The Sysadmin's PC

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  • Barthak 2013-01-24 08:02
    Mallrats reference +1
  • Callin 2013-01-24 08:07
    “Can you frist it?” Nicholas asked.

    Alexander looked at the first comment. “No.”
  • Grzechooo 2013-01-24 08:09
    Moral: Ain't no fool foolish enough for God to create better.
  • snoofle 2013-01-24 08:15
    Lightening is electricity. Computers work on electricity. Electricity flows through wires. By greasing the pins, you effectively get greased lightening. That's what makes the PC so fast!
  • Smug Unix User 2013-01-24 08:40
    Nepotism is great for removing qualified people and injecting your own loyalists to build your fiefdom. It is sad, but often profitable.
  • stinkiemcslimey 2013-01-24 08:40
    i wish to complain about a sudden case of unicorninitis.
  • Nagesh 2013-01-24 08:45
    First mistake from Alexander was touching the desktop. Is this story of Alex the site owner?
  • Obvils 2013-01-24 09:00
    This but I expand. I believe it was the only mistake.

    Sounds like good ol' Nick was very aware of his stupidity and the fact that he disliked Alexander make it pretty obvious that this was a setup.
  • Steve The Cynic 2013-01-24 09:11
    stinkiemcslimey:
    i wish to complain about a sudden case of unicorninitis.

    Nah, that's normal round here. The clue is the appearance of the words "Remy Porter" in the byline.
  • CaptainCorrection 2013-01-24 09:17
    Greetings.
    "Lightening is electricity"
    No, "lightening" is the act of making something lighter.
    You mean "lightning".
    Thank you!
    Captain Correction
  • GEoff 2013-01-24 09:22
    >Can you fix it?

    The correct answer, is yes, absolutely it can be fixed. We'll simply need to purchase a new CPU and a new Motherboard. Once we replace those components it'll work like a champ.
  • monsterzero 2013-01-24 09:52
    I feel sorry for Nicholas' girlfriend (or boyfriend).
  • Joao Reis 2013-01-24 10:11
    monsterzero:
    I feel sorry for Nicholas' girlfriend (or boyfriend).


    Like greasing when is not needed!

    Sorry folks, was very hard not to...

    Cheers!
  • dgvid 2013-01-24 10:13
    monsterzero:
    I feel sorry for Nicholas' girlfriend (or boyfriend).

    Nicholas looked expectantly at his urologist. "Can it be fixed?" he asked.
  • DrPepper 2013-01-24 10:19
    Most people these days buy computers pre-assembled; but I remember the old days when you built your own. I can totally believe this story. I wish, for once, that the competent guy in the story comes out on top. It seems that most of the stories of this ilk have the one guy who knows what he's doing, gets the blame then gets the boot.
  • urza9814 2013-01-24 10:29
    Reminds me of a friend of mine who, when building his first computer, couldn't figure out what those little riser screws with the motherboard were for, so he just screwed the thing directly to the steel case...shorting out EVERYTHING and frying his motherboard.

    Not that I was totally absent of stupid mistakes when I started building PCs...like when I discovered that, when shutting it down for a quick repair, if you get impatient and pull the CD drive power connector out too early the blue sparks look quite pretty inside the molex connector... unfortunately it also fried one of the IDE controllers...no big loss though, the motherboard was some cheap Chinese garbage, no more than $50...
  • Well 2013-01-24 10:30
    The computer was broken, and Alexander was the last person to touch it... Threats of unemployement flowed freely... There was a note from his old boss. A new position had opened up, and he wanted Alexander to apply.
    So? Don't leave us in suspense like that!! What did he do?
  • ubersoldat 2013-01-24 10:35
    I would laugh if I haven't seen this before, except this guy used the thermal on EVERY SOCKET he found:

    AGP (video card fucked)
    PCI (USB card fucked)
    CPU (fucked)
    RAM (fucked all four 500MB DIMM's)

    He thought that it would protect all components from heat.

    Man, I laughed and cried so hard.
  • RRR 2013-01-24 10:53
    Well, this one actually had a happy ending for a change.
  • Steve The Cynic 2013-01-24 10:55
    DrPepper:
    but I remember the old days when you built your own.

    So the "old days" were less than two years ago? That's when I last built a PC, two of them in fact, for home use. The last time I *bought* a PC was 2000 if you insist on counting laptops, or 1997 for desktop type machines.

    Now I'm going to go off and cry, because I feel old.
  • Steve The Cynic 2013-01-24 10:57
    ubersoldat:
    I would laugh if I haven't seen this before, except this guy used the thermal on EVERY SOCKET he found:

    AGP (video card fucked)
    PCI (USB card fucked)
    CPU (fucked)
    RAM (fucked all four 500MB DIMM's)

    He thought that it would protect all components from heat.

    Man, I laughed and cried so hard.

    You know that thermal paste is actually a good thermal insulator, right? You use it to make sure that there aren't air spaces between the CPU and the heatsink, because those air spaces are an even better insulator.
  • doctor_of_ineptitude 2013-01-24 10:58
    Well:
    The computer was broken, and Alexander was the last person to touch it... Threats of unemployement flowed freely... There was a note from his old boss. A new position had opened up, and he wanted Alexander to apply.
    So? Don't leave us in suspense like that!! What did he do?


    You already know what he did. He ranted it off here.
  • Matt Westwood 2013-01-24 11:09
    monsterzero:
    I feel sorry for Nicholas' girlfriend (or boyfriend).


    But we've already learned he probably still lives with his mother.

    Someone say Dunning-Kruger?
  • Mr.Bob 2013-01-24 11:27
    Ha ha! Everyone laugh at those whose areas of expertise do not exactly match our own, because they're hopeless morons! Ha ha!

    Alexander had the chance to mold a new boss and develop major points by taking him under his wing and give him technical training, and he instead chose to throw it away by sighing and rolling his eyes every time the new boss asked for help... is that the real WTF?
  • Manni_reloaded 2013-01-24 11:31
    Mr.Bob:
    Ha ha! Everyone laugh at those whose areas of expertise do not exactly match our own, because they're hopeless morons! Ha ha!

    Alexander had the chance to mold a new boss and develop major points by taking him under his wing and give him technical training, and he instead chose to throw it away by sighing and rolling his eyes every time the new boss asked for help... is that the real WTF?


    In my experience, you can't help a self-professed expert, certainly not when he's your superior and a blood relative to someone much higher up the corporate ladder. Ego will always prevail.
  • Nexzus 2013-01-24 11:43
    Mr.Bob:
    Ha ha! Everyone laugh at those whose areas of expertise do not exactly match our own, because they're hopeless morons! Ha ha!

    Alexander had the chance to mold a new boss and develop major points by taking him under his wing and give him technical training, and he instead chose to throw it away by sighing and rolling his eyes every time the new boss asked for help... is that the real WTF?


    Have you ever worked in a small-or-medium privately-owned company. Above poster is right; there is no changing these type of people.

    Had an IT Manager at my last place who panicked when the files were in the wrong order in a Windows Explorer FTP site browser instance. No nepotism there, though, so I'm not sure how she got the job.
  • Stark_ 2013-01-24 11:48
    You don't get it, the good guy did come out on top. What you don't realize is that Alex's old boss probably left because the executives he reported to were intolerable. Alex likely never knew because his boss was just that good at dealing with shit and not passing it along. If Alex had been promoted, he probably would have been shit on but felt too achieved to leave.
  • Peter 2013-01-24 11:55
    Steve The Cynic:
    ubersoldat:
    I would laugh if I haven't seen this before, except this guy used the thermal on EVERY SOCKET he found:

    AGP (video card fucked)
    PCI (USB card fucked)
    CPU (fucked)
    RAM (fucked all four 500MB DIMM's)

    He thought that it would protect all components from heat.

