La Máquina Infernal

BIG BIG CLOSEOUT SALE in the HE Store! 

These shirts are marked down to $14.95 and leaving the HE Blind Ferret Store for good!

Team EdwardEwok StareShow Us On The TrilogyWinter Is Coming and Sci-Five
Ladies versions of these shirts are on sale too!

These shirts are marked down to $9.95!

OvipositorUnicorn PoopAnd My Axe (Ladies), SyFy Movie Title Generator and British Knights

I hope you guys are enjoying this storyline. It’s been a lot of fun to write and draw and I’ve got 2 or 3 more planned to round it out. I’ve also got some ideas for LoFi’s that I’d like to do, so hopefully there’ll be plenty of HijiNKS to put in your faces this week.

COMMENTERS: What’s the most rigged or broken piece of tech you’ve ever used consistently. Any discmans held shut with rubber bands? Playstations you had to jam paperclips into so it thought the lid was closed? When I was a teen we had a 36″ CRT TV and the coaxial cable input broke off. We used it for another 3 years with the copper lead of the coax cable coming out of the wall balanced on the solder point of the logic board inside the tv through the whole in the plastic where the coax input used to be and with the whole precarious mess held together with a piece of electrical tape. We knew to never touch, nudge or bump the TV for fear of never achieving that delicate balance again.

Comments (32)

bubujin_2's avatar

bubujin_2· 101 weeks ago

I’m still using a 3- or 4-year-old netbook. It’s been hard dropped about three times, has plastic non-essential pieces missing, has a cracked case, and an “o” key that doesn’t work. Today the left arrow button stopped working. I’m just too cheap to get into a tablet. And heck, it still works.

1 · active 101 weeks ago

I’ve gone through about three Sennheiser PX100 headphones in the last 5 years. These headphones were liable to get caught on objects when I wasn’t looking and end up damaging the cord. I ended up patching the exposed wiring that resulted with electrical tape to keep the whole thing going. Until of course, the pair’s final death where the cord wrapped around a train seat armrest and I chose to lunge forward out of my seat. All things everywhere split open and I was left with a few more parts than I started out with.

Also, my dad’s 13 year old car has the material lining the ceiling held up by staples.

3 replies · active 93 weeks ago

What’s important is that you hold the microphone up, say something mind-blowing into it, and drop it unceremoniously on the floor.
But yeah, one goes through a lot of microphones that way.
Gordon's avatar

Gordon· 93 weeks ago

I read that as “my dads 13 yea old cat”!!!
Greg's avatar

Greg· 101 weeks ago

I think the CPU fan on my desktop has failed because it makes a sound like a hamster farting instead of the Concorde-taking-off thing it used to do. Anyways doing anything more taxing then yelling at blogs causes the PC to fall over, unless I point a real floor-standing fan at it.
Algor_Langeaux's avatar

Algor_Langeaux· 101 weeks ago

My first computers were probably my most “bailing wire and spit” sort of tech I owned. The last incarnation involved an 8 bit TR(a)S(h)-80 Color Computer, with surplus-ed IBM 3400 tape drive and a IBM 3340 “Winchester” HDD that I picked up as scrap when a local insurance company was upgrading their systems. It also had 128k of bubble memory, (and a hugely hacked OS-9 level one OS, that allowed the system to get past the 64k memory address limitations of the MC6809E MPU.)
My last laptop hated me. The feeling was mutual
Eureka! First computer I “built” in college, in a case we made from a vacuum cleaner box.

1 · active 101 weeks ago

I don’t use much juryrigged tech, but at my last job there was this guy Bill, who had a PC that was made from 3 or 4 other PCs. I don’t mean replacing parts from one with another. I mean his PC had three cases pieced together and sticking out of each other in a geometry that I do not think is entirely possible with just 3 dimensions. It had multiple redundant bits, tons of drive space, and I think he had rigged it to use all the processors from the old machines. It looked like something you’d get if you let a Son of Ether into your IT department. And it made his office about 20 degrees warmer than the rest of the building.

Looking back, it’s a wonder that the building never burned down.

