Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Always unplug your computer before working on it...

A 20-year-old student in Shanghai, China, was electrocuted Monday when he opened his computer's external case while the machine was still on, the Shanghai Daily reported.

The man, identified only by the common family name of Wu, had apparently opened his PC's case to prevent its central processing chip from overheating — because he didn't want to turn his air conditioning on. His sweaty legs came into contact with the computer's internal wiring, likely causing a short circuit.

According to the newspaper, which drew from a report in the Chinese-language, police and medical respondents found blood in the dead man's nostrils and bruises on his legs. The computer's internal voltage can reach as high as 380 volts in power-storage capacitors, which is enough to give a deadly shock. Powering down and unplugging the machine for a few minutes before opening it would have spared the man's life.

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