    Man, I laughed and cried so hard.

    You know that thermal paste is actually a good thermal insulator, right? You use it to make sure that there aren't air spaces between the CPU and the heatsink, because those air spaces are an even better insulator.


    Some of the more exotic "Arctic Silver Ice" thermal compounds are electrically conductive, making for even more fun. I suppose the .1 degC/Watt is worth the extra hassle. I just use the good ol' white stuff that doesn't come off your clothing...
  • Elron the Fantastic 2013-01-24 11:57
    Mr.Bob:
    Ha ha! Everyone laugh at those whose areas of expertise do not exactly match our own, because they're hopeless morons! Ha ha!

    Alexander had the chance to mold a new boss and develop major points by taking him under his wing and give him technical training, and he instead chose to throw it away by sighing and rolling his eyes every time the new boss asked for help... is that the real WTF?


    Obvious troll is obvious. In any case, perhaps he should have simply brought the computer to the owner in question and demonstrated the issue himself. There's no reason that the jackass manager should have been the first one to talk to the boss.
  • chubertdev 2013-01-24 12:01
    ubersoldat:
    I would laugh if I haven't seen this before, except this guy used the thermal on EVERY SOCKET he found:

    AGP (video card fucked)
    PCI (USB card fucked)
    CPU (fucked)
    RAM (fucked all four 500MB DIMM's)

    He thought that it would protect all components from heat.

    Man, I laughed and cried so hard.


    And then he went to work for NASA...
  • Anketam 2013-01-24 12:05
    Elron the Fantastic:
    In any case, perhaps he should have simply brought the computer to the owner in question and demonstrated the issue himself. There's no reason that the jackass manager should have been the first one to talk to the boss.
    Yea, I know. That is what duck tape is good for.
  • fjf 2013-01-24 12:12
    urza9814:
    Reminds me of a friend of mine who, when building his first computer, couldn't figure out what those little riser screws with the motherboard were for, so he just screwed the thing directly to the steel case...shorting out EVERYTHING and frying his motherboard.

    Not that I was totally absent of stupid mistakes when I started building PCs...like when I discovered that, when shutting it down for a quick repair, if you get impatient and pull the CD drive power connector out too early the blue sparks look quite pretty inside the molex connector... unfortunately it also fried one of the IDE controllers...no big loss though, the motherboard was some cheap Chinese garbage, no more than $50...
    Oh, it's PC assembly story time ...

    In the 1990s I assembled a machine together with a friend. There were two ways the power supply plugs (AT) would fit and two ways the CPU would fit. We didn't have any manuals, but fortunately he was quite sure which way to put the power and I how to place the CPU. Needless to say, we got it right on our 4th attempt, but to our surprise, it still worked.
  • cellocgw 2013-01-24 12:12
    snoofle:
    Lightening is electricity. Computers work on electricity. Electricity flows through wires. By greasing the pins, you effectively get greased lightening. That's what makes the PC so fast!

    Lightening is a women getting close to going into labor.
    Lightning is electricity.
    But then again, most women approaching lightening would love a method of speeding up the remainder of the process.
  • Tim 2013-01-24 12:19
    Mr.Bob:
    Ha ha! Everyone laugh at those whose areas of expertise do not exactly match our own, because they're hopeless morons! Ha ha!

    Alexander had the chance to mold a new boss and develop major points by taking him under his wing and give him technical training, and he instead chose to throw it away by sighing and rolling his eyes every time the new boss asked for help... is that the real WTF?
    Nope, it's not the real WTF. The real WTF is someone like that getting a position through the wonders of family ties.

    Also, Nicholas seems to be the kind of person who knows better than seasoned gurus because he managed to plug the correct cable into the correct socket after a few tries and won't admit the horrible, horrible truth, that if it hadn't been for the wonders of nepotism he'd be assembling burgers at your local McDonald's at best. Please reread the text, Nicholas wasn't a smart person that could be instructed by someone, he was an ass. Upper management material.
  • A developer 2013-01-24 12:19
    I'm sure Alexander learned a valuable lesson from this experience...
    Make sure the blame falls onto the right person who fucked it up.
    I would have not touched it until the idiot owner came over and I showed him EXACTLY what his moronic cousin did.
    After that if he blamed me I would tlel him to go fuck himself.
  • Duke Nukem 2013-01-24 12:20
    I attended a relatively technical school (How to Run a Nuclear Reactor in 4200 easy steps). Several people at the school were the smartest people in the world. They told me so themselves. The laughter echoing down the halls when they failed out made jet engines seem like kittens purring.
  • Cyn 2013-01-24 12:21
    DrPepper:
    Most people these days buy computers pre-assembled; but I remember the old days when you built your own. I can totally believe this story. I wish, for once, that the competent guy in the story comes out on top. It seems that most of the stories of this ilk have the one guy who knows what he's doing, gets the blame then gets the boot.


    I think you're looking for www.thedailyandeveryonelivedhappilyeverafter.com
  • wraith 2013-01-24 12:29
    That reminds me of a friend of mine, that bought a brand new shiny AGP video card, back when AGP was all the rage. So he called me that he put it on, but it didn't work. I went to check what his problem was and, lo and behold, his mainboard didn't have AGP slots. Only PCI. Nevertheless he had somehow managed to insert it.

    "How. Did. You. Insert. That. Card. There." was all I could say
    "Well... it was kinda hard and I had to use a hammer, but I finally got it in. Is that the problem?"

    Anyway, we had to throw away the brand new shiny AGP card, and this PCI slot didn't work any more, but curiously everything else was fine, and he got to use that PC for at least a year more.
  • Mason Wheeler 2013-01-24 12:58
    Steve The Cynic:
    DrPepper:
    but I remember the old days when you built your own.

    So the "old days" were less than two years ago? That's when I last built a PC, two of them in fact, for home use. The last time I *bought* a PC was 2000 if you insist on counting laptops, or 1997 for desktop type machines.

    Now I'm going to go off and cry, because I feel old.


    I don't feel old, and I still build my own computers. In fact, I've never *bought* a prebuilt desktop system. (Laptops, sure, because you can't really build those. But my first desktop PC and every one after that has been one I built. They work better that way. No crapware, etc.)
  • Sanhadrin 2013-01-24 13:02
    Steve The Cynic:
    ubersoldat:
    I would laugh if I haven't seen this before, except this guy used the thermal on EVERY SOCKET he found:

    AGP (video card fucked)
    PCI (USB card fucked)
    CPU (fucked)
    RAM (fucked all four 500MB DIMM's)

    He thought that it would protect all components from heat.

    Man, I laughed and cried so hard.

    You know that thermal paste is actually a good thermal insulator, right? You use it to make sure that there aren't air spaces between the CPU and the heatsink, because those air spaces are an even better insulator.


    Uh, graphics cards and RAM don't heat up because of signal voltage (unless you want to get pedantic). They heat up because components on them generate heat. Thermal paste could be a perfect insulator, and it wouldn't protect components from heating up.
  • chubertdev 2013-01-24 13:13
    Mason Wheeler:
    I don't feel old, and I still build my own computers. In fact, I've never *bought* a prebuilt desktop system. (Laptops, sure, because you can't really build those. But my first desktop PC and every one after that has been one I built. They work better that way. No crapware, etc.)


    Same here. It's so easy to build one if you know what you're doing, and live within 100 miles of a Frys.
  • ubersoldat 2013-01-24 13:15
    Steve The Cynic:
    ubersoldat:
    I would laugh if I haven't seen this before, except this guy used the thermal on EVERY SOCKET he found:

    AGP (video card fucked)
    PCI (USB card fucked)
    CPU (fucked)
    RAM (fucked all four 500MB DIMM's)

    He thought that it would protect all components from heat.

