15 January 2007


Late on Thursday night my PC shut down and wouldn't start up.

It had been giving me intermittent power problems for a few years now, but I'd always figured it was just a loose connection as unplugging and replacing the power cord had proved enough to bring it back on every occasion. More, it had actually been better recently than it had been at other times - such as one very warm summer in Bath or at the back end of last year when a fault on the power grid brought about by awful weather was tripping all the PCs in the house, and the lights, on a regular basis. But this time it went and nothing would bring it back.

A fresh look in the morning, after some sleep, confirmed it was dead, and a quick fiddle inside the box led to a thorough clean (not that it had been that long since I last cleaned out the internals) and the conclusion that it had to be the PSU that had gone. I know sod all about components and costs but I know I'm next to broke; I was a little concerned about the potential costs, especially if I had to get someone in to do it. Thankfully my diagnostic was correct; I went and got a replacement at a decent cost and fitted the thing myself.

The trek was a pain though: firstly I had to stop by my dad's flat to pick up my bike. I'd tried a couple of days before but had trouble opening the code-locked shed. I had thought I had been given the wrong code but, when I went back and tried again, I found it was just a question of the wooden door having swollen and gotten stiff in the frame. I'd not cycled for a good few years though and damn was I tired by the time I reached the store on the far side of Oxford. My legs were so shot I could hardly walk as I dismounted!

I was a little better when I got home after it, but the whole experience has reminded me why I detest cycling in the wintertime: cold air blasts my lungs to crap and sets my nose a-streaming. This forces me to breathe through my mouth, drying it out and leaving me gasping, knackered and breathless even before the exercise is taken into account. Secondly at this time of year, especially when it has been as wet as it has in the last week or so, there's so much crap on the roads that one cannot cycle anywhere without getting coated in it. Bleh.

Oh well - I have the bike back, and a working PC once more; plus the exercise will have done me some good. Thus for the price of a new PSU I'm a touch fitter, connected again and more mobile than I was: a decent outcome, I guess.

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