Puff of Smoke

Walk into my office, an acrid smell fills the air. Like burning hair, if that hair was puddled with lots of “product.” With even more chemical goodness.

“Is that smell coming from outside?” I ask.

“Not sure. Kind of weird. My Mac just blinked out while I was working, but I’m not sure if the smell is related.”

The Mac is still alive. Responds to keypresses, hard-switches down OK. I open the case. No smell inside, but it’s definitely getting more rank in the room. Heading toward toxic levels. I step back, and as I do, a beam of sunlight glances across the top of her monitor, over the vent holes. A stream of blue smoke is rising up from the monitor case.

“We have to get this thing out of here,” I say. I lean over to unplug it and the smell is choking. Like roasting weenies, if those weenies were made of polyethylene and industrial solvents. Hold my breath, squint my eyes, unplug, haul it outside. The smoking continues. I feel slightly nauseated.

Two hours later, a residual acridity still hangs in the air. Office mate says she wasn’t able to eat lunch. Funny how things reveal what they’re made of when they die.

Music: Urban Species :: The Experience

2 Replies to “Puff of Smoke”

  1. I spent some time working on HP-1000 mini computers. One of the dumb terminals we used (HP 700/92’s) were known for blowing a capacitor in about the same way yours just died. I had 3 of them go on me in the 7 years I spent working on them. The best one was the first when I was in support. I was on the phone with a customer and I had to say “Don, can I call you back? My terminal is on fire!”

    Swapped out the bad one and I was still connected exactly where I had left of on his system.

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