Sunday, June 24, 2007

Bang! Psst……Poof….Bang! Bang!

My PC’s SMPS blew in front of my eyes yesterday.

I was plagued by this problem of my PC hanging for no apparent reason. I do not think hanging is the right word here, since a soft reboot does not help once it “hangs”. The term that I think is more appropriate would be freezing, where the screen looks like a photograph, still and inanimate. The mouse pointer is stuck where it previously was, and the keyboard no longer works (can’t even get the Num Lock led to turn off). In short, the PC’s session is screwed. Any program that I might have running at the time loses its state once I restart the PC, so the work that I forgot to save is lost into oblivion as well. These are times that I actually want to thank the brains behind auto-save, always ready to greet me with a “There are unsaved documents….” message once the PC and the app are restarted. But auto-save cannot help every time, and there are times that I’ve lost some code lines to these random freezes.

That was the main reason as to why I decided on opening up my PC cabinet yesterday. It was well and all while I was checking the cable connections and any loose ends (as I have done for the umpteenth time). Then my eyes caught this little slider on my SMPS unit, which allowed me to switch between voltage levels. Thinking voltage levels might be the culprit behind the problem, I changed the sliders from their default position. I have been wondering since then as to where the basic electric common sense of mine had gone at the time. I plugged it in, and then switched on the power. The SMPS unit obviously didn’t like the change, since feeding 240V mains into a 150V power unit is, I believe what they call, pure madness. I was the raging image of monsieur Frankenstein, attempting to do the undoable. The rest, as they say, is history....

The “high” voltage completely damaged my SMPS, blowing out the surge capacitor, and one of the transformers on the SMPS as well. It also managed to blow out the fuse on my UPS. But I was glad to know that was the extent of the damage, since I could have not been able to afford losing out my motherboard, or my processor, or any of the components on my PC.

Then started the agonizing process of waiting for the computer shops to open up, so that I could get myself a new replacement unit for my PC. I wandered shops, looking for the perfect combination of price and features, and I happened to realize how much people seem to neglect this unit while planning for a new PC. The vendors try to entice customers by exhibiting slogans like “P4 at 25000/- flat!”. But it is components like the SMPS that these vendors compromise on. The simplest proof of this was the lack of SMPS units from a recognized brand (such as Antec). And so I had to choose from a lot of “Chinese” models before I came to this monstrosity of a power supply. It has specs for 550 W of power, and even with the regular overstatements of capacity (my last SMPS was labeled 450W, but the actual power wattage was a mere 350W), this unit would supply me with a 500 Wattage of power. This is more than enough for me, since newer motherboards with 965/975 chipsets demand that much of power as a decent requirement, but my motherboard, being slightly beyond par with the times (I have an 865 board), should be more than happy to get 350 Watts of “pure” power. Add to that the GeForce 6200 and a 200 GB SATA drive that I’ve got, and I think the price I shelled out for the unit was more than justified. Add to that the fact that it’s got fans on three side (OK, not great from a cooling point of view, but sure does add some eye candy to the unit.) Besides, how hot can my PC get anyways? ;)

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Latest rumination

Today's blog update is the sole outcome of my encountering this blog, referred by cipher. The way the ideas flow in the blog really buoyed the interest that I once had when I planned to keep on blogging.

Life has really gotten hectic for some time now. I haven't been able to update this blog, though i've made plans many a times to do so. It's like I have lost touch with what I should be doing, instead choosing to spend time glowering at the many misfits that life tends to throw in the course of everyday survival.

It's not as if I've brought about a feeling of neglect for blogging. After all, I had made a promise to myself to start writing some time ago, and it is true that I have been writing personal blogs a few times all along, the contents of which I'd rather not publicize to the world. That is the reason these articles of mine safely stay at home. The "unpublishable" pieces notwithstanding, I also wanted to fill this publicly personal space of mine.

I can't say nothing interesting has happened for this hiatus of my blog. After all, things that I would never have imagined some time ago have happened. For instance, I would never, in my wildest of dreams, have thought I'd be going to her house, and also getting to say "Hi" to her mom. Although things are not as upbeat as they sound, I nonetheless made it to her house, and survived to tell the tale. Then there was the 24th of May, 23 years after the genesis of my being, and getting to be stupidly straightforward with that other person who kinda' turned into that new crush, the one who sends butterflies (and some bees too, i guess) along your tummy. Things quite did not turn out the way that my fantasies had projected, and sometimes, I think things went best the way that they did. It was good that things did not get out of hand , except of course the funny incident where I apparently appeared wet eyed (which I can safely account to staring at the monitor for 3 hours flat without wearing my glasses), but nonetheless, she thought she was responsible for that.

....and then life just keeps day at a time....