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Step-by-Step Computer Destruction 296

Unixrevolution writes "Dan's Data has an excellent article on how an enterprising user (or repair tech) can easily destroy their computer. Most of us don't destroy nearly enough hardware, so this should be helpful."
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Step-by-Step Computer Destruction

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  • by panxerox ( 575545 ) * on Sunday September 07, 2003 @12:18PM (#6893381)
    IT's gonna love me when they come in on monday hehehe.
  • easier way (Score:5, Funny)

    by I Want GNU! ( 556631 ) on Sunday September 07, 2003 @12:19PM (#6893392) Homepage
    Post a link to it from Slashdot.

    Or tell hackers that it is the most secure computer ever.
  • Here are step by steps instructions for that: []
    You should only have to do this once :)
    • Mod this up, I haven't laughed so hard about something nerdy in a long time!
  • by The Gardener ( 519078 ) on Sunday September 07, 2003 @12:21PM (#6893412) Homepage

    And here I was using the arc welder.

    The Gardener

  • Steps: (Score:4, Funny)

    by TCM ( 130219 ) on Sunday September 07, 2003 @12:21PM (#6893413)
    1. take hammer

    2. apply to computer
  • by The-Bus ( 138060 ) on Sunday September 07, 2003 @12:22PM (#6893428)
    Spend time destroying a power supply? I just take it to the daycare and let some 3 year olds have at it. They're at it with eating utensils, watering the motherboard, putting peanut butter sandwiches in the disk drives, throwing the sound card -- it akes about 10 minutes for the damn thing to be obliterated.

    Sure, you lose a few lives when the cute little tots start putting forks inside the power supply, but that's the price you pay for progress.
    • My son wasn't very ambitious, he only killed a floppy drive - by putting quarters into it of course.

      Oh wait, and there was the CD-ROM incident. Did you know a CD-ROM can hold 3 discs?

      Oh, almost forgot about the attempts at drawing pictures on the monitor - with a metal spoon.

      Hmmm, and that time I left Explorer open to the C: drive when I went to the bathroom.

      And I can't forget the time he filled the case with CDs by sliding them into a little gap between the actual drive and the plastic bay cover a
  • by ralphart ( 70342 ) on Sunday September 07, 2003 @12:22PM (#6893434)
    ...I just turn the computer over to my wife...
  • by awx ( 169546 ) on Sunday September 07, 2003 @12:23PM (#6893441)
    ...Notlikethis [] :D
  • by TyrranzzX ( 617713 ) on Sunday September 07, 2003 @12:24PM (#6893458) Journal
    No telling how YOU might be a PSYCHOPATH!!!

    Looove it!
    I prefer the sledgehammer method, you may however want something more radical, like a shotgun, 9mm, or my personal favorite, use it as a noisemaker and tie it to the back of the couple's wedding limo.
  • Meh (Score:5, Interesting)

    by JayBlalock ( 635935 ) on Sunday September 07, 2003 @12:25PM (#6893469)
    That's nothing. Anyone who's worked tech support before has heard (or, heh heh, DONE) worse. I'd be REALLY impressed if he could give us directions on destroying an IBM Model M keyboard. I've had mine for a decade and still haven't managed to even dent it.
    • Re:Meh (Score:2, Funny)

      by JanneM ( 7445 )
      Spill coffee in it, repeatedly, over a period of five years. :(
    • Re:Meh (Score:4, Funny)

      by realdpk ( 116490 ) on Sunday September 07, 2003 @12:57PM (#6893747) Homepage Journal
      Do like I did...

      Spill juice on it, and then try to dry it out quickly by turning on the wall heater (similar to a space heater) in your apartment and lean the keyboard up against it. Make sure not to check on it periodically. In about 5 minutes it should be pretty well melted and half of the keys useless.

      At least I found a cheap replacement on eBay... heh.
  • CD-Rs (Score:5, Informative)

    by T-Kir ( 597145 ) on Sunday September 07, 2003 @12:25PM (#6893471) Homepage

    Although I haven't RTFA yet, I find the best way to get rid of data on CD-R's isn't to erase it (which can take as long as a full writing session) but stick it in the microwave for about 5 seconds (just before the lighting effect happens).

    If you do this though, best ventilate the area afterwards!!

    • Re:CD-Rs (Score:4, Funny)

      by Minna Kirai ( 624281 ) on Sunday September 07, 2003 @12:42PM (#6893625)
      I find the best way to get rid of data on CD-R's isn't to erase it

      Good, because a CD-R cannot be erased.
      Maybe you're thinking of the more advanced CD-RW media.

