years or so. In the lab at my company. We are trying out control software for relay control on an electrical switches about the size of filing cabinets. There are about 128 relays in each, and the suckers were hooked up on 120VAC. This was our only time to run test software before they got shipped out to the customer the next day.

    Started up the software and all seemed ok. An odd smell started and I noticed the room's ambient light was changing... sorta orangish. I turned around and they were glowing hot and smoke was billowing out. I killed power, but it was way too late. 2-3" holes were burned in the PC boards. Later I found out the tech who hooked up the power didn't know what to hook the relays up to, so he wired them straight to ground. That didn't stop me from crapping bricks for the next few hours as the entire company showed up at the lab doors to see what the horrible smell was coming from.
  • by duckpoopy (585203) on Sunday July 04, 2004 @03:21PM (#9607556) Journal
    I, and about a million other people, crushed the core of a Duron procerssor while clipping the fan on. Not content to be included in such a broad statistic, I crushed the second one too. So then I loosened up the fan clip by bending it, and didn't put any thermal goop on the back of the fan. This time I actually got to the bios screen before the third processor burned up...
  • by rsmith-mac (639075) on Sunday July 04, 2004 @03:27PM (#9607613)
    My work "accident" comes from a day where we were having a slow afternoon, and I started work on the list of "things we'll eventually get around to." Apparently this list was pretty old, as the first item on it was a 486 that needed to be picked up from an office, and decommissioned(this was a government office).

    Anyhow, I picked it up, noting that for a 486 in storage, the case was relatively clean. I then took it down to our workbench, and after spending half an hour trying to scrounge up an old DOS disk to boot it and reformat it with(we were a Mac shop, this was no easy task), I finally got ready to service it.

    So, I plugged a cord in to a power strip, then move to plug the other end in to the power supply, when all of a sudden you hear that familiar zap sound. Sparks started flying from the power supply, and I did the whole "life flashes before my eyes" thing before I managed to pull the cable away, to quite a gruesome sight.

    The total list of causalities included the power supply, who's prongs were all charred black, the power cord, the prongs on the cord(also charred black), and a totally fried power strip. Thankfully, my hand came out unscathed, although I don't know why.

    Later examination of the now dead 486 showed that it had a power supply from 1982(this ordeal took place in 2002, BTW), so the fact that it was 20 years old probably had something to do with it. How such an old power supply ended up in a machine that couldn't be more than 13 years old I'll never figure out, but there it was.

    I then proceeded to rip the hard drive out, and take a hammer to it. It was unorthodox, but I sure felt better afterwords.
  • by SharpFang (651121) on Sunday July 04, 2004 @03:28PM (#9607627) Homepage Journal
    Well, SIMM memory math is strange.
    I had 2 4M SIMMs (same), 2 8M SIMMs (different) and 1 16M SIMM. I was placing them in random order in a PC, trying to achieve maximum RAM capacity. Conclusions? 4M+4M=1M, 8M+4M+4M=12M, 8M+8M=8M, 8M+16M=20M, 16M+4M+4M=a violent burst of flame from the motherboard.
  • by ctwxman (589366) <me@@@geofffox...com> on Sunday July 04, 2004 @03:29PM (#9607635) Homepage
    When a co-worker spilled my large cup of coffee into my own Panasonic CF-35 Toughbook laptop, he actually said, "think of it as installing Java." I was not amused. The laptop survived! Of course, I spent much of the following weekend washing each removable piece of the keyboard.
  • by ryochiji (453715) on Sunday July 04, 2004 @03:30PM (#9607641) Homepage
    I accidentally ran over my 12" PowerBook G4 with my dad's SUV about a year ago. Believe it or not, other than a crumpled corner (under the hard drive) and a 10 pixel high band of funky colors on the LCD, it survived intact.
    So I kept using it.

    Then this Spring, I fell down the stairs with it, and that gave me a bunch of funky colors on the screen, rendering the LCD useless (I'm guessing it's just a pinched cable). But I'm still using it, to type this post actually, with an external monitor and keyboard.
  • by dangerz (540904) <stuff@nOspAM.tildastudios.net> on Sunday July 04, 2004 @03:31PM (#9607644) Homepage
    About 7 months ago, I was backing up and reformatting my girlfriends computer. We're both in college, so you can imagine how important all our files are.

    I backed up all her files onto a cd, and just to be sure I burned 2 extra copies of the cd. I reformat the computer and reinstall windows. I install the programs she needs, and I get one of the cd's to copy her work back on.

