What was the situation?

Fixing a broke Cimbali: The Beastro Has Landed

As I was saying, when I finally hauled the Beast up onto the kitchen counter, I was slightly overwhelmed by the size. Internet photos -especially of espresso and other coffee equipment - have a habit of making everything look smaller than it actually is. The previous owners had said that it had only recently stopped working, and they just wanted to get rid of it since they were going to do something else about coffee. Out with the la Cimbali Cadet grinder as well, and a heavy metal stand for them both with a knock-box drawer. Grinder in good working order, although taking it apart for a major cleaning job is a story for another day.

The Bistro, when plugged in, 'turned on' as in some indicator lights went on, and that was about it. I'd asked over the phone beforehand the usual questions: does it run water through the group?, does it produce hot water?, does it produce steam?, etc etc. Unfortunately, it did none of that, and that's why I was getting it cheap. But I had a silent partner, a fellow coffee forum member who helped out poor little idiots like myself who got themselves into trouble with mechanical things way over their heads, and he was gonna help me get over this. Intrepid was the name of the game.