I hate my PC's case. It was built back when servers came with 486es in them, and the only thing that plugged into a motherboard were the cards. It's not very easy to upgrade, as I found out the other day. I traded one of my old 64 meg dimms for a faster processor, in the hope of actually being able to play a DVD. Putting the processor in was easy. Changing the clockspeed needed a pair of tweezers, and a CD used as a mirror. Fun stuff. The dimm sockets were even worse. Like the clockspeed jumpers, they're nestled under one of the drive cages. Unlike the clockspeed jumpers, they're also hidden under the power supply, and the mass of power and IDE cables leading to the drive cage. It took a hacksaw and a pair of pliers to cut a large enough hole in the top drive bay to actually get a dimm inserted. Putting in said dimms is done by touch. So when the time came to take a dimm out, I should have known something nasty was going to happen.

The dimm came out alright, but it was the 256. The 64 came out alright too. It's living happily in its new home. The 256 seemed to fit back in alright, so I switch on and see if it still works... Nothing on the screen, cpu fan not switching on. A nasty orange glow and a stream of foul-smelling smoke coming from the dimm sockets. The last one was a bit of a giveaway. As usual for these situations, rational thought goes out the window. After holding the power button for two seconds did nothing, the ATX motherboard being too busy being on fire to be able to switch it off... Screaming at it did nothing either. Pulling the power cord out would be the rational thing to do, which was why it took me ages to think of.

Bizarrely enough, nothing was damaged. Nothing. The dimm was fine, not even scorched. When I plugged it in, it still worked. None of the power cables looked damaged in the slightest. So what caught fire? Damn good question. In retrospect, it was probably my dodgy fan power extension (comprised almost entirely of solder and insulating tape) getting stuck in one of the dimm sockets, not the dimm itself. Guess I'll find out when I change the motherboard... just look for charred bits.

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