After spending 20 minutes fiddling with cables and rerouting all the power extension cables I turned on my PC and smelt a kind of electrical burning.. the kind you get with toy railsets... then a nastier more pungent smell of burning rubber and finally smoke coming from my box!!!!
Some brief investigation lead to finding the cable connecting the all-in-one PS/2, USB and IR widget to the motherboard. One of the wires had melted its way through its casing and melted bits of the widget and even some of the connection on the motherboard.
I am so not a happy bunny!
Now as you can guess, my box still seems to work. Even the now slightly charred motherboard connection still works enough for my PS/2 mouse to work ( I tried switching to serial but windows was told I had a PS/2 mouse once and from now on will always expect a serial mouse totally ignoring anything I tell it, pile of crud).
I guess when I get the overtime on my most recent project from Hell I can afford to splash out on a new motherboard and processor - mines only a K6 II 450 which is a bit old hat these days. A new Hard Drive wouldn't go amiss either. Maybe even a nice new SuSE or OpenBSD box set...