    Nothing. I freak out. The system does not recognize the cd in the drive. I try another one. Same thing. Another. Same. I get really f'in worried, so I start searching online for data recovery. Meanwhile she doesn't know yet.

    I put the cd into my linux box, thinking maybe that'll help. Nothing. Something had to have gone wrong during the burn process, and I stupidly didn't check to make sure they burned correctly.

    After finding a program I could buy right there on the spot, I ordered it (you don't want to know the price) and started getting as much as I could, which wasn't much.

    I ended up telling her, and she was very upset. Pretty much all her work that she didn't have on Zip disks was gone, which included 3d Work she'd done that took her months. I felt really horrible.

    To this day she still jokes about it and I still feel bad. She had some awesome work that took her a whole lot of time. She's made a lot back up, and frankly the new stuff is even better.

    I still felt like shit though. Now I make sure that all her files are backed up onto my desktop and my server. On top of that, I make a new cd for each quarter of both our work.

    And yes, I check and make sure it burns correctly.
  • by bmsleight (710084) on Sunday July 04, 2004 @03:31PM (#9607647) Homepage
    Got up from table to make cup of tea. [I'm english] Leg got caught around power cable. Catapulting laptop off table.

    The laptop landed on the PCMCIA WLAN card, this became a embedded wireless card.

    The good news is the home insurance paid out.

  • by iamdrscience (541136) <michaelmtrippNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Sunday July 04, 2004 @03:40PM (#9607717) Homepage
    I'm sure at least a few of the posts on here are going to be about making a typo while running "rm". It is with that in mind that I offer this piece of timeless advice: with rm, always type your flags last. Period. There are plenty of good examples of why this is a good idea, but I think this one shows it the best:

    While typing "rm -rf /somedir/file/" you bump enter while you hit slash (they're right next to each other, remember) resulting in "rm -rf /"

    If you're in the habit of typing the flags at the end (i.e. "rm /somedir/file/ -rf") and you make the same mistake, you only end up typing "rm /" which does nothing, instead of a command that will fuck up your entire system.
  • by Lordofohio (703786) on Sunday July 04, 2004 @03:44PM (#9607748)
    We had a rack in our network room that had recently been moved so that new cable could be run behind it. No one had informed me that when it was put back into position it hadn't been attached to the floor, wall, ceiling, nothing, and the entire rack was BARELY balanced and standing.

    One of the servers on the rack had a CD drive that was somewhat broken, it didn't open when you pushed the button. So, doing what I always did, I sat at the workstation a few feet away and logged in remotely. I gave the command for to eject the CD, and as it did, I watched a very full server rack teeter forward from the weight of the CD tray, and then crash to the floor.

    I was very lucky my boss had taken his Zoloft that day.
  • ninja iguana (Score:5, Interesting)

    by spacerodent (790183) on Sunday July 04, 2004 @03:49PM (#9607781)
    Being a lazy bastard I usually jsut leave my case open for cooling and so I can swap out cards and drives without having to remove a side panel. I came home from college a few years ago and stuffed in some new drive I got for xmas and left the case open. I thought nothing of doing what I've always done but sadly I had forgotten one minor detail. A six foot, scaily detail. My iguana is about 15 years old and pretty much senile and does whatever he wants without reason or cause. Somtimes he wonders about the house and gets lost in closets. He also can climb anything known to man so the fact that it was on a desk didn't even come into it. I neglected to concider all this when I left it open. Sure enough I came home one day to find the computer utterly obliterated on the floor with the cards strewn around and mobo and cpu shattered. I have no idea how he didn't get electructed but I even found one of his claws stuck in the cpu heatsink fins. The only thing I can figure is that he thoguht a handy souce of hot air was fucking badass so he wanted to cuddle up close to it and probally got shocked by one of the cards. It sucked but live and learn.
  • Where to Begin... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Obiwan Kenobi (32807) <evan@misterorang e . com> on Sunday July 04, 2004 @03:52PM (#9607802) Homepage
    The Million Dollar Mistake

    Having worked in the financial industry for a long time, I recall not-so-fondly some of my mistakes. The largest and most painful was probably the million dollar mistake. This occurred around the first year or so of working at a bank.

    One of my tasks was to check out 'federal funds' balance at the federal reserve. We have to transfer money into the federal reserve account to keep it at a certain figure.

    Well, reading the figures I thought it said we had over a million dollars of excess. This isn't unbelievable depending on the day or time of month, and I was told that since this balance was so high to transfer it to another institution. Off the money went.

