I woke up this morning around 08:00 to the deafening sound of silence. Most ordinary people would enjoy the peace and quiet, but even in my pre-alarm stupor, I knew that something was wrong. See, I leave my computer on 24/7, and if it's silent in my room, that means my computer isn't running. And when my computer isn't running, I have a problem.
I rolled over and saw the power light on the front of the tower blinking amber. An SMS on my phone from my system monitoring solution confirmed "kraken is DOWN." (Yes, I name my systems after mythological creatures.) A look at the repair manual (good thing I've got phoenix, my laptop!) told me this means "The computer is receiving electrical power, but an internal power problem might exist."
I opened up the case, and after a brief bit of looking around, found this:
That's a blown capacitor on the motherboard (the one with the golden stipe); while the lighting is nothing great, you can see the top is not uniformly the same color as the rest of the capacitors.
kraken has served me well (and nearly constantly) for 7 years now, so it's not like this is terribly surprising. Nor is it a particularly damaging failure - my disks are perfectly fine, and my data is backed up to phoenix anyhow. It is, however, a nuisance to deal with this time of year.
If I had a comparable capacitor on hand, I might try soldering a new one in its place, but 2200μF at 6.3V capacitors are a part neither I nor the BiD lab have lying around.
So, after 7 years of excellent use, it is time for me to get a new computer. I'm still deciding what to get, and would appreciate suggestions of: