Looking at the world of media: from music to RIA.

The Scent of Burnt Electronics

September 19th, 2006 Posted in General Media / Stuff, Music, djing

The last 7 days have been… interesting.  Lots of good and lots of bad.  Wednesday I went to the False Profit Equity happy hour to play a nice downtempo set.  I had been working on the set for a while, making sure all the tracks flowed and the progression was structured.  I honestly was really excited to drop this new music… but all that changed in a blink of an eye.

When I arrived at the event I was handed a pint and some cheese-less pizza (which is a good thing in my mind, all though I do miss dairy sometimes) and I caught up with some friends I have not seen in ages.  After things were settled down I set up my laptop rig: an Alienware 12" laptop, MOTU Traveler firewire interface and an X-Session USB controller.  Everything was running fine when I place my rig on the decks and grabbed the input RCA cable.  As I plugged the cable in I heard a loud pop and I just assumed the mixer level was up, but it was not.

No, what happened still boggles my mind.  Somehow, the act of plugging in the audio caused a short in my system and managed to fry both the laptop and the MOTU interface, and I mean fried.  You could smell the burnt chips in the air.  At that point it all came crashing down… I thought I had just lost all my data.  I tried to reboot the machine and it wouldn’t even post.

After about 3 attempts of rebooting, plugging, unplugging, removing the battery, etc. the machine posts and I actually get windows running.  I was stoked to have my data still and hardware can always be replaced.  Unfortunately all was not as well as it seemed.  When I got home the machine never booted again.  I called support and they walked me through a few simple things but as soon as I mentioned the smell of burnt circuits the issued a FedEx tag so I can ship it to them.

In the meantime I bought an external enclosure for the drive (thanks Steve for the advice) and I was successfully able to recover all my data last night.  So that is a huge, huge weight off my shoulders.  Interestingly enough, when I opened the panel in the laptop you can see all the fire damage on the Mobo where the Firewire jack is located, and yes the irony of the name of the jack is apparent to me.

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