    Around 4:30PM or so we got a call from the Federal Reserve. "Do you know what your balance is?" They asked the CFO. Then they told him. Over 1.5 million in the negative. If we didn't have the money there by 5PM, we'd get charged $25,000.

    This is about the time I get that oh-shit-I'm-gonna-be-sick feeling that happens each time I make a huge mistake.

    We had to call another bank and beg them to reopen their wire transfer department so we could get the funds in there. I think they arrived at the fed somewhere in the 4:55PM range. Free screaming/chewing out for me that day!

    The Car Accident

    Not exactly computer related, but I did wreck the company car once. Ouch.

    Oh, and did I mention I was probably the worst courier ever? I would burn through a set of tires, brand new Michelins, in about two months. They stopped asking me to courier after that.

    Not after some more free screaming/chewing however.

    The Video Card Zap

    I once bought a Riva TNT 16MB back when they first came out. Around $300+ dollars so I could run Unreal with all the goodies on. And it was hot stuff. I was so proud of that damn video card.

    So when I transferred it to a different PC just a few days after showing off, I bent over to pick it up... ...as it lay on the carpet... ..and me with no shoes on..

    And I saw the small blue spark jumt from my finger just as I was a half inch away. "Zzzt!" came the popping noise.

    Can you say "Fuh-ried?" I know I could. Oh, the tears I wept for that one.

    Permissions? What Permissions?

    I once tried to implement a group-based permissions scheme on a little Win2k Server box. So when I right clicked on the C: drive, telling it to remove all permissions (as I thought I would simply assign them later), I thought it was odd to see the little pop-up box showing me each file as it removed all the permissions before it.

    This is about the time that oh-so-sick feeling came over me. This was a box that the company relied on for big transactions and loans.

    I tried to stop it, but it disappeared just as I realized what I had done. The permissions were gone for every user, and I mean everyone. I couldn't even SEE the permissions any longer. I didn't have permission to open any programs. IE. Explorer. I couldn't even see anything on the Start Button but "Shut Down".

    Then the calls started coming in from users.

    The boss said I looked like Casper.

    Thank god for backups.

  • I always got a kick out of Dell's advertising about dropping stuff a few feet to test durability, etc

    We got a brand new Dell 1750 Dual Xeon 1U server which was going to be our Novell R/W Replica & Login box. I put the versa rails in the rack, about 5ft off the ground. Now anybody who works with Dell's knows the new servers have these nubs on the sides which sit into slots on the extended rails - in other words instead of sliding the server INTO the rails like most servers, you have the rails already extended and set the server down ONTO the rails, into those slots. Then you slide everything into place.

    Well, it was late - everybody was gone. But it was a 1U box - not TOO heavy (but heavy enough) So I hoisted it up and gently set the nubs into the slots - or so I thought. The right rear nub was not seated and it slipped out. The unit pivoted and our brand new 1750 went crashing into the floor below corner first!!!!! I can still picture it in slow motion as it hit the ground corner first, banged off the rack, and then slammed onto the floor.

    Man talk about getting a sinking feeling in your stomach. The right rear corner was totally crumpled. In a panick I opened the case expecting to see a motherboard is a shattered corner.

    Nope - the motherboard was fine. The power supplies had come out of their connectors - and slid right back in. The drives had come unseated due to the shock and had to be reseated. A couple hours later with pliers, ballpeen hammer, and other assorted tools, I managed to get the case corner bent back into what was close to normal. All the internals looked ok.

    I booted up the system - nada. The 'Processor mismatch' LED was lit on the board. Ugh. Figured I'd cracked a CPU or worse. Then I noticed one of the heatsinks was ever so slightly higher than the other. I unhooked the retainers and found one of the processors had come OUT of the ZIF socket and was being held on top of the socket by the retaining clip. I could only imagine what the CPU had done to itself with its pins making intermittent contact with the socket below while power was on.

    Well, after gently getting the CPU off the heatsink without cracking it (it was stuck to it by the heat paste), I reinserted the CPU, applied new paste, and reinstalled the heatsink.

    Damn thing booted right up and has run without issue ever since - going on 6 months now. All diags, hard drives included, passed with flying colors.

    Talk about dodging a bullet! Built Dell Tough!
    • by billstewart (78916) on Sunday July 04, 2004 @05:49PM (#9608578) Journal
      Back in the mid 80s, computers were a bit larger than they are today. (No, not PCs, _real_ computers.) Disk drives were the size of washing machines and cost $35000 for 256 MB. Our VAX had four of them, giving us a Gigabyte of storage, but unfortunately the shipping people had handled them like washing machines, and one of them had a dented corner. Totally useless. Worse, we had bought everything direct from DEC to avoid problems, but apparently the shipping wasn't part of "everything", because our shipping bureaucrats insisted on doing it themselves. Took forever to get the thing replaced.

