So I arrived at the Sharknado Tank at my usual 6:30ish, clicked the Big Red Switch on the power strip, and watched the work box fail to boot.
Thirty-four times. (Normal is just short of 2.)
The New Hardware Kid stumbled onto the premises, popped open the box, and stared in disbelief as the CPU and the heat sink/fan combo finally got the separation they’d been yearning for, ever since the plastic bracket that used to hold them together started to disintegrate.
Fortunately for me, corporate policy has always been to buy a whole lot of mediocre commodity machines rather than a handful of good ones, so it was a matter of minutes before NHK turned up an identical-looking box with an identical-looking motherboard. Various components were swapped, and I was back up and running by noon. The alternative — take delivery of a newer box and start moving a quarter of a million files — was too horrible to contemplate, though it will be forced upon me when Microsoft finally declares Windows XP dead next spring. (How old are these boxen? We’re talking Socket 754 here.)