      • Whether it's a CD-R or CD-RW, I really think sufficient microwaving can "erase" it.

        No one actually said anything about being able to re-use it.

      • by T-Kir ( 597145 ) on Sunday September 07, 2003 @01:09PM (#6893843) Homepage

        Oh, I wondered why Nero wouldn't erase my CD-R Media :-P

        Yes I see your point, maybe I should have written 'recordable CD/DVD orientated media' instead of me using a bastardisation of the CD-R term.

        Either way, If you open the microwave and put in your 'recordable CD/DVD orientated media' into the said microwave. Close the door, set to maximum power and set the timer for 5 seconds (based around a 700watt microwave) then turn on microwave. When done, open microwave and the media should be unreadable (even if you couldn't erase your CD-R/RW, DVD/-/+/R/RAM, CD/DVD-ROM or any unmentioned media in Nero or your burning software of choice).

        I might have missed some details in my instructions for you, or that incorrect usage of grammar and spelling might have occurred... or that (God forbid) I might have used technical terminology incorrectly. But I hope that I got my point across.

        Just in case someone asks, I'm in a half playful, half sarcastic mood at the moment. Hence the tone of my post.

  • Three damned days with a new $3000.00 Dell laptop and it's buggered so bad it won't connect to the Internet.

    Give him a week and you'll need a soldering iron to put it back together.
  • At school... (Score:5, Informative)

    by RainbowSix ( 105550 ) on Sunday September 07, 2003 @12:26PM (#6893484) Homepage
    At Carnegie Mellon University there is a stairwell called Architect's Leap, and a common pasttime is to Leap old monitors by dropping them from the top story. It is usually fairly effective and equally satisfying.
    • I was considering where to a a PHd - this definitely settles it in favor of CMU!

      This stairway anywhere near the Maths department?
      • Re:At school... (Score:3, Informative)

        by iotaborg ( 167569 )
        It's the stair case in Wean Hall, which is the huge concrete fortress on campus (largest concrete structure in the world iirc), home of the CS, physics, and math department
    • by ae ( 16342 )

      At the Royal Institute of Technology [] (KTH) in Stockholm, Sweden we have Macintosh Tetris, typically performed in the Sing Sing building (yes, it's named after the New York prison), which is similar, but requires more precision and a larger number of machines.

  • Memories... (Score:5, Funny)

    by lateralus ( 582425 ) <> on Sunday September 07, 2003 @12:27PM (#6893494) Journal

    When I was 5 I decided that the floppy drive of our C64 was thirsty and promptly poured a half liter glass of Coca-Cola into it.

    Children are a joy.

  • I don't get it.

    Overtighten you screws, pour cola on your mainboard, chew something and create crumbs....

    Why is this news? This kind of stuff stopped being funny sometime in 1995. So even if it WAS published in 98, it was cruft then too.

    Tomorrow we'll talk about how to properly destroy an old stereo amplifier.

    • The worst thing is people replying with stuff like "HAMMERZ!!! lOL!!!!!!! NO CHAINSAWS!!! LMFAO!!!11". Geeks can be the stupidest people...
  • by Seth Finklestein ( 582901 ) on Sunday September 07, 2003 @12:30PM (#6893523) Journal
    This article looks familiar. Perhaps it's because Slashdot linked to it 4 1/2 years ago [].

    Nice work, "editors."
  • Very incomplete... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by AchilleTalon ( 540925 ) on Sunday September 07, 2003 @12:31PM (#6893536) Homepage
    no reference on HOW TO use a magnet to erase some useful data on chips.

  • Defenestrate (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Sphere1952 ( 231666 ) on Sunday September 07, 2003 @12:31PM (#6893541) Journal
    It's one of my favorite words.
    • My brother, bless his wicked little heart, works for a university. And one of his first things to do on the job was to fill out the paperwork regarding how they were going to get rid of the old computers, to be included in the req (that's requisition) forms for the new equipment. (Wreck forms, that's where we're heading with this.) He wrote down that they intended to weed out the old computers through a strategic defenestration program. It almost got signed! At the last possible moment, the page was sent to the department of large words and syllables (also know as, "Hey! you work for the English department, don't you?? GEt in here! What does this mean??") The UNfunny part was him almost getting his first written warning on his first week at the job. The FUNNY part, well... it's not the first time that he's had to go to his union rep and say, er- you don't understand, we're not trying to get me out of this one. I really did this!

      Nor, in retrospect, was it his last...