      A friend of mine had a more dramatic but overall better experience with an IBM mainframe. There were two devices (I forget if these were washing-machine size or refrigerator size), and the machines arrived on a Saturday so she went in to have it delivered and signed for. They opened the truck ramp onto the loading dock, and she escorted one of the drivers to the lab with one of the computers. They got back and found that the other driver had moved the truck, in spite of the fact that the ramp had had the other computer sitting on it, so it had fallen three feet down onto concrete. Needless to say, she was concerned, and when the truckers wanted her to sign for the equipment, she refused, and she ended up talking to a sales VP at IBM, which is not a bad trick for a Saturday. He told her to accept it and mark it as damaged, and they'd take care of it (which, being IBM, they did.) The driver indicated "damaged in shipment" on the forms - she crossed it out and wrote "Dropped off loading dock".

  • by John Jorsett (171560) on Sunday July 04, 2004 @04:40PM (#9608137)
    I used to have a giant CRT monitor that generated losts of heat. My cat loved to lie on top of it because it was so nice and toasty. One day when I was out of the room, she vomited up a hairball into it and destroyed it. Luckily it was in power-save mode at the time, so she didn't get fried herself. Six or seven hundred bucks down the tubes. Nowadays I have a great LCD monitor, and she still goes up to it with the obvious intent of jumping on top, only to realize that there's no room. I now know what disappointment looks like in a cat.
  • by Fantastic Lad (198284) on Sunday July 04, 2004 @04:59PM (#9608255)
    You know, while reading the stories here, I realize that I have been quite fortunate over the-

    Oops. oooh. Oh yeah. . . That.

    Whew. I'd actually blocked that one from memory. . .

    Okay. . .

    So way back when a 486 was something special, I was young and didn't have a cool computer of my own. Upstairs where the adults lived, (I slept in the basement, would you believe?), my father had just such a gleaming-cool 486 with many bells and whistles, the most significant being a sweeeeet laser printer he'd just wrangled out of his job.

    We're talking a top-of-the-line Hewlet Packard beast. This was back in the day when HP made good printers rather than the cruddy consumer-level, guaranteed to break within three years junk boxes they sell today. It was a very nice machine and my father was pink with pride about it.

    I was working on an art-project at the time, which involved animation cell-painting onto clear sheets of acetate. I'd been running heat-resistant acetate sheets through printers and photo-copiers for a while, outputting line-work for painting on later, so I was all knowledgeable about this. Cocky, even.

    But that evening, I'd just used up my last sheet of acetate right in the middle of a job I was really enthusiastic about. I didn't want to wait a whole night just to go out and buy more, so I dug around and actually found a stray sheet. Only problem was, I didn't know where I'd gotten it from, and I didn't know if it was treated for high temperatures or not. . .

    Can you see where this is going?

    Erg. My palms are sweating at the memory. . .

    So there I was, with this rogue sheet of clear plastic poised over the paper intake of that HP thinking, "Come on! I'm sure it's heat treated. Why would it not be? And anyway, even if it isn't, how bad could things get? Probably at worst, it'd just go a bit warped, right? Just put it through and quit worrying so much, you dork!" So I put it in.

    It didn't come out again.

    In its place issued a series of interesting sounds and smells. Panic.

    My father was in the next room half an hour into watching some hour-long television drama. I remember, clearly, because I can still see in my mind the clock dial telling me that I had exactly 32 minutes to smuggle tools up from the basement, casually walk past the television and into the back room where I was silently, desperately dis-assembling a damned printer.

    Have you ever tried to take apart a thirty pound computer appliance on a hardwood floor in total silence as fast as you can? It's difficult! I mean, you drop a single screw and it will bounce off that hardwood with the loudest, "TACK!" you ever heard. And my dad is the suspicious sort who perks his ears up to any unexpected noise. --He spent most of my childhood convinced that his son was a dangerous klutz who could burn down the backyard fence playing with fireworks if given half the chance. (That was a LONG time ago!)

    Anyway, my point is that nothing, nothing adds stress to a situation in quite the same way a father does.

