Electrostatic Damage and Video
Most of this stuff is old news since most if not all modern consumer PCs and electronics are designed from the chip level to be ESD resistant. That's why you can get away with ESD abuse on modern equipment. But if you're here, then you are likely dealing with older equipment (SGIs) and industrial equipment (SGIs) that was designed to be serviced only by qualified people. The big iron and older stuff is particularly vulnerable with large PCBs (long traces can pick up static like antennas), late 80s/early 90s tech, age, and being designed for clean, climate controlled environments.
If you don't have an ESD mat and strap, GET ONE. a mat is like $20-$30 and handy (a clean white surface is great for lots of things not just electronics). A wrist strap is $3. Make sure your work, the machine, and you are grounded together. I never really consider earth ground to be too important for most things. For the love of god: carpet, cardboard, melamine/laminates, and plastic bags should be nowhere near that super rare option card or top of the line processor. If you are ever unsure of where to store such a thing, the best place is INSTALLED INSIDE A MACHINE. You should put a sticky label on the outside of the machine so you know what's inside it. Second best is in a conductive/shielded bag, and ESD safe bubble wrap around that, and then in a sturdy cardboard box that is not too big or small.
I am also sorry to say that your favourite football shirt and/or fleece hoody and/or silk dress shirt should be kept away as well. I know nowadays the trend is with conductive coatings and silver ions and all that jazz. Yes, this makes synthetic fabric conductive. No, it is not certified to any degree to be ESD safe. These treatments are designed mainly to resist smells (and typically wash off after one or two times in the laundry anyways, so save your money) A cotton tshirt and jeans is your best bet.
If you're going to take the collecting and wrenching hobby seriously you should check out your humidity as well and consider running a humidifier during the winter.
The Shocking Truth ESD traning video from oldschool apple, In 4 parts on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4WHbcd4NGJQ
This article based on a nekochan forum post by guardian452: http://forums.nekochan.net/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=16725677
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