      He figures any meeting that begins with the words, "Do you realise that i almost SIGNED this??" means he hasn't lost his job (yet)....

      • Nice kid. :)

        I've only defenestrated one computer, and it was rather busted anyway. (No, I did not defenestrate the monitor.)
      • by shadowcabbit ( 466253 ) * <cx AT thefurryone DOT net> on Sunday September 07, 2003 @08:38PM (#6896197) Journal
        When I worked as an intern for my university's IT department, one of the last tasks they had me do one year was to haul a room full of old Pentium 1 machines, monitors, et al across the street to the cafeteria, where an industrial trash compactor was waiting to receive them. I was assigned this task alongside one of the first-year interns. We loaded our carts up with the machines and happily heaved machine upon machine into the beast. We were especially impressed with the various popping noises and flashes of light coming from within the compactor.

        That's not the funny part.

        Watching us do all of this was a fairly brain-dead janitor. As we were performing hard drive dumps (literally), this guy was rooting around in the carts and extracting the absolute scuzziest stuff he could find. Mice with missing balls, keyboards that were missing rows, that sort of thing. Periodically he would stop us and ask if this would work with his computer at home, and not tell us what kind of computer he had ("it's a old one").

        That's still not the funny part.

        The funny part is that, while we were listening to the wailing and gnashing of drives, he took us aside confidentially and said, "yuh know, we threw uh cat in thur once. Man, did at thang screeeeem..."

        We immediately went to our boss and related the story. We didn't have to haul anymore garbage back to the cafeteria that day.
  • by tcd004 ( 134130 ) * on Sunday September 07, 2003 @12:33PM (#6893553) Homepage
    Just follow these easy step-by-step instructions. []

  • Monitor (Score:4, Informative)

    by tsa ( 15680 ) on Sunday September 07, 2003 @12:33PM (#6893555) Homepage
    I destroyed a monitor once by giving it an X screen at a far too high frequency. You should try it once, it makes beautiful sounds while it dies...
    • Re:Monitor (Score:3, Informative)

      by mczak ( 575986 )
      Must have been a very old monitor. This "too high frequencies can destroy monitors" is more urban myth than anything else nowadays. You can destroy your 20 year old 12" vga monitor, perhaps even very early multisync monitors, but I'm confident it won't work on any monitor built in the last 10 years or so - they'll just switch off, giving you that "hsync out of range" (or similar) message.
  • by Courageous ( 228506 ) on Sunday September 07, 2003 @12:34PM (#6893568)

    I was working on my home computer, had it dissassembled in various parts, was doing some testing. Wife called. Handled phone call. Hung up. Now where was I?

    *power up*

    *puff of smoke*

    Oh, yes. The part where I was supposed to put the heatsink on the cpu.


    • Re:My own story... (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I did the same thing with a Pentium 233MMX. The machine was not booting so I took everything down to the MB, video card, memory and a hard drive. This was not exactly bare-bones, but some MBs won't boot without video, an attached IDE device or memory. They won't even POST in some cases. It still wasn't booting so I replaced the CPU with a known working one. I didn't attach the fan because it was only for a quick test. As soon as I popped it in and powered on, fully intending to turn it off after three or fo
  • by Orion Blastar ( 457579 ) <orionblastar&gmail,com> on Sunday September 07, 2003 @12:34PM (#6893570) Homepage Journal
    Using an ink pen to remove those SIMM/DIMM memory chips, nothing like breaking off the tip of an inkpen and spilling the ink on the motherboard. Never use anything like a small slotted screwdriver or pliers.

    Oh yeah, be sure to clean the CPU and CPU socket with a used toothbrush. Nothing beats the scraping of a used toothbrush to ruin a CPU and CPU socket.

    Also make sure that you leave the PCI and ISA cards in partway, don't push down on them just slide them in and then power on the system. Don't even bother putting a screw to hold them in place. Be sure to jerk the case around before you put it back in place.