    Man, I laughed and cried so hard.

    You know that thermal paste is actually a good thermal insulator, right? You use it to make sure that there aren't air spaces between the CPU and the heatsink, because those air spaces are an even better insulator.


    This guy did put the thermal between the CPU and the heatsink. The problem is he also put it on every single port he could find in the motherboard, including (as it happened to the poster) to the CPU socket.

    And no, this is not a good idea.
  • herby 2013-01-24 13:18
    Ahhh, nepotism...

    While you will often get the "relative of the boss" who is a know-it-all, it is worse when the "relative of the boss" actually DOES know more than the boss. Then the "relative of the boss" has a difficult time persuading the boss that there ARE better ways of doing things.

    Yes, there are bosses who won't even listen to their relatives. Usually the argument turns to something like "but that is the way I've always done it". Insert in your minds eye, the putting of a printout on the wooden desk and taking a picture of it then OCRing it to get it back into a spreadsheet (or something similar).

    Been there, done that (*SIGH*). He is still a pretty good brother!
  • no laughing matter 2013-01-24 13:36
    Callin:
    “Can you frist it?” Nicholas asked.

    Alexander looked at the first comment. “No.”
    The accumulated grease of all their CPUs and sockets will foam up on their fingers and all the cousins and bosses will look up and shout "Fix it!"... and I'll look down and whisper "No."
  • Old Fart 2013-01-24 13:36
    A developer:
    I'm sure Alexander learned a valuable lesson from this experience...
    Make sure the blame falls onto the right person who fucked it up.
    I would have not touched it until the idiot owner came over and I showed him EXACTLY what his moronic cousin did.
    After that if he blamed me I would tlel him to go fuck himself.


    You don't know what the problem is until you look at it, so you can't "show" the idiot owner anything until AFTER you touched the machine.

    Let's say you are psychic: You realize what happened without touching it. The idiot owner would not have come to look at the computer. He would have told you "do what your supervisor tells you, or you're fired".

    Let's say you are psychic and very persuasive. The idiot owner comes over, does not know what he is looking at, and says "get back to work".

    And in any scenario where you tell the idiot owner to go fuck himself, you get fired anyway.


    Alexander was screwed no matter what.
  • eric76 2013-01-24 13:40
    herby:
    Ahhh, nepotism...

    While you will often get the "relative of the boss" who is a know-it-all, it is worse when the "relative of the boss" actually DOES know more than the boss. Then the "relative of the boss" has a difficult time persuading the boss that there ARE better ways of doing things.

    Yes, there are bosses who won't even listen to their relatives. Usually the argument turns to something like "but that is the way I've always done it". Insert in your minds eye, the putting of a printout on the wooden desk and taking a picture of it then OCRing it to get it back into a spreadsheet (or something similar).

    Been there, done that (*SIGH*). He is still a pretty good brother!


    You sure have that right.

    I work for a family company. My next to the oldest brother was the owner until he passed away. He had some really crazy beliefs.

    For example, since he had read that Macintoshes used ascii, he refused to believe that PCs used ascii. No amount of argument ever convinced him otherwise. He wasn't sure what PC's used, but it sure wasn't ascii.
  • pcfan 2013-01-24 13:53
    Actually PCs use extended ASCII, not regular ASCII...
  • Martin 2013-01-24 13:58
    pcfan:
    Actually PCs use extended ASCII, not regular ASCII...


    Windows-1252.

    Because ISO-8859-1 is too standardized.
  • Noah 2013-01-24 14:06
    I wish I had fun computer building stories that went awry, but they've all turned out pretty good. I've been building computers for 16 years, and some people have had them for 8-10 years with no problems (other than technology obsolescence. Building by hand can yield quite a lot higher quality than the factory.
  • the beholder 2013-01-24 14:17
    Mason Wheeler:
    Steve The Cynic:
    DrPepper:
    but I remember the old days when you built your own.

    So the "old days" were less than two years ago? That's when I last built a PC, two of them in fact, for home use. The last time I *bought* a PC was 2000 if you insist on counting laptops, or 1997 for desktop type machines.

    Now I'm going to go off and cry, because I feel old.


    I don't feel old, and I still build my own computers. In fact, I've never *bought* a prebuilt desktop system. (Laptops, sure, because you can't really build those. But my first desktop PC and every one after that has been one I built. They work better that way. No crapware, etc.)
    I didn't build my first computer. Instead my father paid one of his friends to do it. It was okay except for my feeling that we paid the price of a Ferrari and received a Prius, but I was only eleven and had zero computer skills back then, so that was alright.

    I didn't build my second computer either. My older brother did it, he was already starting on the field while I was green behind my ears. But time passed and I bought two computers in the last two years. I did all the spec'ing and assemble myself. It is so much cheaper and easy that I see no reason to pay anyone to do it or come up with a very expensive pile of junk, at least until I'm very old (by then I hope my kids will be able to do it for me)
  • Install Gentoo 2013-01-24 14:19
  • nonpartisan 2013-01-24 14:32
    Summary:

    Idiot builds computer. Idiot breaks computer. Good guy diagnoses computer. Good guy becomes bad guy. Good guy loses job*. Idiot keeps job. Probably gets promoted to CEO too.

    * We all know this is what happened; he just happened to have a safety net under him.
  • nonpartisan 2013-01-24 14:45
    GEoff:
    >Can you fix it?

    The correct answer, is yes, absolutely it can be fixed. We'll simply need to purchase a new CPU and a new Motherboard. Once we replace those components it'll work like a champ.

    Oh the optimist thou art.

    Here's what really happened.

    "Once we replace those components it'll work like a champ."

    The new components came in. Alexander wasn't there. But because Alexander said "once we replace those components," Nicholas said, "I can do this myself!" Having learned* the correct orientation of the CPU, Nicholas slathered the thermal paste onto the bottom of the CPU again and inserted it. The resistance this time was strictly due to the quantity of thermal paste and not because the pin orientation wasn't correct. He cabled it and turned it on. He got a beep out of the thing, for which he was busting out with pride, and left it on until Alexander got in three hours later. The CPU overheated in that time and fried. When Alexander got in, Nicholas accused Alexander of breaking the new components, saying that Alexander never told him that the thermal grease doesn't go under the CPU even though that's the most logical place to go because it should create a barrier between the CPU and the plastic socket so that the socket doesn't melt. At which point Alexander rips Nicholas' head off his neck and swishes a 100' jump shot into the Dumpster across the street.**

    * A bit of an optimist myself; even an idiot has to pick up a teensy weensy bit of information somewhere.

    ** Unrealistic, I know. They probably have their own Dumpster in their parking lot.
  • ¯\(°_o)/¯ I DUNNO LOL 2013-01-24 14:56
    Peter:
    Some of the more exotic "Arctic Silver Ice" thermal compounds are electrically conductive, making for even more fun. I suppose the .1 degC/Watt is worth the extra hassle. I just use the good ol' white stuff that doesn't come off your clothing...
    And then there's the "slab o' putty" kind of heat sink compound that you have to replace if you ever take the heat sink off. I have an old G4 "Windtunnel" that I bought new years ago and use as a real-IP-address Bit Torrent box and file server. It flaked out last year when its slab o' putty dried out. It runs fine now after replacing that crap with the white stuff.
  • the beholder 2013-01-24 14:58
    Old Fart:
    A developer:
    I'm sure Alexander learned a valuable lesson from this experience...
    Make sure the blame falls onto the right person who fucked it up.
    I would have not touched it until the idiot owner came over and I showed him EXACTLY what his moronic cousin did.
    After that if he blamed me I would tlel him to go fuck himself.


