Too close to the edge

Well, that was fun. My computer died two weeks ago, and I have been experiencing a gamut of unpleasant emotions and saying several four-letter words with anatomical references. It truly passed with a bang – or more specifically, a blue screen of death. Rebooting it only resulted in bringing my PC into a coma-like fugue, with the HDD light worryingly stuck on. Verdict: toasted motherboard. I suspect it had something to do with last year’s problems with the northbridge chipset.

It was a better excuse to upgrade than I could ever come up on my own, so after a week of staring at computer guts heaped on top of my writing desk, I went to my local Chinese-run computer shop and bought an Athlon64, new motherboard, and RAM. Unfortunately, the adventure didn’t stop there – the new computer proved to be quite unstable. I’ve become a little too intimate with Asus motherboard arcanum and the trinity of troubleshooting tools – Prime95, Memtest86, and 3DMark03. Verdict: A disobedient stick of RAM.

Prime95 actually has an amusing story. It’s actually a distributed client designed to look for prime numbers. However, overclocking enthusiasts discovered it gave their hardware a thorough workout, and now it’s reknown more for its “torture tests” than its Marsennes-finding abilities.

The funny thing is, I wasn’t terribly stressed out about the whole thing. I do regular backups, I was due for an upgrade, and I was financially prepared to buy lots of computer stuff at a moment’s notice. Also, with the advent of web services, less and less of my work and data is tied to one computer. Or maybe I’m just growing up. Nah.

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