... Hmmm! FAN ERROR. I tried to restart a few more times and on each occasion it made horrible noises and displayed its succinct yet despondent FAN ERROR complaint. I even tried giving it a sharp thumb in the area of the fan in an attempt to dislodge any obstructions but all that did was add the ejection of a huge cloud of dust to the abortive start up sequence. I believe the technical term for the laptop is fucked.
I then had the joys of talking to Dante's high quality help desk in India where a very pleasant young man listened to my assessment of the problem, put me on hold for two minutes and then asked totally irrelevant questions along the lines of "what happens when you enter your password?" I refrained from swearing at him but did point out in no uncertain terms that the laptop required engineer assistance as start up was aborted well before any password screen. The dullard eventually got the message. I got a ticket number and I set about doing my best to carry out my working day with an i-Phone that has no network signal.
After a short while an Engineer phoned and I arranged to nip in to the Nearest Circle of Hell to let him give a professional assessment of the laptop. To cut a long story short he avoided using the word fucked on the problem ticket and instead went with Beyond Economic Repair. I now have a loan unit containing my hard disk and have started the process of ordering a brand new laptop all the way from that pinnacle of quality goods and engineering ... China.*
As the working day was drawing to a close** I wandered in to the kitchen in time to see a silver pickup park up outside The Pile. The driver climbed from the cab and I recognised him as Andy the Powder Coating acquaintance. He had completed the coating of the Defender spare wheel and the bench ends and was offering a personal delivery service in to the bargain. I have to say that I am truly amazed by the quality of the job. The wheel is immaculate and the bench ends are a glistening white and show a level of detail in the cast iron that is fantastic. I asked him what I owed him and he pondered for a moment before sheepishly asking if forty quid was OK. I was astounded and would have happily paid twice that for the job. He seemed pretty pleased too when I nipped back in to the house and raided 30%'s purse so he was paid on the spot.
All I need to do now if find a tyre fitter and some lengths of oak.
---* This may turn out to be somewhat ironic but let's just wait and see.
** Remember that a) this is Friday and b) I work at Dante's Nine Circles of Hell so the day tends to start drawing to a close pretty soon after elevenses and certainly by four in the afternoon which is regarded as a late one!