View Full Version : Lightning plays funny tricks...

06-05-2003, 18:33:30
Well, yesterday, during one of the storms, lightning friend out my cable modem, my big box, and a phone line surge protector. The same strike probably wasted my neighbor's ethernet card, since she had to reset her cable modem to get it to work (the cable ISP could see her modem and ping it, but she couldn't access out because her net card is fried).

I find it funny that my cable modem got whacked, but her surge didn't whack her cable modem. Of course, it whacked the card connected to her cable modem, but still...

I'm irritated that my big box got whacked, but since it was an odd machine anyways, I suppose it isn't a serious loss. Still, I find it funny that it was sitting well protected from line surges, but it took a hit. The problem seems to be video, but I still need to fiddle around testing it to be sure.

Still, strange what took the hit versus what didn't...

Sir Penguin
06-05-2003, 18:44:35
It's fate.


07-05-2003, 19:29:24
If they could only make a cheap surge protector that can take direct lightning strikes.

Sorry for your loss. (its the geek forum, so its OK to say this about hardware damage)

07-05-2003, 21:08:42
That's one of the funny things... there are surge protectors along both the strike lines. They didn't fry out, but...

My phone protector did fry it, but that was it's job. Now I'll have to get a new one. To keep my phone from getting fried...

For further strangeness, both my neighbor's and my *video cards* fried out in the same strike. How's that for weird?

At the time, my notebook was also plugged in, but it was unaffected. Thank goodness!

A video card is really no big deal to replace. I'm just amazed that it was what fried. I haven't been using the big box very much lately. It's been a little... quirky, and I've been trying to figure out what it was that was causing that. I don't think replacing the video card is going to clear up the quirkiness though. So now I need to decide if I want to sell the big box for scrap, or give it to a relative and let them replace the video card in it. It being such a quirky system, the down side is if I give it to a relative, they'll think I know how to fix it when it quirks, as well as when they screw it up.

My notebook is currently my main machine. I have to admit, I've been thinking of getting a new Big Box. Or a Tablet PC. But I'd want the tablet with a performance envelope of better then what I have now, and currently tablets are at 50% performance of what I've got. So I suppose I'll have to wait a few years on that. :(

When will the new Intel boxes have Hyperthreading enabled on them? I've been reading mixed stories about that, so I'm wondering what you chipheads who keep up on the hardware know.

08-05-2003, 12:55:43
I think the new Pentium chip that's OK for hyperthreading was delayed, or they just released the mobile version and delayed the rest. Can't remember exactly where or what I read, and its all Greek to me.

Definitely strange that lightning can bypass a surge protector without trashing it. I originally thought they AND some of the hardware down the line were trashed.

Your big box is quirky? Firaxis told us that years ago. :p

08-05-2003, 18:36:49
I believe that the only hyperthread Pentium 4 is the 3.06GHz. The new 3.0 GHz runs on a faster front side bus (800MHz), but I think it was delayed by some flaw. The new chipsets will be the 875 (Canterwood) and the 865 (Springdale). Both should support dual-channel DDR and hyperthreading. The most recent dual-channel DDR and hyperthread chipsets for Intel that I've seen at the online vendors are the 7205 (Granite Bay) and the SiS 655. Both support 533MHz FSB.

The 7205 appears to be targeted at workstations and small servers. The SiS 655 was given a mixed review at Tom's Hardware. Particularly, they pointed out that only a few board makers have used it at this point. I'm paranoid, so if I were in the market for a cutting-edge desktop motherboard, I'd just pay more for the Granite Bay. Anybody who can afford a $500+ CPU might as well get a Granite Bay.

As for single-channel DDR, my choices for Intel would be a non-castrated 845, SiS 645DX or a SiS 648. I'm not certain which ones support hyperthreading, but why put an expensive CPU in an inexpensive board?

If I were buying a PC today, I'd pass on getting dual-channel DDR and go with the SiS 648. Down the road, I don't know, since anything could happen. VIA and Intel recently concluded their court battles.

08-05-2003, 19:20:53
I need a spinning head smiley.

09-05-2003, 16:01:47
Was this the famous "nothing ever works on it" Darkstar PC?

If so it may be a blessing in disguise.

09-05-2003, 20:54:54
No. That was my sweet little Pentium-2 400 MHz box. And many things worked on it. Oh, and before that, my faithful Pentium 120 MHz. I gave my sister the 120, and its still running strong for her. I gave the 400 to my step-father, and he uses it mostly for small time CADding (he's a contract carpenter), Centipede, and Arkanoids.

My damaged big box is a Pentium-4 1.7 GHz machine. I think I got to close to that dividing line between leading and bleeding edge with that box.

The Mad Monk
10-05-2003, 09:00:24
I read (I think in one of those Mark Minasi books) that a good-and-cheap method of lightning protection is to tie overhand knots in every power and data line that can handle them. If a large current spike rams through, the magnetic feedback will stop it cold at the knot -- and probably blow the line out as well, but not the device it was attached to.

He had some anecdotal proof of it working.