My Linux machine is on the blink. It stopped working all of a sudden; on restarting it, it kept emitting long, periodic beeps and doing nothing else. After a while, even that stopped. Opening the CPU case cover revealed that the power unit was functioning alright; the CPU fans were spinning and the network card LEDs were also on. After poking around a bit (and getting some mild electric shocks in the process) and checking the wiring, I could not find anything wrong.
I think I will give it some more time and switch it on tomorrow; most of the time, such problems disappear as mysteriously as they appear (due in no small measure to my good karma ;-) ). Let's hope this is one of them.
My experience with assembled PCs has always been like this; they work fine 99% of the time, but behave unpredictably once in a while. Leads me to think that the components these PCs are made of didn't pass that rigorous a QC test as would their counterparts in a branded PC. Since I bought most of these components in Richie Street (the electronics grey-market district of Chennai), this is quite a real possibility. Having said that, these components do give value for money when compared to their overpriced brethren from the likes of IBM.
In the meantime, I have regressed to being an unwilling Windows user. Sorely missing the Bitstream Vera fonts...
Update: I have installed the Bitstream Vera fonts in Windows as well; still not as nifty as they are in Linux.