    You don't know what the problem is until you look at it, so you can't "show" the idiot owner anything until AFTER you touched the machine.

    Let's say you are psychic: You realize what happened without touching it. The idiot owner would not have come to look at the computer. He would have told you "do what your supervisor tells you, or you're fired".

    Let's say you are psychic and very persuasive. The idiot owner comes over, does not know what he is looking at, and says "get back to work".

    And in any scenario where you tell the idiot owner to go fuck himself, you get fired anyway.


    Alexander was screwed no matter what.
    You're absolutely right. The only way out I can see is if Alexander said something like this:
    "Listen, I only touched this machine after Jeff had screwed it bad. In fact when it comes to computers he doesn't know 1/100th as much as he says he does and it's costing you money. He will probably say I'm the one who screwed up, so before you believe him I want you to consider this: if he knew what he was doing why did he call me for help in the first place? If he is the embodied god of IT knowledge why did he needed me to touch your computer at all?"

    Hopefully the owner isn't impervious to logic because if that's the case there's no hope at all.
  • RabiD 2013-01-24 15:22
    the beholder:
    Hopefully the owner isn't impervious to logic because if that's the case there's no hope at all.


    It was going so well until you got here. He was clearly impervious to logic. Old Fart was 100% right. He was screwed no matter what.
  • Peter Lawrey 2013-01-24 16:26
    I used to have trouble connecting D 50 pin SCSI connector the right way but once I discovered that a rather musclely guy managed to connect it in upside down. I can only guess how much strength that would require, certainly brawn over brains.

    So when I managed to get it off and connect it correctly, I decided to pass on telling him it was upside down. ;)
  • HeWhoFriesMotherboards 2013-01-24 16:37
    urza9814:
    Reminds me of a friend of mine who, when building his first computer, couldn't figure out what those little riser screws with the motherboard were for, so he just screwed the thing directly to the steel case...shorting out EVERYTHING and frying his motherboard.


    But that's a legitimate design flaw. The CPUs were designed to require ZIF so they would slide right in if oriented properly. If the CPU came with risers you had to laboriously screw into each pin connector in the socket first, it might be similar.

    I, too, ruined a motherboard due to this horrible design flaw. I haven't seen a case in a long time that didn't have risers pre-installed or as a part of the fabrication, which indicates someone cleaned up after the moron who thought that was a good idea, and in your story, that is TRWTF.
  • urza9814 2013-01-24 17:12
    HeWhoFriesMotherboards:
    urza9814:
    Reminds me of a friend of mine who, when building his first computer, couldn't figure out what those little riser screws with the motherboard were for, so he just screwed the thing directly to the steel case...shorting out EVERYTHING and frying his motherboard.


    But that's a legitimate design flaw. The CPUs were designed to require ZIF so they would slide right in if oriented properly. If the CPU came with risers you had to laboriously screw into each pin connector in the socket first, it might be similar.

    I, too, ruined a motherboard due to this horrible design flaw. I haven't seen a case in a long time that didn't have risers pre-installed or as a part of the fabrication, which indicates someone cleaned up after the moron who thought that was a good idea, and in your story, that is TRWTF.


    Not that much of a WTF; anyone who's building a PC should know enough about electronics to know that that's not a great idea. Of course, I realize we all have lapses in judgement...in my example, he asked me to look at it since it wouldn't boot up, and when I got there he shows me the risers and says "I wasn't sure what these were for...", and when I told him he instantly realized what had happened.

    So yeah, glad to hear they aren't really using those anymore, it's been a while since I've built one (living off laptops for the past several years); but I wouldn't quite call it a WTF. If you don't have common sense -- or if you wind up with leftover parts that you don't know the point of -- take a second to read the directions!
  • DescentJS 2013-01-24 17:23
    urza9814:
    HeWhoFriesMotherboards:
    urza9814:
    Reminds me of a friend of mine who, when building his first computer, couldn't figure out what those little riser screws with the motherboard were for, so he just screwed the thing directly to the steel case...shorting out EVERYTHING and frying his motherboard.


    But that's a legitimate design flaw. The CPUs were designed to require ZIF so they would slide right in if oriented properly. If the CPU came with risers you had to laboriously screw into each pin connector in the socket first, it might be similar.

    I, too, ruined a motherboard due to this horrible design flaw. I haven't seen a case in a long time that didn't have risers pre-installed or as a part of the fabrication, which indicates someone cleaned up after the moron who thought that was a good idea, and in your story, that is TRWTF.


    Not that much of a WTF; anyone who's building a PC should know enough about electronics to know that that's not a great idea. Of course, I realize we all have lapses in judgement...in my example, he asked me to look at it since it wouldn't boot up, and when I got there he shows me the risers and says "I wasn't sure what these were for...", and when I told him he instantly realized what had happened.

    So yeah, glad to hear they aren't really using those anymore, it's been a while since I've built one (living off laptops for the past several years); but I wouldn't quite call it a WTF. If you don't have common sense -- or if you wind up with leftover parts that you don't know the point of -- take a second to read the directions!


    I've seen a few recent cases where you still needed to add them, however they were cases that were designed to support multiple form factors.
  • Mike Rore 2013-01-24 17:30
    The description of the Socket-A reminded me of the first time I assembled a PC... Those were the good old days.

    If Alexander was a drama expert, he would answer to Nicholas' request with a "Sure, please show me what you did" instead of pulling the CPU by himself, imagine the tension it would generate between the characters. :)
  • Sanhadrin 2013-01-24 18:14
    urza9814:
    HeWhoFriesMotherboards:
    urza9814:
    Reminds me of a friend of mine who, when building his first computer, couldn't figure out what those little riser screws with the motherboard were for, so he just screwed the thing directly to the steel case...shorting out EVERYTHING and frying his motherboard.


    But that's a legitimate design flaw. The CPUs were designed to require ZIF so they would slide right in if oriented properly. If the CPU came with risers you had to laboriously screw into each pin connector in the socket first, it might be similar.

    I, too, ruined a motherboard due to this horrible design flaw. I haven't seen a case in a long time that didn't have risers pre-installed or as a part of the fabrication, which indicates someone cleaned up after the moron who thought that was a good idea, and in your story, that is TRWTF.


    Not that much of a WTF


    1) You never want the motherboard touching the case.
    2) Therefore, you'll always want spacers between the motherboard and case to prevent this.
    3) People, even experienced people, will make mistakes. It's part of being human.
    4) This mistake can cost one hundreds, even thousands, of dollars.
    5) You can significantly reduce the chance of the motherboard shorting against the case by spending ten cents during production to install the spacers before it leaves the factory.
    6) Preventing the majority of people who made this mistake from suffering hundreds of dollars of loss is a good thing. They won't associate your project with anger and disappointment, and they have more money to spend on your products. Also, simply helping people avoid that kind of personal loss is a good thing in and of itself (to some).
    7) Therefore, it's a major WTF and design flaw.

    You sound like the kind of person who makes lots of excuses for shoddy work.
  • Mark The Corrector 2013-01-24 18:33
    [quote user="Steve The Cynic"][/quote]
    You know that thermal paste is actually a good thermal insulator, right? You use it to make sure that there aren't air spaces between the CPU and the heatsink, because those air spaces are an even better insulator.[/quote]

    You that thermal paste is actually a good thermal conductor, right? You use it to make sure that there aren't any air spaces between the CPU and the heatsink, because those air spaces aren't as good conductors.
  • herby 2013-01-24 18:45
    We could go on about this, but the common sense that SHOULD prevail is that "if you have to force something, you are doing it wrong".

