punkwalrus (punkwalrus) wrote,

RIP - Mink

Well, I'd like to give a little eulogy to a hard working computer that finally died a few days ago.

I think it was the year 1999 when a friend of mine bought a whole new AMD Athlon 800 "super system," built it himself, and nothing worked. He tried everything to fix it, but nothing was happening, so he bought a whole new system and that worked. Shortly after this, my desktop died a horrible death. My friend offered his system to me for parts, stating he never did figure out what went wrong, and so maybe parts of mine and parts of his could be used to build a new system.

I named her Mink after the girl in the anime series "Dragon Half."

I got his machine, tried to boot it, I couldn't even get POST. So I took it completely apart, and put it back together, piece by piece to find out where the problem was. Essentially, every part was brand new, brand name, top of the line for its time. I never did figure out why it didn't boot, because when I started to put it together, it ran fine. And it ran until this week, almost 9 years.

Well, that's not completely true. Somewhere in 2004 or so, it was retired to be a a desktop for the guest room. And shortly thereafter, started acting funny. It would run for a few days, then just hang. To get it to come back to life, you'd have to leave it off for a while, then turn it back on with the reset switch held down. Then it would run for days. Until it didn't. When Anya moved into the guest room, it was moved to my den, and earlier this year, it was moved to my SETI array with a new power supply. It ran great for months. Until it didn't last week.

Nothing will get it to POST. Power supply checks out, so I think the motherboard finally died. My usual "hold down the reset switch" trick won't work anymore.

But Mink had one other distinction: it was the LAST box I had that still ran Windows 98. Well, it ran Debian Linux, but in a dual boot I could boot it back to Windows 98. I used it to play old games from time to time, although, not for several years. It was just nice to know that was available if I needed it.

It will go in the "scrap for parts" pile, awaiting Scarlet's next tear down visit, probably in the fall. Not sure what to do with an AMD-based power supply, I'll probably junk it.

Good bye, Mink. [sniff]
Tags: computer, mink
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