    Also should by some miricle you get the system bootable, always hit Reset or power off before shutting down the OS, so you can kill the hard drive too. Act like the whole computer is your personal game console and just power off right in the middle of running an important program with lots of files open.
    • I have both intentionally and unintentionally hot-swapped PCI cards in not-rated-for-hot-swap motherboards. Result: like as not the damned things work once plugged in, and not a single one ruined. (this for current stuff all the way back to 1997 era stuff)

      AGP on the other hand... zap zap zap (ruined a GF2 that way, it wasn't quite all the way in)

  • Anyone with so much aggression that they wish to utterly destroy their computer won't have the patience required for the methodical destruction this article describes. :-)
  • so old (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Alien54 ( 180860 ) on Sunday September 07, 2003 @12:35PM (#6893572) Journal
    I guess it was time for someone to put the site out of it's misery. Easiest way? Link it from SlashDot.

    reminds me of a description I saw once:

    • It makes the cutest little "poof" sound when it goes up in smoke
    another one bites the dust
  • by canajin56 ( 660655 ) on Sunday September 07, 2003 @12:35PM (#6893577)

    A friend of mine had a trident VC that belonged to a friend that had stopped working (The VC had stopped, not the friend) and he also had a trident. He figures the bios is blown, so he pulls his bios out and puts it in this other card. Sure enough, the card works fine now. "Alright, he just needs to order a new bios chip" and he puts it back in his card. Puts the card in his PC, turns it on, and...*BOOM!"

    He put the chip in backwards, and it actually exploded. I got hit in the cheek with a chunk of microchip.

  • Unplug the fans. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by miradu2000 ( 196048 ) * on Sunday September 07, 2003 @12:36PM (#6893582) Homepage
    My favorite way is to unplug all the fans from the computer, and watch the temperature rise -before smoke comes from inside.. muhahaha. This works better on a 100+ degree day when the heat cannot dissapate that well.
  • by htmlboy ( 31265 ) on Sunday September 07, 2003 @12:36PM (#6893584)
    i had the opportunity to take a sledgehammer to a burned-out imac for work this summer. the footage was used in a commercial for the dorm cable channel reminding students that they can get help for their computers before they get aggravated enough to take a sledgehammer to them. but the full video's kind of boring (and a big download), so here's the footage of the smashing: []

    if anyone's curious, it felt pretty good.
  • If you have an uncooperative vendor who doesn't want to replace a marginal part, I find that a stun gun provides a great deal of benefit. One small application to the device in question, and you've gone from a marginal device, to dead one, with an automatic RMA in your hands.
  • any place you should be using a plug especally into a streight edge connecter (like old ISA bords) use a jumper cable. There is a very good chance the jumper will slip off the power and on to a naboring data connection sending full power into a system that can't handle it for the breaf moment the jumper is connected to both... ZAP.
  • by Otter ( 3800 ) on Sunday September 07, 2003 @12:47PM (#6893670) Journal
    Not only is this an ancient, ancient dupe but no one has linked to Datadocktor'n's great tutorials on how to defraggle your motherdisc [] (with steel wool) and upgrade your graphics card [], again with steel wool.

    And in the "Not kidding" department there are the ads in the Boston subways for some tech certification school that features a woman in a fleece top and a red fleece hat (like Meg on Family Guy) working on a motherboard. Apparently they misunderstood what the "Red Hat" in RHCE stands for, but I'm glad that's not my system she's working on.

  • by StandardCell ( 589682 ) on Sunday September 07, 2003 @12:49PM (#6893676)
    Out of all the computer hardware you probably have to destroy, old hard drives top the list for security and privacy reasons. Although taking apart the hard drive is good, it's time consuming and difficult if you have a lot of computers to dispose of. A better solution would be to subject it to the magnetic field of a degaussing coil []. The magnetic field of course is strongest along an axis that passes through the center of the coil, so making small circles and passing the HD through it should be enough to kill it. This is also handy for the paranoid who are afraid to have their data found to have a smaller version wrapped around a hard drive attached to an alarm mechanism.
  • by Bob Cat - NYMPHS ( 313647 ) on Sunday September 07, 2003 @12:51PM (#6893703) Homepage
    It's got these dancing hamsters on it. It's really funny. I'm going to mail it to everyone I know. I bet they never saw it before, since it's new to me. I'm so glad I got this interweb thing last week.

    5 years from now, I will discover Zero Wing. When I do, I will send it to you.
  • If they wanted to destroy some computers, why not just put windows on, and then install Bonzi Buddy?
  • by Mabelyne ( 704976 ) on Sunday September 07, 2003 @01:02PM (#6893781) Journal
    Purchase a litre of Muriatic Acid, take the cap off, set it beside running computer. It's a very slow and agonizing death!

  • [computers] are totally defenseless, all we need are more people with hammers. -Thom Yorke (Radiohead) [computers] are totally defenseless, all we need are more sysadmins with guns. -me (to defend the servers of course ;-))
  • Etherkiller (Score:5, Funny)

    by mraymer ( 516227 ) <> on Sunday September 07, 2003 @01:11PM (#6893853) Homepage Journal []

    I think this would bring down a network quicker than the worst Slashdotting. My favorite is the powered hub, but I think the hard drive killer is nice, too.