1 · active 101 weeks ago

{CB}Marsupial Vomit's avatar

{CB}Marsupial Vomit· 101 weeks ago

I think that was me…
The third laptop suffered from cheap, poorly constructed hinges. I had no problems with the actual guts of the machine and the screen always worked, but the hinges allowing it to open and close–and incidentally holding the screen in the open position so I could actually use the thing–began failing about two years into its life. I did not at that point have money for a replacement, and the computer still worked dammit! So once it got to the point that the only thing holding the screen on was the actual wire connecting the screen to the processor, I JB-Welded some friction hinges to it. It was amazingly fancy. It opened and closed properly, sort of, although when closed the hinges stuck up four inches into the air. It looked more like alien technology than jury-rigged nonsense, but nonsense it was. I was able to continue using it for a while, though, which was the point. I have pictures somewhere.

1 · active 100 weeks ago

Titmouse's avatar

Titmouse· 100 weeks ago

My friend in College got a new laptop for free off the college, but he persisted in using it as a notebook for a year.. A reall notebook. He kept all his handouts and paper in it and just closed the monitor on them. When i pointed out that he was going to Feck up the hinges he just laughed at me, until the day the hinges on it finally popped! I love a bit of commupance! He had the last laugh though, he went to a hardware shop and bought some hinges, ones used to put a door up and Screwed them straight into the moniter and base!! It worked until the plastic finnally snapped and he had just finished his Thesis!! Jammy bastard!
Trumppoll's avatar

Trumppoll· 101 weeks ago

We used to have one of those huge wooden cabinets that held our 19 inch tv, and yes we put our new new tv on top of it when the old tv broke, but before it died completely it had a couple of months of death spasms. I would turn on the set and I could hear the sound but it would take anywhere form 15 to 30 minutes before the tubes would warm up and the picture was visible.

P.S. Damn, I can write a run on sentence.

2 replies · active 97 weeks ago

My mom had a cheapo walmart particle board entertainment center that was rated for maybe a 27″ tv. we put a 36″ crt on it (the same one mentioned in the post above), and the entire structure sagged. liked literally bowed in a nice perfect curve. I crammed a bunch of wood blocks under it to keep it from breaking in half, but all of the drawers and cabinet doors wouldnt open.
Curse you, Newton!
Let’s see… there are a few in my history:

– After my first divorce in 1995, in which my ex took off with the PC that she never used except for Mahjong “because she needed it for her business” that didn’t exist, I needed a computer quick and dirt cheap. A friend of a friend cobbled up the machine I called Frankenstein’s Monster out of the pieces of about 8 dead computers. I used it for close to 3 years, keeping it running with $20 parts sourced from those community-convention-center computer shows where you had to pay $5 to enter for the privilege of buying $10 VGA cards made from questionable Chinese cloned chips. It worked reliably, if slowly, until I used a tax refund to replace it with a new box that was obsolete before my check cleared the bank (we still used those in 1998), as Intel deployed the Pentium II while my Pentium MMX machine was in production.

– My previous main TV was a 27″ Sony I bought in 1992. Sometime around 2003, the tuner crapped out on it, but since I primarily used it as a monitor for my DirecTV box, no big, just used the RCA in… and then the audio crapped out. Discovered that the board I’d need to replace to fix it a) retailed for $750 (I’d only paid $400 for the TV in the first place), and b) was discontinued 4 years prior. So I bought a new home audio system and rigged that up to the DirecTV box, the DVD player, and the VCR (still had one of those, too). Then the RCA video in jack broke off, so I found where it needed to go and soldered in a new one. I used it that way until early 2009, when it finally just died (it didn’t like the move from Detroit to Houston and was ailing) and I went ahead and went HDTV.

– My current primary home PC had a won’t-power-on condition that I learned was endemic to that particular model from a Austin-based computer company, and it was either the power supply or the motherboard. Only way to tell was to replace the power supply, so since that was only $60, I bought one. Pulled the side panel off the computer, plugged in all the power cables to the appropriate spots, and… it worked. That power supply sat on top of the PC for close to 2 years: it has a different fan configuration and I ended up having to mount it upside-down in the case when I finally removed the dead power supply a couple weeks ago (had to also replace the dead DVD-R drive, which entailed a SATA cable and swapping the two hard drive’s physical locations so I could put SATA with SATA and the lone IDE drive salvaged from the previous computer off by itself where the previous SATA drive lived). I really need new computers. My laptop tried to set its LiOH battery on fire the last time I used it as its charging circuits didn’t know when to shut off (the battery spent the night on the concrete driveway, well away from my truck and the house).

