A Little Bit Live

Why does this hurt?

I'm leaning over the machine, my knee brushing the chassis, plugging in a USB cable. My knee hurts.

I glance down. No bruises. Nothing sharp. No spiders.

A second later I realise and pull back from the machine. It's going to hurt again. But I have to know.

I touch it with my hand. Jolt. My ring is vibrating.

The chassis is live.

I've been in a lot of dodgy internet cafes. I've seen machines overloaded with malware to the point where they barely work. I've seen machines with broken drives, broken keyboards, broken screens. But this is the first time I've had a machine electrocute me.

I immediately go up to the desk. As a power user, I don't like to call attention to myself at netcafes, but this situation is dangerous. I have to call it.

I explain the problem. The easy-going expat understands. But his solution bothers me.

"Oh yeah, that one's always been a little bit live. Try the one on the end."

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