  • by fpp ( 614761 ) on Sunday September 07, 2003 @01:12PM (#6893861)
    "Unfortunately, static discharge damage is actually a fairly rare cause of computer problems."

    OK, what is this guy smoking? Static discharge is certainly NOT a rare cause of computer problems, especially in dry areas. The problem is that it's rarely blamed for hardware problems, because there's no way to tell why a board just "died".

    I work as a production engineer on a high tech assembly line, and our service calls due to "dead" boards dropped by 55% after we instituted tight anti-static measures on both the assembly line and in the service department.

    Anti-static precautions are not taken very seriously in some computer industries, especially the "mom and pop" stores which sell individual components. I can't tell you how many so-called computer "experts" I've seen handle RAM with their bare hands, and with no anti-static bag.
  • I guess Rob doesn't have anything else to do but drive traffic to his friend's sites. This was probably one of the most inane articles I've ever seen on Slashdot.
  • About the most expensive distruction of computer equipment I've ever accomplished was to realize I'd wired the KVM between my workstation and server wrong and swapped all the cables with both computers running. I honestly had no idea this could be bad, not even when neither machine would respond to the keyboard or mouse. No problem, I thought, I'll reboot. So I did and and both halted with keyboard / mouse errors.

  • A friend had a great idea while I was out of the room for a moment. He decided he could make the Atari 800 computer work faster and better by moving around the ROM boards.... the computer never worked again...

    Another day... he thought if he plugged the AC adaptor from the Atari 2600 into the headset outlet on the TV it would make it louder... and it did for that nice POP sound you can only get when you fry something... the TV never had sound again through either the built in speakers or headset...

    I wont
  • end user at my last job was quite adept at spilling coffee on her running laptop, amazingly without killing it. Yet she never clued into the fact that maybe the spot on her desk where she kept putting her coffee mug was not the optimal location.

    After the third time I had to disassemble and clean that laptop, I considered purchasing a sippy cup [] for her.

  • by tinrobot ( 314936 ) on Sunday September 07, 2003 @01:40PM (#6894019)
    One of the many part time jobs I have is reviewing graphics hardware and software for magazines. So, one day nVidia sent me a shiny new graphics card.

    I shut down the computer, popped the top and pulled out the old AGP card.

    I plugged in the nVidia card. Didn't seem to fit. I decided to try and wiggle the card into the slot.

    ** sparks **

    ** poof **

    I guess I should have UNPLUGGED the power supply. Seems as though there's always current running through the motherboard even though the computer is off...

    Killed the motherboard and the nVidia card. Had to explain to nVidia why I killed their newest card. Thank goodness the CPUs and memory survived.

    I now buy power supplies with little switches on the back and turn the computer off there before opening the box. Still don't unplug them, I like to live on the edge.

    • You should leave the computer plugged in so that it is grounded. Before touching the computer, ground yourself. At that point, you know the voltage difference between you and your computer is 0 v, and it is safe to tocuh.
  • One of our users managed to plug her monitor back in the wrong way round.

    I guess that no one had told her that it's impossible to get D style plugs in upside down, so she just went ahead & did it.
  • One good way to permanently disable your motherboard is to screw it down onto the case directly, without any risers. Not only does this put a significant amount of stress on the motherboard, but it shorts out every piece of metal on the back of it *shakes head and sighs*
  • To ensure optimal heat transfer, bend the clips on your heat sink/fan so that it is as tight as possible. This will ensure crushing the raised core of Duron/Athlon CPUs.
  • back in my former employer we had a socket 7 mobo with a cyrix CPU and the small platic hook in the socket where the CPU cooler was supposed to be attached broke.

    since it was now impossbile to correctly attach a cooler in the machine, here came the big idea: spread thermal compund over the chip, put a cooler over it and glue it to the socket with epoxy. well instead of glueing the cooler by it's sides he spread glue between the chip and the heatsink...
  • Some years ago I participated in wiping and destroying 100 or so hard drives. My part of the job was to break all the drives with a sledge hammer.

    Swing...SMASH. Swing...SMASH!

    Good times.
  • by MacGod ( 320762 ) on Sunday September 07, 2003 @02:12PM (#6894226)
    1) Stand prependicularily in front computer with feet shoulder length apart. If you are right-handed, your left shoulder should be towards the computer and vice versa.

    2) Pick up a large, Dwarven-style double-headed battle axe.