    While in the process of cutting free a mess of baked-on crusty plastic from the innards of that HP beast, I managed to gouge out big wads of pink rubber stuff from one of the rollers which was certainly not designed to be gouged. That's what you get for rushing. Take the job slowly; you'll only regret it later if you don't. It doesn't matter that you're going to DIE in. . . 14 minutes and counting.

    "How's it going in there, Son?"

    "Hmm. . ?" Panic. Fear. Adrenaline. Please, please, please, don't come in! Just keep your gnarly head turned toward that flickering TV screen, old man, because I have your fucking printer in pieces all over the floor and crumbs of pink rubber stuff on my guilty fingers. "Oh, just doing some work in Corel Draw, Dad."

    "Oh, Corel Draw? Do you need a hand with that? I upgraded to
  • by NovaScotian (547402) on Sunday July 04, 2004 @05:17PM (#9608355)
    I dropped my cell phone into a glass of beer next to my laptop, and the beer glass (full) tipped onto the laptop keyboard. I immediately flipped the laptop keyboard down on a carpet, removed everything that could be removed from the back and towelled it out, then flipped it over to vacuum any remaining beer from under the keys. The vacuum sucked the keys right off into a full dust bag. Sliced open the dustbag and spread it all out. Found all but one key, never to be seen again. But.... The laptop lived, and amazingly, so did the cell phone! Now getting the keys back on was not a picnic.
  • by buss_error (142273) on Sunday July 04, 2004 @05:22PM (#9608400) Homepage Journal
    Not really a computer failure, after I had quit working in a TV station a few weeks before, one of the engineering assistants went walking across the main transformer with a 48" wrench. Halfway accross the catwalk, the wrench slipped and shorted the outputs of a multi-ton transformer. They had to take the roof off the building to get the transformer out, use a crane to put it on a railroad flatcar across the highway, and send a 1000 miles to be rewound. If I recall correctly, it took 6 weeks to get it back. The FCC made the station buy a newer transmitter the next year or so.

    ===

    TI 990. Installing a new drive, the old got wiped. No problem, we had a backup. Tape broke. Now I always make two. (the old backup was scotch taped back together, used a special hacked up program to skip the bad block on the tape. After 40 continuous hours due to the poor performance of the hack, all data restored, only skipped some system files easily restored from distribution media.)

    ===

    Installing a new process controler for an assembly line, the driver dropped it off the back of the truck when it got away from him on the four wheeled dolly. Completely trashed, as it dropped into the loading dock well, which was 3' deep in rainwater at the time...

    ===

    Working in the oil patch, a new computer was sent to an off shore drilling rig. The crane operator thought it would be funny to drop the pansy a$$ed techie types into the ocean. Loss of 1 techie type (quit), a $150,000 computer system, and one crane operator (fired). I think they were more upset about the guy quitting than the ruined computer.

    ===

    Put in new UPSs. Site was told to change the wiring for power to them, but they had not done so. No one checked. End result was 105 volts floating on the 5 volt buss. No major damage, since the 100 volts was floating, but it did act rather strange.... (The computer was a redundant hand built system in 5 7' relay racks.) It did cause a production hour outage, which made the customer really, really mad...

    ===

    AIX has a volume manager for the disks. When you add a bit of space here, and a bit there, after a while you can get an improvement in performance if you do a sysback, blow away all the disks, and do a restore - booting from tape. During a weekend of doing that, a tape got all balled up in the drive and broke. After obtaining a replacement tape drive (all hail 24x7 4 hour response hardware support contracts!) used the second tape (always made because of the first story from 23 years ago) to complete the process.

  • by CaptJay (126575) on Sunday July 04, 2004 @06:10PM (#9608687) Homepage
    Hint: Don't try this at home, it could cost you a computer :P

    Back at my parent's house, we were juste done painting so the plastic plaques over the electric outlets were removed. Wanting to print something, I realized that the printer was unplugged. Not really looking at what I was doing, I aimed the printer's plug in the general direction of the outlet... and touched both little screws with the ground pin.

    The end result was an inch-wide hole in the printer board, paper that caught fire, a sound very much like pop-corn coming from the computer case, and a completely ruined 486. When I opened it, There weren't many chips still welded to the motherboard. The CPU was stuck somewhere between the hard drive and the floppy, RAM was loose, some cards were welded in place. The last thing to blow was the power supply's fuse, though I can't say I would expect designers to think some wacko would send 120 volts through the parallel port :D

  • by gorbachev (512743) on Sunday July 04, 2004 @08:16PM (#9609515) Homepage
    Boy, was I in trouble :(

Any given program, when running, is obsolete.

Working...