December 9, 2012
I took on the job of assembling a bunch of computers for my husband’s office. Not so quixotic as it might sound, because (a) I used to work as a computer tech and (b) I’ve built plenty of computers and (c) they’re going to pay me.
Of course, as with any computer-construction job, sometimes the instructions don’t quite match the reality. In this case, I was told to attach SATA cables to the hard drives after they’d been installed in their little cages. As it turns out, my hands are neither that small nor that nimble (the space was pretty darn cramped). So, although I didn’t hear or feel it happen, one SATA power cable got broken. (For the non-geeks among us, those are the cables that bring the power from the power supply to the drives, and their connectors are unaccountably fragile.) Result: first computer no workee. In fact, once I got it booted up and went to take a bathroom break… when I came back the thing was stone cold dead. AIEEEEE! I’ve never had a computer just flat-out commit suicide before. This was rather distressing, to say the least.
However, I resolved to have a positive attitude toward the second one, plus assemble it slightly differently so that those fragile connectors were never in peril. And this I did, and lo, the second computer went together in much less time and lo, it looked perfect upon completion.
Except… when I turned it on, the monitor screen flashed briefly and then went blank. SAY WHAT!!!
I re-checked everything and found nothing wrong. I asked my husband to come check everything and he found nothing wrong. We swapped the video cable. No change. Then I said “Oh, all right, I’ll go get the monitor off the Mac from the office” (we were using a really beat-up monitor my husband had scrounged from someplace at work).
Now, excavating the Mac’s monitor from its place in the office was an adventure unto itself. When we re-did the office we pretty much wedged things into the available space. Efficient and space-saving, as long as nothing had to be moved afterwards. Now I had to move something, and it wasn’t pretty. After pulling the keyboard table out, moving the bookcase, moving the power bar, untangling the cables and pulling everything apart, I was finally able to carry the monitor out to the kitchen table where the assembly process was in progress.
I hooked it up, crossed my fingers and flipped the switch. And oh, hallelujah, there was the login screen. If I hadn’t been certain it would have damaged the floor I would have jumped up and down.
I enjoy putting computers together. I’m sure I’ll enjoy putting the rest of these together now that I know I’m actually capable of doing it right.
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