It was decided before it happened. Never would I have left him 4 dead. Nobody is left behind—that’s a maxime. Furthermore there still were signs of life deep within, he had been a faithful comrade for almost five years, and I had built him myself.
    Last night, when I switched on my big machine, the LEDs on the optical drives began to flicker. Nothing else. Both screens remained blank. Flat black, nothing of the grey appearing when a TV-set is tuned to a dead channel.
    Not even the BIOS came up.
    Ladies and Gentlemen, I tell ya!
    So I opened the case and unplugged both optical drives. Maybe one of them, or both, were the perpetrators. ‘Cause of the LED signals I had the vain hope that matters were that simple. But nothing, the drives were innocent. Second try was unplugging the reset-switch from the mainboard. A lesser known source for system failure, but sometimes it happens. But not this time, and fears of more serious issues arose.
    Of course there are back-ups of everything, I am not a complete fool. Well, back-ups of almost everything. Currently I am working on a manuscript for a book on cyberanthropology. All associated files exist in quintuple fashion on different machines and storage media. But just on Sunday I had worked on it for a prolongued time, up to late at night. Before I went to bed I thought of backing up, but surrendered to the impulse to hit the pillow immediately. And I am far behind schedule with the book anyhow. My publisher is at my heels and stepping on my toes at the same time. Rightfully so, confessed.
    The next three hours I spent well inside the machine, at least up to the elbows. The comforting thing was, that the green LED on the mainboard was on, and that it sent its beep-signals loud and clear. There was life, therefore hope, and he tried to communicate with me. So clearing the CMOS was the next option. Nothing. Removing and replacing the RAM, trying out different configurations. Nothing. Removing and replacing the HDDs, even the primary one, so that at least the BIOS could come up. Soundcard out and in again. Everything in vain. Finally I hit on the graphics cards.
    Just some weeks ago Hawk reminded via chat, while we were playing QL, or was it BF2?, that I was a lucky guy … after I had told him the temperature my graphics cards were running on. There are two of them, ATI cards connected to form a CrossFire system. I removed both, and reinserted the former secondary into the primary slot. Suddenly it was like I had submerged my machine into one of R’as al Ghul’s Lazarus pits. BIOS came up and prompted me to reenter basic data, then the OS loaded, everything as it was before, no loss of data whatsoever.
    Perfect resurrection.
    Now, Hawk, what’s the state-of-the-art when it comes to graphics cards … what exactly do I have to give myself as a Xmas present this year? And if we’re already at it—what’s the highest end CPU fitting on an AM2 socket? Who’s the current leader in RAM? Still Corsair? I mean, it was a traumatic incident for both of us, my machine and me. And I guess he now deserves some new parts for his new life.