    3) Raise axe above head.

    4) Cry Havoc, and let slip the dogs of war.

    Incidentally, this same method works for shutting down a computer that refuses to do (uninterupptible process etc.
  • when i don't have that much spare time, i just end up installing windows. it's usually faster.
  • From the article ...

    If any components of your computer are held in place with Pozidriv screws (superficially similar to Phillips head screws,

    Why do there have to be 10 different possible screw types/sizes in the approximate size range of computer-case screws? There is no valid technical reason for this.
  • by CyberDruid ( 201684 ) on Sunday September 07, 2003 @02:16PM (#6894254) Homepage
    Make one of the many funny possible mistakes involved in installing the CPU fan:

    1) Put it on 90 degrees wrong, so that most of the CPU core is left uncooled (have a friend who did that)
    2) Use loads and loads of cooling paste (it must be there for something, right?)
    3) Apply the enormous amount of force necessary to fasten the hooks, but apply it unevenly so that the underlying CPU cracks. (the most common way to destroy your computer when building it yourself nowadays, according to my favorite computer store)
    4) When applying said force, slip with the screw driver/tool of choice and redesign your motherboard (another classic)
    5) Attach the power cable to the wrong connector. Preferably some random jumpers. Alternatively become so proud of succesfully getting the damn thing hooked on, that you forget to plug the insignificant little cable in.
    6) Become intimidated and decide to try to run the computer without it. Smile smugly when it turns out that the computer indeed can run without it. For a while. (have a friend who did that too)
  • by menscher ( 597856 ) <menscher+slashdot AT uiuc DOT edu> on Sunday September 07, 2003 @02:39PM (#6894365) Homepage Journal
    Yes, it's true, folks. Once when trying to destroy an SGI Indy, I pulled out the processor while it was powered on. Naturally, the machine hung. Screen just kept displaying what it had been displaying. Unfortunately putting the processor back in didn't make it immediately come back to life. It needed a reboot for that.

    I felt like such a failure.

  • by paul248 ( 536459 ) on Sunday September 07, 2003 @04:25PM (#6894912) Homepage
    Once, I was working on a computer that seemed to have a dead power supply. I opened it up and noticed that a fuse on it was blown. So, I took a staple, and soldered it on top of the fuse to see if it would bring it back to life. When I plugged it in, the thing started shooting flames (or sparks or something) a few feet into the air, and making strange noises. Luckily, I unplugged it before anything bad happened. I learned that day that when a fuse blows in a power supply, it probably happened for a good reason.
  • by frozenray ( 308282 ) on Sunday September 07, 2003 @07:15PM (#6895848)
    Just give it to one of the guys who owned the equipment depicted in these [] galleries!

    D.A.U ("duemmster anzunehmender User") can be roughly translated as "dumbest hypothetical user". Here [] is one of my favorites, the D.A.U. of the month for May 2003.

    If you speak some German, reading the sarcastic comments is as much fun as looking at the pictures [] of fried [] equipment [].
  • by multiplexo ( 27356 ) on Sunday September 07, 2003 @08:21PM (#6896098) Journal
    Have someone install a networking card on the motherboard thinking that it is a modem because it has an RJ-45 jack on the back and the phones on the PBX all have RJ-45 jacks on them as well. Power up the system, plug the "modem" into the PBX system. Watch the motherboard start to act badly as it tries, valiantly but in vain, to absorb AC from the phone system through a 10BaseT jack. Have the user complain all day long that their computer is acting funny. Go upstairs and look at it and ask why they have two networking cards and why one is plugged into the phone system. Have the user's co-worker, who thinks he knows something about computers, and who wants to get into the user's panties, explain that he found this "modem" and installed it on her machine so she could dial-out. Explain to the user and to her co-worker that he just installed a network card, that modems don't have BNC and 15 pin AUI connectors on them, prove this by removing the "modem" and showing them the 3COM ethernet logo on it. Explain that the phone system has AC current running through it to power all of the pretty red and green LEDs on their phones. Have the user's motherboard replaced because the AC from the PBX has fried it. Explain to the user and her co-worker that you won't come upstairs and fuck things up in purchasing if they promise to refrain from fucking up their computers.
    Oh, and the best part of this one was where the user told me that she had data on her computer that was "absolutely irreplacable" and that I just had to fix it. When I asked her if she had backed her data up she said "no" and I replied "Well, then I guess it really is 'absolutely irreplacable'."

With all the fancy scientists in the world, why can't they just once build a nuclear balm?