    Unfortunately there are way too many gorillas out there that don't know this rule, and have little common sense. They are in the majority (*SIGH*).
  • Jeremiah 2013-01-24 18:51
    pcfan:
    Actually PCs use extended ASCII, not regular ASCII...


    If you go back far enough, IBM computers use EBCDIC (pronounced "ebb's dick").

    And if you're really, really unlucky, some day you'll have to write code to parse an old file still in that encoding, like I did when I helped build a system for the State of Illinois.
  • Jazz 2013-01-24 18:53
    ¯\(°_o)/¯ I DUNNO LOL:
    I have an old G4 "Windtunnel" that I bought new years ago and use as a real-IP-address Bit Torrent box and file server. It flaked out last year when its slab o' putty dried out. It runs fine now after replacing that crap with the white stuff.


    As someone who repaired more than a few of those when he was in college, I'm impressed. Those machines are easy to open, easy to upgrade, but can be real bitches to repair. They were also well-known in our repair shop for having razor-sharp internal frames. Every time we had to replace a part in one of those we would end up cutting ourselves.

    If you escaped from that repair job with all of your skin, I applaud you.
  • Friedrice The Great 2013-01-24 19:28
    urza9814:
    HeWhoFriesMotherboards:
    urza9814:
    Reminds me of a friend of mine who, when building his first computer, couldn't figure out what those little riser screws with the motherboard were for, so he just screwed the thing directly to the steel case...shorting out EVERYTHING and frying his motherboard.

    Clearly you've never taken anything apart. You ALWAYS end up with extra parts when you put it back together! ;-)

    But that's a legitimate design flaw. The CPUs were designed to require ZIF so they would slide right in if oriented properly. If the CPU came with risers you had to laboriously screw into each pin connector in the socket first, it might be similar.

    I, too, ruined a motherboard due to this horrible design flaw. I haven't seen a case in a long time that didn't have risers pre-installed or as a part of the fabrication, which indicates someone cleaned up after the moron who thought that was a good idea, and in your story, that is TRWTF.


    Not that much of a WTF; anyone who's building a PC should know enough about electronics to know that that's not a great idea. Of course, I realize we all have lapses in judgement...in my example, he asked me to look at it since it wouldn't boot up, and when I got there he shows me the risers and says "I wasn't sure what these were for...", and when I told him he instantly realized what had happened.

    So yeah, glad to hear they aren't really using those anymore, it's been a while since I've built one (living off laptops for the past several years); but I wouldn't quite call it a WTF. If you don't have common sense -- or if you wind up with leftover parts that you don't know the point of -- take a second to read the directions!
  • Friedrice The Great 2013-01-24 19:29
    Friedrice The Great:
    urza9814:
    HeWhoFriesMotherboards:
    urza9814:
    Reminds me of a friend of mine who, when building his first computer, couldn't figure out what those little riser screws with the motherboard were for, so he just screwed the thing directly to the steel case...shorting out EVERYTHING and frying his motherboard.

    Clearly you've never taken anything apart. You ALWAYS end up with extra parts when you put it back together! ;-)

    But that's a legitimate design flaw. The CPUs were designed to require ZIF so they would slide right in if oriented properly. If the CPU came with risers you had to laboriously screw into each pin connector in the socket first, it might be similar.

    I, too, ruined a motherboard due to this horrible design flaw. I haven't seen a case in a long time that didn't have risers pre-installed or as a part of the fabrication, which indicates someone cleaned up after the moron who thought that was a good idea, and in your story, that is TRWTF.


    Not that much of a WTF; anyone who's building a PC should know enough about electronics to know that that's not a great idea. Of course, I realize we all have lapses in judgement...in my example, he asked me to look at it since it wouldn't boot up, and when I got there he shows me the risers and says "I wasn't sure what these were for...", and when I told him he instantly realized what had happened.

    So yeah, glad to hear they aren't really using those anymore, it's been a while since I've built one (living off laptops for the past several years); but I wouldn't quite call it a WTF. If you don't have common sense -- or if you wind up with leftover parts that you don't know the point of -- take a second to read the directions!


    Duh. Clearly you've never taken something apart. You ALWAYS end of up with extra parts after you put it back together! ;-)
  • Norman Diamond 2013-01-24 19:42
    Nexzus:
    Had an IT Manager at my last place who panicked when the files were in the wrong order in a Windows Explorer FTP site browser instance. No nepotism there, though, so I'm not sure how she got the job.
    She might have been right. When I used Windows Explorer FTP and a copy operation failed part way through, I selected the uncopied files and did another copy. It finished. Very luckily I noticed that the number of files wasn't correct. When I thought I selected the uncopied files, actually I only selected some of them, because the FTP view sorts filenames differently from the local drive view. (These were two Windows Explorer windows on the same desktop, same Windows language, same locale, etc. This is just Windows Explorer, no language issues.)

    Windows command line ftp is worse. mget pretends to copy all the files in a directory. It doesn't tell you that it stopped after the 255th file in some random order.
  • lesle 2013-01-24 19:58
    An Event ID 41 (Task 63) that bafflingly recurred with a vengeance turned out to be melted thermal paste that ran down the sides of the chip, onto the motherboard, and into the space between the chip and the socket. I had run CoreTemp, it showed normal temperature.

    I built it about 3 years ago; apparently I used too much paste. A thorough cleaning with isopropyl alcohol, vacuum suction, less paste this time, and prayer cured the problem.
  • Norman Diamond 2013-01-24 19:59
    Martin:
    pcfan:
    Actually PCs use extended ASCII, not regular ASCII...
    Windows-1252.

    Because ISO-8859-1 is too standardized.
    Shift-JIS for text files (usually including VC++ source files). UTF-16 for internal operations.

    I bet Macs use UTF-8, in which case Macs and PCs really do use different encodings. But I bet older Macs used to use Shift-JIS.
  • Bill C. 2013-01-24 20:09
    monsterzero:
    I feel sorry for Nicholas' girlfriend (or boyfriend).
    Peter:
    Some of the more exotic "Arctic Silver Ice" thermal compounds are electrically conductive, making for even more fun. I suppose the .1 degC/Watt is worth the extra hassle. I just use the good ol' white stuff that doesn't come off your clothing...
    I guess I'd better not say I feel sorry for your girlfriend, because of what you'd say about me.
  • Capitalist 2013-01-24 20:23
    Sanhadrin:
    1) My users never want the motherboard touching the case.
    2) Therefore, they'll always want spacers between the motherboard and case to prevent this.
    3) People, even experienced people, will make mistakes. It's part of my business plan.
    4) This mistake can earn me hundreds, even thousands, of dollars.
    5) You could significantly reduce the chance of the motherboard shorting against the case by wasting ten cents during production to install the spacers before it leaves the factory.
    6) Allowing the majority of people who made this mistake suffering hundreds of dollars of loss is a good thing. They will associate their failure with their own stupidity, and they have good reason to stay quiet about it so their story doesn't end up on TDWTF, so they'll grab more money to spend on my products (because I promise them I'll treat the matter confidentially, so they don't have to feel ashamed and know they can trust me forever). Also, simply helping people avoid that kind of personal loss is a good thing in and of itself (to liberals only).
    7) Therefore, it's a major part of good design and idustry standard.
    Man, learn something about capitalism!
  • Corrector Corrector's 2013-01-24 21:10
    [quote user="Mark The Corrector"][quote user="Steve The Cynic"][/quote]
    You know that thermal paste is actually a good thermal insulator, right? You use it to make sure that there aren't air spaces between the CPU and the heatsink, because those air spaces are an even better insulator.[/quote]

    You that thermal paste is actually a good thermal conductor, right? You use it to make sure that there aren't any air spaces between the CPU and the heatsink, because those air spaces aren't as good conductors.[/quote]

    No, (s)he didn't. Thermal paste is a pretty bad thermal conductor. You use thermal paste because it is a much worse insulator than air, but that doesn't make it a good thermal conductor. Although, if you're not being pedantic, both of you are basically saying the same thing.
  • Corrector Corrector's 2013-01-24 21:16
    Corrector Corrector's:
    Mark The Corrector:
    Steve The Cynic:

    You know that thermal paste is actually a good thermal insulator, right? You use it to make sure that there aren't air spaces between the CPU and the heatsink, because those air spaces are an even better insulator.


