Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Fixed the kids' computer yesterday.

For a couple of weeks now they have been playing on it without sound - which is not a great hardship as they mostly play with painting and colouring packages. It's been silent ever since M and I unplugged all the peripherals, moved it, and plugged everything into another old computer that has been sat around for a couple of years. We did this on the off-chance that it worked (it didn't) and it was better than the one they have (almost certainly - apart from the fact it was dead).

After putting their machine back where we'd got it, and plugging everything back in, the sound refused to work. I tweaked and checked every setting I could find but nothing I did made any difference. My eventual conclusion was that, by moving the machine, we had dislodged something inside. Yesterday I took the case off - then switched it off at the mains (doh!) - and carefully took out everything in the expansion slots (the fact that I am almost certainly getting my terminology wrong here shows how much I really knew what I was doing), I examined each one of them carefully as if I did know what I was doing - "Hmmm", I hmmmed knowledgeably, just in case anyone was looking. "No obvious scorch marks, no big holes, cracks, or Barbie parts glued to them... well they look all right to me.*" - I put them all back in their homes again. I screwed the casing back on and plugged the speakers into the sound card.

Not the modem, the sound card.

The speakers had been plugged into the modem. When we had reassembled the machine, after trying out the other one, we had put the jack in the wrong socket.

Sometimes I feel so fucking stupid it hurts.

*Visual inspection of electronics is a life skill everyone should cultivate. Circuit boards are fascinatingly pretty. Don't understand a sodding thing about them but they look wonderful.

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