J's new puter (Tobias) was running hot all day, and when J came home he noticed that Win98 had had a fit and some random crap to do with the sound was constantly running - so that'd've been why. I was a little annoyed I'd not noticed, but equally, it took him half an hour to get windows to stop pissing around so I was quite glad I didn't spend all that time swearing at it myself ;) Once the CPU and mobo temps had settled down we shut it down then switched the direction of the two case fans ... as supplied the one in the back of the case was sucking air in, directly below the PSU fan which was blowing (hot) air out, and the fan at the front was blowing air out ... not only does that not seem sensible, but also several people and websites had suggested that it should be the other way round (PSU + back case fan blowing out, front case fan sucking in). So I got out my trusty screwdriver and flipped them over. Et voila - CPU temp down 3°C and mobo temp down 9°C, now we can put the front of the case on and it doesn't climb too high. Tomorrow we'll flip the CPU fan so that it blows onto the heatsink rather that sucks air off it - that's also been suggested as preferential.
All that messing with hardware (yeah, that's not much, but I built the thing on Tuesday too) got me thinking a bit. It always surprises me that I'm happier playing with hardware than J is. For two reasons, really, firstly - J's the computer scientist, I'm a biologist for heaven's sake ... but I've done a lot more hardware stuff than he has. I've not done much with modern stuff (Tuesday was the first time I'd done anything with a heatsink for instance), but I've poked around in my own first computer (it was a pile of shite made from cheap and/or hot components, so it broke frequently) quite a lot and I spent a lot of time at work putting cards in machines etc. This is the first PC that J's owned that he's not just bought from a shop. So I shouldn't be surprised when I have more confidence with it, really.
The other reason is sillier still - when I was a kid I was quite badly co-ordinated. Took me a long time to learn to catch a ball, never did learn to swim, was quite clumsy most of the time. But what I forget is that once I stopped growing most of the problems stopped - I still can't swim, step aerobics is beyond me, but I've been able to set up every experiment I've tried. And a lot of the stuff I do in the lab is really quite fiddly and requires dexterity and co-ordination. So, again, I shouldn't be surprised when I can do practical stuff that isn't labwork.
Anyway, enough introspection for one evening - time for another glass of wine :)