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Desktop computer cases and their features have been on my mind recently, since I recently accompanied a family member to a certain electronics store, and examined the cases on display. Cases interest me more than most computer components, partly because I chose a lousy one and partly due to the diverse combinations of features in addition to (such as the number of bays and whether the cover is transparent, etc.). And I guess because unlike some other components, I can understand and appreciate case design features easily.
I was reconnecting a device inside my own case, and thought of an idea. Have you ever seen a lamp inside a computer case, one suited to illuminating the case when needed? It's too dark inside my case to see connections and labels without an extra light source, especially because the SATA connections are black. (Manufacturers should start painting them white. I am not a racist.) I couldn't have held a flashlight, because I was using both hands and I'm not well coordinated anyway. Some kind of lamp could be plugged into the case or motherboard.
That might work, if I could plug it into the computer's power supply--that's the point. If not, I might as well drag a desk or table lamp over to my computer.
Originally Posted by rknichols
How often do you work inside the case while the power is on?
Often enough to be asking this question. I've had lots of devices break down on me or not work as I expect them to, mostly because this was the first computer I built myself (in 2008), and the first one where I regularly inserted or removed new components; I haven't always gotten everything right. I had to open the case so many times that closing it became somewhat pointless, and I took it off permanently. (Actually it was a combination of that--I got tired of putting the cover on and taking it off all the time--and that it eventually got a little bent out of shape, and barely fit anymore unless I screwed it it place. Which was even more pointless in light of how often I needed to remove it.) I'm aware of the air circulation issues in leaving it open, but the system has never come close to overheating.
Originally Posted by dugan
Obviously, the lamp would have to have a power source separate from the rest of the computer.
Why? I was thinking of something that could plug into the motherboard like the CPU fan.
Last edited by newbiesforever; 04-26-2013 at 02:05 PM.
Oh, you mean you actually do plan to work inside the computer when it's powered on?
Been nice knowing you.
Don't be ridiculous (or patronizing). I didn't say I would plug in such a lamp while the computer's running; I'm not trying to die. More generally, I'm aware of what I can do (such as plugging in a SATA device--that's what I was doing here when I couldn't see) and can't do (such as plugging in or unplugging some other kind of power cable) without dying. I thought I couldn't plug in the power of any device without shutting down, but recently I learned from a friend who is an IT technician that SATA power cables can be safely handled while the power is on. (Unless my friend has been a sociopath all along and secretly wanted to electrocute me.)
Last edited by newbiesforever; 04-26-2013 at 02:22 PM.
Distribution: Mandriva 2009 X86_64 suse 11.3 X86_64 Centos X86_64 Debian X86_64 Linux MInt 86_64 OS X
Originally Posted by newbiesforever
: but recently I learned from a friend who is an IT technician that SATA power cables can be safely handled while the power is on. (Unless my friend has been a sociopath all along and secretly wanted to electrocute me.)
To electrocute you with a sata cable of a desktop computer , that seems to me mission impossible .
How much power is on that sata cable ?
But is it wise to do so ?
:but recently I learned from a friend who is an IT technician that SATA power cables can be safely handled while the power is on.
Yes, I've done that, and the SATA power connector is designed to permit that. But, I believe I could count on one hand the number of times I've opened up a computer case just to do things that could safely be done with the power on. And, I've witnessed the hard crash of a server caused by someone reaching inside to do something harmless and accidentally shorting a couple of pins. (Lessons learned: (1) Don't reach inside a powered-up computer while wearing a wedding ring, and (2) the overcurrent shutdown on a Sun server's power supplies works very well.)
Distribution: Debian Sid AMD64, Raspbian Wheezy, Slackware Current AMD64, various VMs
If the power is off then using one of the power connectors of the computer for the lamp is not going to work. Instead you could buy a USB powered light, since the USB ports can stay powered when the PC is shut down.
A word of warning though. As has been alluded to leaving the power on when you're messing around inside a computer can cause problems -- more likely to the computer than to you i.e. a screwdriver slipping an shorting something or accidentally trying to plug something into the wrong place. It's not likely but you could also manage to hit something that switched the PC on which could be tricky if you were half-way through reseating a PCIE card or something.