Microsoft is trying to kill me

One day last weekend, MB and I woke up late and decided it looked like a great day to hop in the car and pop up to the Napa Valley wine country, to try a few new wineries and see if we could find anything unexpectedly delicious. Unfortunately, I had let my cell phone power run out (it doesn’t get along well with MB’s neighborhood), but I remembered that I had recently received a cool little tchotchke from Microsoft – a cigarette lighter power adaptor with a 115V plug on the backside. I thought this was such a cool gift, and it had the DirectX logo on it. Good stuff! I grabbed it from my house, yanked my cell phone power plug, and off we went.
directx adaptor.JPG
We slowly made our way north and out of the city, when suddenly, parked at a red light, we heard a loud *BANG!* Holy mackerel, what the hell was that? That’s when I noticed the smoke. Pouring out of my cell phone’s power plug, the DirectX transformer, and the cigarette lighter. What the heck?? And it wasn’t stopping. Smoke and smoke and smoke. I yanked it from the cigarette light, hoping it would calm down so I wouldn’t have to throw flaming wreckage out of my window and into oncoming traffic. Fortunately, after a few tense moments, the smoke gradually dissipated, and we were able to examine the casualties.
The only thing harmed turned out to be the DirectX transformer. A 2200 microfarad capacitor had decided to give its life – who knows why, although it could have been the design of that crazy device. There were capacitors and resistors tetris’ed into that case like nothing I’ve ever seen before. Probably something shorted against something else, and it was all over.
In any case, if you have one of these, be careful! I can’t remember quite where I got it, whether it was Gamefest or somewhere else. It was a cool gift idea, for sure! But… yipes!
Fortunately we did find some really good wine later in the day. 🙂






4 responses to “Microsoft is trying to kill me”

  1. kpallist Avatar

    Holy Smokes! (pun intended)
    I’m forwarding this to our events folks. Glad you are ok!
    I’d say maybe you were drawing too much current from it, but (a) a cell phone wouldn’t do that and (b) the device should have some kind of breaker for those cases.

  2. David Tractenberg Avatar

    Of course they aren’t trying to kill you!! It was simply a listening device to see what you two talk about so later it can be used against you. You may have overloaded its circuits talking about Blu-Ray or The new Sims expansion pack “Gangsta’ Sims” though….

  3. laura Avatar

    Get a Solio! It’s been great. All you need is some sun!

  4. johnwbyrd Avatar

    The jokes write themselves… here are the top 5:
    5) Is your car listed on the Windows compatibility list?
    4) Don’t unplug it! You can’t uninstall DirectX!
    3) Microsoft has confirmed this to be a problem with products listed at the beginning of this article.
    2) Set HKLM\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run\TorchCar to 0.
    And the number one obvious joke…
    1) You have a bad driver.