By Andrei Vrincianu
A friend of mine lent me an old 40 MB HDD -- a real old one, weighted about a quarter kilogram (half a pound), real bulky -- as I needed to carry some files home from college. The "upload" went fine (slow, but fine). The "download", on the other side, didn't go that smooth... Well, you know, the common procedure, grab an IDE and an power cable, firmly push the connectors into the slots and then...power up Mr. Spock :).
Well, not quite. When I "carefully" inserted the power cable, one of the connectors to the HDD's board broke. What the heck, I thought, it's an old thingie, you should expect such a thing to happen. After the required soldering, I re-plugged everything, turned on the power and took a seat, waiting for the "Press DEL to enter setup" message to show up. Actually, the first thing that showed up was not the message, but smoke. Not from the connector, but from one of the resistors on the HDD board, that heated up so badly that it actually fell off. It had the time to do so because I didn't see the smoke first and only reacted to the sound of the resistor hitting the metal case. Luckily, nothing else got fried.
That was the last time I ever touched a soldering iron.
Morale of the story:
[If you have a story about something foolish or ingenious you did to your computer, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org-Iron.]