    You that thermal paste is actually a good thermal conductor, right? You use it to make sure that there aren't any air spaces between the CPU and the heatsink, because those air spaces aren't as good conductors.


    No, (s)he didn't. Thermal paste is a pretty bad thermal conductor. You use thermal paste because it is a much worse insulator than air, but that doesn't make it a good thermal conductor. Although, if you're not being pedantic, both of you are basically saying the same thing.


    No edit on anon accounts =/.
  • dwasifar 2013-01-24 21:16
    Greased lightening? Is that the opposite of dry darkening?
  • Cheong 2013-01-24 21:27
    Grzechooo:
    Moral: Ain't no fool foolish enough for God to create better.

    I've got your comment in my notebook. I'll make sure it's be read from time to time.
  • Corrector Corrector's Corrector Corrector 2013-01-24 21:29
    Corrector Corrector's:
    Corrector Corrector's:
    [...]
    No edit on anon accounts =/.
    Muphry's law wreaks either way.
  • HomeBrew 2013-01-24 22:57
    chubertdev:
    Mason Wheeler:
    I don't feel old, and I still build my own computers. In fact, I've never *bought* a prebuilt desktop system. (Laptops, sure, because you can't really build those. But my first desktop PC and every one after that has been one I built. They work better that way. No crapware, etc.)


    Same here. It's so easy to build one if you know what you're doing, and live within 100 miles of a Frys.


    Agreed (local MicroCenter for me). Built a machine in December (i7 3770k, 16GB, GTX 660Ti, and running OS X 10.8.2) for 1/2 what it would cost to buy pre-assembled.
  • Corrector Corrector's 2013-01-24 23:13
    Corrector Corrector's Corrector Corrector:
    Corrector Corrector's:
    Corrector Corrector's:
    [...]
    No edit on anon accounts =/.
    Muphry's law wreaks either way.


    It was to fix the quote tags rather than any actual content, though. Does syntax count as semantics with respect to Murphy's law? Also, does it count if you do it intentionally? Hmmm...I wonder how much analysis has been done on Murphy's law.
  • AndyCanfield 2013-01-24 23:33
    I got that out of my system as a teen-ager in the 1960's. I repaired my neighbor's desktop radio many times. Each time I had another screw left over. Of course I knew that was wrong, but what could I do? It worked, so what the heck. I build computer software, never hardware.
  • amyb 2013-01-25 00:56
    As long as you dont mind driving.back and.forth 100+ times to return DOA parts that.will just get reshelved...
  • ochrist 2013-01-25 02:50
    Jeremiah:


    If you go back far enough, IBM computers use EBCDIC (pronounced "ebb's dick").


    You don't have to go that far back. Mainframes still use EBCDIC.

    Jeremiah:


    And if you're really, really unlucky, some day you'll have to write code to parse an old file still in that encoding, like I did when I helped build a system for the State of Illinois.


    Actually you normally don't have to worry too much about it. If you use ftp, you can just convert automatically between EBCDIC and ASCII.
  • Iain 2013-01-25 04:30
    Jazz:
    Every time we had to replace a part in one of those we would end up cutting ourselves.


    I don't think that's necessarily a feature of one particular brand. I put a bit of myself into the last PC I constructed from individual components - in the form of bloodied fingerprints around the interior.
  • Zecc 2013-01-25 04:49
    Mason Wheeler:
    I don't feel old, and I still build my own computers. In fact, I've never *bought* a prebuilt desktop system. (Laptops, sure, because you can't really build those. But my first desktop PC and every one after that has been one I built. They work better that way. No crapware, etc.)
    I'm not really a hardware guy, so even though I choose the components I prefer to let the guys at the store to assemble them themselves.
    They're happy not to have to install an OS.

    Cost(having to assemble the computer myself) < Cost(paying to get it done)

    Cost(installing the OS) ≅ Cost(removing the crapware [by reinstalling the OS])
  • Helix 2013-01-25 05:14
    People this stupid really annoy me. It's not just a case of being absent minded but shows a genuine lack of basic ingenuity.

    Think:
    "Why am i putting a load of white 'putty' type material all over these delicate looking electronic conductors .... what could it be there for"

    Answer
    "None - i am being a complete retard!"

    Even as a specialist scientific lab hardware manufacturer we get the functional equivalent of monkeys pulling cable looms and cards out of the system and then complaining it's too complicated to get working again when we tell them they should not have removed it.
  • Steve The Cynic 2013-01-25 06:14
    Mason Wheeler:
    I don't feel old, and I still build my own computers. In fact, I've never *bought* a prebuilt desktop system. (Laptops, sure, because you can't really build those. But my first desktop PC and every one after that has been one I built. They work better that way. No crapware, etc.)

    I bought my first pre-built PC back in 1988, when the quantity of crapware available was basically near zero. All others were during the early parts of the Age of Crapware, but I dodged that particular bullet, and built (and re-built, and re-re-built, ...) my own after 1997.
  • Steve The Cynic 2013-01-25 08:07
    chubertdev:
    Same here. It's so easy to build one if you know what you're doing, and live within 100 miles of a Frys.

    It was pretty easy for me, and I live thousands of miles from any Frys. The proximity or otherwise of a particular supplier makes no difference whatsoever to the difficulty of plugging the components together.

    OK, so I do live near *a* supplier of components. Well, better make that past tense. I did live near one, but Surcouf (the electronics store chain, not the submarine, nor the corsair[1]) is dead.

    [1] This word "corsair" is tricky. In French, it refers to a privateer, not a pirate, although historically the line between these two occupations was thinner than a very very thin thing.
  • biziclop 2013-01-25 08:22
    Mr.Bob:
    Ha ha! Everyone laugh at those whose areas of expertise do not exactly match our own, because they're hopeless morons! Ha ha!

    Alexander had the chance to mold a new boss and develop major points by taking him under his wing and give him technical training, and he instead chose to throw it away by sighing and rolling his eyes every time the new boss asked for help... is that the real WTF?


    It's good to know what Nicholas's real name is.
  • Marvin the Martian 2013-01-25 10:32
    Sanhadrin:

    1) You never want the motherboard touching the case.
    2) Therefore, you'll always want spacers between the motherboard and case to prevent this.
    3) People, even experienced people, will make mistakes. It's part of being human.
    4) This mistake can cost one hundreds, even thousands, of dollars.
    5) You can significantly reduce the chance of the motherboard shorting against the case by spending ten cents during production to install the spacers before it leaves the factory.
    6) Preventing the majority of people who made this mistake from suffering hundreds of dollars of loss is a good thing. They won't associate your project with anger and disappointment, and they have more money to spend on your products. Also, simply helping people avoid that kind of personal loss is a good thing in and of itself (to some).
    7) Therefore, it's a major WTF and design flaw.

    You are destroying a useful sieve: having a tricky step inbetween guarantees that "i've built this PC!" at least means something, sieving out the worst incompetents.

