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Ghosts In The Machine

In the wintertime, it's hard to find a nice warm and dark place if you're a bug. Sure you can go for the usual crawlspaces or wall cavities, but there really isn't much action in places like that. What you really need at least is a place where things are a bit more lively! Computers make a nice place to call home for a few months for this reason. A gentle breeze is always passing through and a nice fire is lit right in the middle of the room. If you're really lucky, you might find a meandering stream passing through to enjoy it's elegant motion.


A computer comes into the shop from another office and wrapped in multiple plastic bags. A sign is attached to the top bag which reads, "Roaches, do not open!"

Now, being that we are the IT department and we do fix computers here, my first thought is, "Why would you put that sign on the computer when you know damn well that at some point we will have to open up the bags and see what is inside.?" Needless to say we were a little unnerved just looking at this supposed tent of bugs. Luckily for me, there were a lot of other computers to fix before this one, so I could put this off for a while. This heap of crap will sit there for another week before I (or hopefully someone else) will get to it to fix.

Well, I wasn't that lucky. I get the shortest straw eventually and have to see what's inside of this mass of plastic bags. As we do with super dirty and dusty computers to clean, I take it outside to commence with the unveiling. I take the ludicrous sign off first and then gradually make my way through four plastic kitchen bags. The case smells like it's been in stuck in a gym locker for a year. Just nasty. I figure what the hell and start taking the side panel screws out, then open the case.

At this point I am only armed with a can of air and a roll of paper towels, nothing else. If things get dicey, I have no backup, so this situation could get serious really quick. I open the case and find at least 30 roaches, EWWWWWW!!!!

Amazingly they are all DEAD!!! Thank God I say, because canned air will just make live roaches angry and they'll start spitting at you. I look a little closer and there is one large LIVE spider sitting right at the end of the PSU. There are also at least 5 strategically placed webs hanging about the inside of the case. This spider just saved my ass. He ate up the insides of all these little roaches and just left the outside shells (called exoskeletons for those of you who didn't take a biology class). But now, what do I do? I've got a big live spider, spider webs, and a bunch of roach carcasses sitting inside a case that smells like death.

I do what anyone else would do. I killed that damn spider first off! I do appreciate his help in not making me have to deal with a den of evil spitting roaches, but I also don't need to get a bitten by an arachnid that just went on a blood spree. Now that he was out of the way I could continue with shaking out the box and using up three cans of air to get the rest of the dead bodies out of the case. Needless to say, I did not clean the inside of this case any more than was necessary. Now it was time to actually plug in the computer and see what else was wrong with it. I'll leave it here for now, but I'll ask you one question.

You know that little switch on the back of the power supply that lets you choose the input voltage?

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