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BSOD drove man to take decisive action against his uncooperative Dell desktop

According to a rather humorous police report unearthed by Reuters, a 37-year-old resident of Colorado Springs, Colo. was driven to violence by his unruly computer.

Police responded to a shots fired call after sounds of gunfire emerged from a city alley.  But all was not as it seemed.  According to a police report:

Investigation revealed a resident was fed up with fighting his computer for the last several months.  He took the computer into the back alley and fired eight shots into the computer with a handgun, effectively disabling it.

The resident -- Lucas Hinch -- was not cited for any other offenses (e.g. intoxication).  In fact he was quite cooperate with police when they arrived on site and issued him a citation for discharging a firearm within the city limits without reasonable cause.  It appears that Hinch was simply unaware that he couldn't kill his computer with gunfire in a back alley.

Cops humorously titled the report "Man Kills His Computer."  A photograph of the digitial "victim" was released by police.  It reveals the victim to be a mixed white and black Dell desktop.  Several bullet holes are seen gaping in the side of the dead desktop.

Colorado Springs shooting victim
The shooting "victim" was a problem-plagued Dell desktop. [Image Source: Colorado Springs PD]

In an interview with The LA Times, Hinch says one too many blue screen of death (BSOD) compelled him to take violent action to ensure the machine's demise.  He recalls:

It was extremely frustrating.  I reached critical mass.  It was premeditated, oh, definitely.  I made sure there wasn't anything behind it and nothing to ricochet.

Based on the side panel design in the above photograph I was able to identify the victim as being a vintage Dell XPS -- a XPS 410, to be precise.  The XPS 410 was a 2006 era model featuring a 65 nm Conroe (Core 2 Duo series) dual-core chip from Intel Corp. (INTC) and GeForce 7000 series graphics from NVIDIA Corp. (NVDA). No wonder it was struggling to keep up with the modern digital world!

Dell XPS 410
The victim was a vintage Dell XPS 410. [Image Source: marktewartlive.com]

Under Colorado Springs' local ordinances, it is legal to open carry and fire a firearm in self defense, but otherwise discharge is prohibited by the city's ordinances.  Further the Colorado Misdemeanor Code states [source]:

A person commits a class 2 misdemeanor if... [they] recklessly or with criminal negligence [discharge] a firearm.

The maximum sentence for a Class 2 misdemeanor is twelve months in jail, although jail time is often avoided if the suspects don't have a criminal history and cooperative.  Hinch's fate now rests in the hands of the judge who will hear his case in coming weeks.

In spite of the potential legal reprecussions, Hinch says it was worth it:

It was glorious... angels sung on high.  That computer had a bad day.

Hinch will in all likelihood face a small fine for his actions.  His gun was confiscated by local authorities to prevent Hinch from commit any more acts of violence against the city's digital denizens.

The whole story brings to mind this classic scene from Office Space...



Reality really does closely mirror fiction at times.  Just remember, though -- guns don't kill computers.  People with guns kill computers.

Sources: Reuters, LA Times





"Spreading the rumors, it's very easy because the people who write about Apple want that story, and you can claim its credible because you spoke to someone at Apple." -- Investment guru Jim Cramer
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