It’s dead, that’s what’s wrong with it

In nearly three decades of playing and working with computers, I thought I had experienced just about every way in which they can malfunction, from hard disk failures and faulty power switches (my Gateway Essential 550 did both of those) to chronic operating system instability (Windows 98, I’m looking at you). I’ve even dropped a Palm on a hard floor and heard the sickening tinkle of glass as its screen shattered. But my office computer surprised me today with a new variety of disaster.
Remember what happens on Star Trek when a decloaking Romulan ship attacks, or an overlooked gravitic mine detonates nearby? Sparks fly from the consoles on the bridge, and the air fills with smoke. It was like that. Well, okay, not quite that spectacular — but the computer gave off a bright flash and the snapping sound of an electric arc. As the air filled with the pungent smell of ozone, the computer went dead. Something had shorted out in the power supply, and now I had a rectangular beige doorstop. This computer is no more! It has ceased to be! It’s expired and gone to meet its maker — hang on, IBM is its maker. Well, anyway, it’s definitely an ex-computer.
My coworker in the next office submitted a repair request on my behalf (that’s normally done online, so I was certainly in no position to do it). The “doctor” will come to my office tomorrow morning, but we know the patient is dead and can’t be resurrected. The best prospect is a brain transplant; he’ll bring another computer with him (actually, I think his hunchbacked assistant will be carrying it) and will attempt to swap the hard disks, then channel a bolt of lightning through the lifeless body. (Isn’t that what happens when you turn on the switch?) The result will be a kind of zombie version of my computer, which will shuffle around the office making incoherent noises until a mob of my coworkers gathers, brandishing pitchforks and torches, and . . .
Sorry. Anyhow, the deceased computer should be either repaired or replaced tomorrow.

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