Dear Diary: today I lost my temper with technology and kicked an Xbox, really hard. Oddly enough, the only apparent effect this radical troubleshooting step had was that, perversely, it started working again. I felt like an angry Fonzie.
I’m not kidding: a kick really did seem to fix it. I can’t quite believe this, but it’s actually what happened as far as I can tell. I was moving the Xbox back to its usual setup after it had pulled some duty in another room. Although it’s loud and hot and I’d be pleased if I never saw another optical disc again as long as I live, it’s been a great piece of hardware, reliable for years now. (I’ve always particularly liked the super responsive buttons. Great user experience. It’s the little things.) But no matter what I did, it simply would not dish out a signal to the TV. Even though the setup was incredibly basic and familiar — power and HDMI — I could not get it going. I power cycled everything, unplugged and re-plugged everything. I’d had a hellacious day with other tech chaos. There was nothing left to try, and no time: if I didn’t get it running, and quickly, so much for the evening’s plans. So I hauled off an belted it. As one does.
Solid bloody thing. It didn’t sound the least bit fragile: it just went down with a thunk, and my toe hurt. And then it worked!