July 27, 2005

More Electronic Woes 

I sent a mass spectrometer (which is a complex, rather delicate and expensive piece of equipment) back to the company for repairs. They sent it back, but forgot to include a necessary connection cable. I told them, and they sent it - it took almost one week.

This mass spec is computer-controlled, but it does unse a proprietary ISA (yes, a bit old device) interface card. So today I happily installed the card, connected all the pieces together and turned them on... only to realize that the computer would not work. But it did work before, when I first re-commissioned the mass spec and realized it had a fault.

It's not that it behaved funny or whatnot; it is just plainly dead: I press the power button and the power LED lights up, but nothing else happens. Not even the BIOS runs, for god's sake. I tried a lot of tricks, but to no avail.

So I thought that that poor old machine reached the Silicon Heaven due to old age, and tried to install the software and interface card on another computer that was just sitting on a bench.

This new machine worked at first, but then I had to restart it, and guess what? It went friggin' dead just like the other one. Fuck it. A whole afternoon spent with things going to hell.

Just the rant of the day, folks. But if someone has any idea to resolve this situation, I'd be glad to hear about it.


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