Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Bring on the Mini Eggs

Think I need 'em.

This is going to be one of those "How did your day go dear ?" posts where the person asking the question instantly regrets having asked it ...
Phew ! Found a thumbnail pic which was better than what I nearly used :
It has been that kind of a week so far since coming back into work. Work's been fine, it's just :

Recovering from bugs;
Really unhappy ankles from breaking in new shoes;
Super unhappy legs that are complaining at me for walking them around;
(the muscles think they're being overworked - it's a symptom of bugs)
Silly day today.

I had to take a day off work today to support a visit from the electric people who wanted to switch me over to smart meters. Good idea for them, totally ambivalent to it from my point of view.

So today was pretty much wasted due to waiting for someone who turned up at about 4pm in a window of 12pm to 6pm. And I needed to be around. I wouldn't even have been able to do ballcock fixing because with me up in the attic doing that, I'd never hear the guy tapping on the door. (B+Q didn't appear to want to sell me what I needed anyway, still need parts).

Ok - stress.

These bugs have been way more noticeable this week than last. Perhaps because when I was being lazy, I wasn't pushing for strength that wasn't there cos of the bugs. Back at work tomorrow again and I have two secret weapons ... Coffee and Mini Eggs !
Yep. A fix for anything.

Including disasters happening at the same time as the meters were being changed ...

Disaster number 2 is easier - I need to stop procrastinating and get the boiler man in ! It won't relight after the pilot light was extinguished for the meter change. Urg. It's done this before, I suspect the thermocouple that tells the boiler that it's safe to light (not overheated) has burned up again. Had that boiler for a while.

Disaster number 1 is fixed but it'll get me talking about PC bits and pieces. Tonight's disaster was the power supply to my desktop going *pop* almost as soon as it was turned back on. It was a Corsair CX600 (600W capacity, decent for budget, good make) that was 4 years and a couple of months old. I don't think it was being particularly stressed. My desktop now has three hard discs and just one moderate power graphics card. Yet the power supply goes bang anyway.

When stuff goes Bang inside a PC, it can be tough to figure out what. The first thing to do is see if anything twitches, anything at all. That means fans trying to start up, lights on the mainboard, things like that. In this case, it was stone dead. (I was also able to test it on an older PC which made noises and shone lights with its own supply).

I've had to buy another Corsair supply (a 750W which may support a second graphics card if I ever do that) because that's all PC World have but they're definitely off the recommended list now*. When there's equally high quality competition, you can afford to blacklist certain suppliers if they let you down. And a power supply should not go bang after just over 4 years.

*(a day later and a correction - I'd still buy a Corsair supply, this one failed gracefully. I've had 2.5** power supplies fail including the Corsair. A no name one went *pop* and took down several other components with it. The protection circuits in the Corsair apparently kept the other bits in my desktop ok. Thumbs up)
**(the 0.5 was where a fan failed and stuck. These things happen ... I resurrected that supply ... but would definitely not recommend opening up a power supply to fix it unless you know the big dangers of electrocution that it exposes you to.)

I'm also blacklisting Roccat. I bought a new mouse from them sometime last year to replace one which was wearing out. I think this one is failing already ... the middle mouse button (the wheel) seems to be loosening up, I suspect I'll be mouse shopping again this year.

The last of the current blacklist is Saitek, these people make flightsticks. Trouble is, their quality has declined severely over recent years. That seems to be the way, a company gets a great reputation and then trades on it for years after while quality declines. I used a Fly.5 from Saitek, which inherited the unwanted yaw problem too many people suffer (It turns hard right when you want to go straight). Other people complain about buttons falling off and throttles failing. The Fly.5 was also very difficult to handle precisely around the middle.

Yep. Today has been way tougher than it should have been. But ...

Desktop PC is now resurrected with a new power supply;
A few regiments of the Dust Bunny army have been exiled from said desktop PC;
Boilerman visit was overdue anyway;
I have Mini Eggs.

PS It's always a wise idea to start up a PC somewhere accessible before closing it all up. Guess who had to pull it out of its hole again in order to put in a power lead that had come out ...

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