The flyback transformer in the monitor for my underground lair computer finally died last night. The death throes started two years ago. Every so often, there'd be a little tkk! sound, then the image on the monitor would expand slightly, then settle back down. About a month ago, it started happening more often. Two weeks ago, it happened about ten times in one night. I started asking around and it turns out that fixing/replacing a flyback transformer is probably more trouble than it's worth. A few days ago, the only way I could get the image back after a “fit” was to power cycle the monitor, which would result in a series of quiet and mildly disturbing crackling noises Last night, even that stopped working. After I unplugged it from the power, it made even more crackling noises. Charming !
A friend of mine has an old 17" tube monitor that he's going to give me, so that's cool. At some point I'd like to get a new computer (right now it's a vintage 1999 G3 Mac) and so it would be nifty to get either a large flat panel monitor, or something like 20" iMac G5. The great thing about holding off on high-tech purchases is how advanced the new thing seems when you finally get it.
P.S. For those of you who use Trillian, version 3 has just been released and the Pro version (which might require a paid membership renewal or extension) supports Apple iChat with the included plug-in. There are two people at work here that bring in their Powerbooks and sure enough, they show up.