A laptop, whose fan has died. I have to sit it on a box fan pointing up otherwise it over heats in about 3 mins.

1 · active 101 weeks ago

that is beautiful.
Varmint's avatar

Varmint· 101 weeks ago

I am currently sitting in front of a cheap $20.00 General Electric box fan that has to be held up at just the correct angle by a folding chair in order to stand up, the plastic struts that it originally came with having been snapped off about a month after I had gotten it. However, that same fan has been otherwise functioning perfectly for almost twelve years of continuous daily use, despite having endured more abuse than any other appliance I’ve ever owned before or since.

When it finally does die, I absolutely intend to purchase another GE fan, as well as a new chair to hold it up for the coming decade after the struts inevitably break off again.

Doctor_Who's avatar

Doctor_Who· 101 weeks ago

My first mp3 player had a problem with it’s headphone jack where it wouldn’t produce sound unless the plug was pushed to one side. I rubberbanded it in place, but it still tended to come loose eventually.

Fixing it required like 20 minutes of repeatedly unwrapping the rubberband, adjusting the plug, rewrapping it, and hoping. It was a hassle, so I got into the habit of listening to music with my thumb pressed against it to hold it in place so the sound wouldn’t cut out mid-song. Used it that way for 2 years.

I have a perfectly functioning player now, but I still catch myself holding it with my thumb pressed against the headphone plug, simply out of habit.

nephaline's avatar

nephaline· 101 weeks ago

Nothing as rigged as the descriptions here.

A very old laptop that was permanently locked in the docking station, it was free, but did not come with the key. So it sat permanently on the coffee table. Then I spilled a drink on the keyboard, so could no longer type. Plugged in a newer keyboard, and placed that on the coffee table in front of the laptop, so the small screen was even farther away.

Currently our dsl is plugged into a dsl modem that acts as a wifi router. But the signal isn’t great to other parts of the house. So to increase the signal, to the upstairs computer, the antennae by that computer is held in the middle of a metal screen colander with tape and cardboard, a “dish” to improve the signal.

Growing up we had a black and white tv, the channel knob snapped off one day while we were fighting over the channel. So we kept a pair of pliers nearby to change the channel. Remember when you sat as close to the tv screen as you could, so that you could change channels during commercials?

2 replies · active 97 weeks ago

I suddenly just remembered my mom making me sit in certain spots in the living room so that we could get a clearer signal.
Shirami's avatar

Shirami· 101 weeks ago

Let’s see, On my last computer’s the fan of the power supply had a bad bearing causing it to make a constant ticking noise as the fan hit it’s guard, had to have the whole case on a 45 segree angle to make it shut up, kept working for two more years like that.

Fixed the freezer door on my fridge with a piece of bamboo that just so happend to have the same diameter as the hinge that broke while the main door itself is kept shut by two pieces of velcro i glued on there

bionelly's avatar

bionelly· 101 weeks ago

My husband is into ham radio, but we don’t really have money to spend on equipment, so he built an antenna out of tent poles and a cardboard box, with wires strung through where they need to be, held up with a mop handle stuck in a milk jug full of sand. It’s incredibly ugly, but it works.

And it wasn’t really a long-term thing, but last year when we had a massive power outage in the middle of summer, he rigged a fan to run off the batteries from our daughter’s Power Wheels.

In 2004, 7 of us bachelors moved in together into one big house. We each had different video game systems, and decided that they should all be hooked up to the TV at the same time.
We had 2-3 Nintendos, a couple Segas, PS1 & 2, an Xbox. I believe at one point we had 9 hooked up to that TV.
It was an incredible feat. Only I and maybe one of my roommates had the wherewithal to go behind the TV and mess with ANYTHING.
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