    Compare with all that Java- and other Scripts lying around that make web"programming" easy: because the bar is so low, so many WTFs end up on this site, from people who started with a "VB in 3hours" book and then improvised themselves downhill.
  • DWalker59 2013-01-25 10:37
    Steve The Cynic:
    ubersoldat:
    I would laugh if I haven't seen this before, except this guy used the thermal on EVERY SOCKET he found:

    AGP (video card fucked)
    PCI (USB card fucked)
    CPU (fucked)
    RAM (fucked all four 500MB DIMM's)

    He thought that it would protect all components from heat.

    Man, I laughed and cried so hard.

    You know that thermal paste is actually a good thermal insulator, right? You use it to make sure that there aren't air spaces between the CPU and the heatsink, because those air spaces are an even better insulator.


    Are you trolling, or just wrong? Good thermal paste, like Arctic Silver, has high heat conductivity.
  • WhiskeyJack 2013-01-25 11:01
    wraith:

    "How. Did. You. Insert. That. Card. There." was all I could say
    "Well... it was kinda hard and I had to use a hammer, but I finally got it in. Is that the problem?"


    Reminds me of the first PC I ever bought. A K6-266 as I recall, in 1998. Good times. I purchased it from one of those Asian chop-shop PC clone makers. There's nothing inherently wrong with that if you find a good one... apparently I didn't. One day I went in to change out one of the PCI cards to discover that apparently the shop guys had trouble getting the metal L-bracket to seat properly against the case frame. No problem, they simply hammered out the L-bracket until it was straight and then re-bent it in a different place.

    The next PC I got was one I built myself, piece by piece...
  • Your Name 2013-01-25 12:56
    Well it is a bit more complicated than that. The thermal paste is a better conductor than air, but that isn't saying much. The fact that it is no where near as good a conductor as processor die or the metal heatsink makes it act more like an insulator than a conductor. Steve is right, you should use as little thermal paste as possible, just enough to fill in the cracks where air would get in between the two surfaces.
  • Gibbon1 2013-01-25 13:45
    Your Name:
    Well it is a bit more complicated than that. The thermal paste is a better conductor than air, but that isn't saying much. The fact that it is no where near as good a conductor as processor die or the metal heatsink makes it act more like an insulator than a conductor. Steve is right, you should use as little thermal paste as possible, just enough to fill in the cracks where air would get in between the two surfaces.


    Yeah the thermal resistance is proportional to the thickness, so thinner is better. But at some point the thermal grease ceases to be one of the dominant sources of resistance to heat flow. And then there is the issue of thermal expansion, too thin and areas of the heat sink might lift off. So it's a compromise.


  • OldMacGuy 2013-01-25 14:12
    Norman Diamond:
    Martin:
    pcfan:
    Actually PCs use extended ASCII, not regular ASCII...
    Windows-1252.

    Because ISO-8859-1 is too standardized.
    Shift-JIS for text files (usually including VC++ source files). UTF-16 for internal operations.

    I bet Macs use UTF-8, in which case Macs and PCs really do use different encodings. But I bet older Macs used to use Shift-JIS.


    Classic MacOS (formerly Mac System) used Mac Roman (also called Mac OS Roman) by default.

    OSX (formerly Mac OS X) uses UTF-8 like a good little unix.
  • HeeHaw 2013-01-25 14:19
    Ach! Keine blinkenlights!
  • Corrector Corrector's 2013-01-25 14:34
    DWalker59:
    Steve The Cynic:
    ubersoldat:
    I would laugh if I haven't seen this before, except this guy used the thermal on EVERY SOCKET he found:

    AGP (video card fucked)
    PCI (USB card fucked)
    CPU (fucked)
    RAM (fucked all four 500MB DIMM's)

    He thought that it would protect all components from heat.

    Man, I laughed and cried so hard.

    You know that thermal paste is actually a good thermal insulator, right? You use it to make sure that there aren't air spaces between the CPU and the heatsink, because those air spaces are an even better insulator.


    Are you trolling, or just wrong? Good thermal paste, like Arctic Silver, has high heat conductivity.


    The question is compared to what? Compared to air, it's amazing, but compared to anything actually relevant to removing heat, it's downright terrible. The only reason you don't just place the heatsink directly on the cpu is because of the air between the two surfaces. I imagine that if you lapped the CPU and heatsink with incredibly high-grade machines, it's probably possible to not even need thermal paste.
  • Paul Neumann 2013-01-25 14:37
    Sanhadrin:
    1) You never want the motherboard touching the case.
    2) Therefore, you'll always want spacers between the motherboard and case to prevent this.
    3) People, even experienced people, will make mistakes. It's part of being human.
    4) This mistake can cost one hundreds, even thousands, of dollars.
    5) You can significantly reduce the chance of the motherboard shorting against the case by spending ten cents during production to install the spacers before it leaves the factory.
    6) Preventing the majority of people who made this mistake from suffering hundreds of dollars of loss is a good thing. They won't associate your project with anger and disappointment, and they have more money to spend on your products. Also, simply helping people avoid that kind of personal loss is a good thing in and of itself (to some).
    7) Therefore, it's a major WTF and design flaw.

    You sound like the kind of person who makes lots of excuses for shoddy work.
    For those of you whom have not been playing the game since BEFORE your fancy ATX form factors: The mount points in the case and the mount points on the board were not always (read: never) a 1 to 1 relation. Generally, the case would have 2 dozen holes, the board a half dozen and you would need to place the risers accordingly. If the risers had been pre-placed, there would be an extra 18 points of contact for the board to short on.
  • Jeff 2013-01-25 14:41
    Thank goodness it had a happy ending!
  • jay 2013-01-25 17:35
    I always get a chuckle out of the people who say "I built my own computer!" and say it as a proud boast, like the fact that you were able to do this makes you a genius on a par with Charles Babbage.

    Umm ... you bought half a dozen pre-built components, all carefully designed by the manufacturer to snap together, and you snapped them together. Okay, there is some level of intelligence involved, as I guess this article proves. But you didn't invent it, you just assembled it from a kit. The hardest part is probably making sure you buy compatible components.
  • Coyne 2013-01-25 18:03
    Everything is fool-proof until they invent a better fool.

    They just keep inventing better fools. To paraphrase a certain song:
    They say these fools are a dime a dozen....I'm looking for the guy who's supplying the dimes!
  • Matt Westwood 2013-01-25 19:19
    jay:
    I always get a chuckle out of the people who say "I built my own computer!" and say it as a proud boast, like the fact that you were able to do this makes you a genius on a par with Charles Babbage.

    Umm ... you bought half a dozen pre-built components, all carefully designed by the manufacturer to snap together, and you snapped them together. Okay, there is some level of intelligence involved, as I guess this article proves. But you didn't invent it, you just assembled it from a kit. The hardest part is probably making sure you buy compatible components.


    I built a tic-tac-toe computer out of matchboxes and coloured costume beads when I was 10, having been inspired by a Martin Gardner article describing one such in Scientific American. Haven't actually built one since, although I did have a career-path where I serviced electronics hardware. It was the experience of being in a QA dept for 1987-vintage PCs that inspired me to change career to software.
  • Norman Diamond 2013-01-25 19:55
    OldMacGuy:
    Norman Diamond:
    Martin:
    pcfan:
    Actually PCs use extended ASCII, not regular ASCII...
    Windows-1252.

    Because ISO-8859-1 is too standardized.
    Shift-JIS for text files (usually including VC++ source files). UTF-16 for internal operations.

    I bet Macs use UTF-8, in which case Macs and PCs really do use different encodings. But I bet older Macs used to use Shift-JIS.
    Classic MacOS (formerly Mac System) used Mac Roman (also called Mac OS Roman) by default.
    Did Mac Roman include Roman, Kanji, hiragana, and katakana? If not, then Classic MacOS used something more extensive than Mac Roman. I'm still betting Shift-JIS.

