So, that shiny new computer I’ve been given and my propensity to save power have combined with boyish enthusiasm with a practical joke to create a very embarrassing situation for the two other contractors I work with.

I normally leave my box locked overnight, shutting it down on a weekend. So a discovery of a week ago had to wait until Monday to play out.

My new computer has a temperature sensitive main case fan that’s ducted – at higher temperatures the fan is cranked up to increase the airflow over the water cooled CPU heatsink. There’s a BIOS setting to set the idle fan speed; the default value is almost imperceptable, the highest is a roaring not dissimilar to a jet taking off (mainly because of the ducting and air being forced through the heatsink – all the turbulance is very noisy) and certainly seems to move a lot of air. Apparently the other guys here discovered this setting, and thought it would be a great idea to crank up the idle fan speed to “stupidly high” while I was away.

When I powered up the box, and the roaring fan started, I immediately went to Dean, the guy who did the swap-over to the new box. Having a CPU cut out because of overheating is not cool; I imagined that the heatsink might have come off somehow. He couldn’t imagine what was going on, and did note that the air wasn’t hot. Opening it up revealled everything in its place.

At this point the pranksters saw that this could escalate well beyond a prank and intervened with an explanation. Whilst I wasn’t put out, other people put the pranksters in their place. So, kids, be careful with those pranks. They could blowback on you (oh, I hadn’t intended that pun!).