    OldMacGuy:
    OSX (formerly Mac OS X) uses UTF-8 like a good little unix.
    I thought so. Thank you.
  • someone 2013-01-26 05:39
    i love happy ends
  • Musaran 2013-01-26 10:26
    the beholder:
    The only way out I can see is if Alexander said something like this:
    "Listen...
    Alexander would be screwed right from this first word.
  • Alastair 2013-01-26 10:30
    Jeff had alreasy been apointed by the idiot owner. I think that already implies a lack of logic right there. I once worked for a family firm and trust me, nepotism beats logic/common sense/sound business any day

    ( CAPTCHA decet, ---no its true and im not a robot honest)
  • Trident 2013-01-27 15:21
    You are right in air bubbles, but wrong in insulator.
    It is not good as steel itself, i admit, but its not an insulator. It have still very good ability to conduct thermal energy. But thermal paste have actually very low heat capacity.
    This is the reason why we have to keep paste layer as thin as possible.
    It also deteriorates through heat cycles and thermal conductance decreases. In this case depends on paste additives. And do not forget that materials which conducts heat also moves on paste layer because cpu sink and fan heat sink have both different thermal expansivity. So mechanical movement also deteriorates paste layer.

  • Shabadoo 2013-01-27 16:39
    fjf:
    urza9814:
    Reminds me of a friend of mine who, when building his first computer, couldn't figure out what those little riser screws with the motherboard were for, so he just screwed the thing directly to the steel case...shorting out EVERYTHING and frying his motherboard.

    Not that I was totally absent of stupid mistakes when I started building PCs...like when I discovered that, when shutting it down for a quick repair, if you get impatient and pull the CD drive power connector out too early the blue sparks look quite pretty inside the molex connector... unfortunately it also fried one of the IDE controllers...no big loss though, the motherboard was some cheap Chinese garbage, no more than $50...
    Oh, it's PC assembly story time ...

    In the 1990s I assembled a machine together with a friend. There were two ways the power supply plugs (AT) would fit and two ways the CPU would fit. We didn't have any manuals, but fortunately he was quite sure which way to put the power and I how to place the CPU. Needless to say, we got it right on our 4th attempt, but to our surprise, it still worked.


    Fourth attempt? That means one of you was right and one was wrong.

    Power: Wrong, CPU: Right
    Power: Wrong, CPU: Wrong
    Power: Right, CPU: Wrong
    Power: Right, CPU: Right
  • The Gray Code Knight 2013-01-27 18:36
    Shabadoo:
    fjf:
    In the 1990s I assembled a machine together with a friend. There were two ways the power supply plugs (AT) would fit and two ways the CPU would fit. We didn't have any manuals, but fortunately he was quite sure which way to put the power and I how to place the CPU. Needless to say, we got it right on our 4th attempt, but to our surprise, it still worked.
    Fourth attempt? That means one of you was right and one was wrong.

    Power: Wrong, CPU: Right
    Power: Wrong, CPU: Wrong
    Power: Right, CPU: Wrong
    Power: Right, CPU: Right
    That's one of the optimal orders all right, but I resent the implication that I had something to do with it.
  • fjf 2013-01-28 09:53
    The Gray Code Knight:
    Shabadoo:
    fjf:
    In the 1990s I assembled a machine together with a friend. There were two ways the power supply plugs (AT) would fit and two ways the CPU would fit. We didn't have any manuals, but fortunately he was quite sure which way to put the power and I how to place the CPU. Needless to say, we got it right on our 4th attempt, but to our surprise, it still worked.
    Fourth attempt? That means one of you was right and one was wrong.

    Power: Wrong, CPU: Right
    Power: Wrong, CPU: Wrong
    Power: Right, CPU: Wrong
    Power: Right, CPU: Right
    That's one of the optimal orders all right, but I resent the implication that I had something to do with it.
    In fact, you didn't. We went with the binary order on the "reasonable" assumption that 1 Right, 1 Wrong was more likely than 2 Wrong.
  • Mozzis 2013-01-30 13:31
    False. Ignorance revealed again.
  • Jules 2013-01-31 10:42
    I would have punched his fucking lights out if he'd blamed me for that mess....
  • Alexander Javoronkov 2013-01-31 18:29
    Gentlemen, can someone give me a clue on what's happening? Alexander is me, actually. That's my story. I have translated it to Englsh and submitted to WTF, the story is more than a year old. Only now it had appeared on the site, perverted to the maximum possible extent. Is it a common practice?

    http://nmi-ru.livejournal.com/17609.html
    Here's the automatic translation: http://translate.google.com/translate?twu=1?sl=ru&tl=en&u=http%3A//nmi-ru.livejournal.com/17609.html
    Didn't save the original English text (submitted via web form).
  • Scarlet Manuka 2013-02-04 20:45
    Alexander Javoronkov:
    Gentlemen, can someone give me a clue on what's happening? Alexander is me, actually. That's my story. I have translated it to Englsh and submitted to WTF, the story is more than a year old. Only now it had appeared on the site, perverted to the maximum possible extent. Is it a common practice?

    Well, that is the common practice, but actually from reading the (somewhat broken) automatic translation it sounds like it wasn't modified too heavily. The context seems to have been entirely made up, but the technical details are pretty much correct. We've had WTFs where the technical part has been completely mucked around with as well and the submitter has had to post an explanation of what the WTF actually was, because the story didn't make sense.
  • The Crunger 2013-02-05 20:09
    Alexander Javoronkov:
    Gentlemen, can someone give me a clue on what's happening? Alexander is me, actually. That's my story. I have translated it to Englsh and submitted to WTF, the story is more than a year old. Only now it had appeared on the site, perverted to the maximum possible extent. Is it a common practice?


    Alexandr

    I cannot say why it took a year -- perhaps difficult to understand the nature of the actual WTF mistakes.

    Sometimes names and details are changed, to protect submitters from revenge from managers, sysadmins, who make silly mistakes.

    Back story is common for this web site. Readers really like stories where:

    (1) Competent Technician (or programmer) saves enterprise, but loses job

    (2) Idiotka gets Promotion, Salary Raise, Girlfriend
  • VeeTwo 2013-02-06 17:02
    The Crunger:
    Alexander Javoronkov:
    Gentlemen, can someone give me a clue on what's happening? Alexander is me, actually. That's my story. I have translated it to Englsh and submitted to WTF, the story is more than a year old. Only now it had appeared on the site, perverted to the maximum possible extent. Is it a common practice?


    Alexandr

    I cannot say why it took a year -- perhaps difficult to understand the nature of the actual WTF mistakes.

    Sometimes names and details are changed, to protect submitters from revenge from managers, sysadmins, who make silly mistakes.

    Back story is common for this web site. Readers really like stories where:

    (1) Competent Technician (or programmer) saves enterprise, but loses job

    (2) Idiotka gets Promotion, Salary Raise, Girlfriend


    I find it amusing that he tried to drench the CPU in alcohol over the weekend. If this happened to me, I am sure something would be drenched in alcohol, just maybe not the CPU.
  • Alexander Javoronkov 2013-02-07 02:42
    > he tried to drench the CPU in alcohol
    Well, yes, I was very surprised to hear that he has managed to get this thing working, somehow (I didn't see it with my own eyes, though).

    I'm not sure that the alcohol is the right word to describe the liquid used for cleaning. Don't know the right English word for this, in Russia we call it the "technical spirit". Wikipedia link leads here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denatured_alcohol

    As for the alcohol intake - well, yes, seems like it's the common solution in case you dont't want to bang your head against the wall :)