Thanks so much for helping with this. I see what you're seeing in the photo, but it's actually not a short... Because of the angle of the photo you're seeing the leg of the jumper sticking up a bit and it just looks like a short.
One other thought based on a separate post I read... If my controller doesn't have the clock firmware loaded on it, would it exhibit the symptoms in seeing?
My only thought is in the crystal oscillator area. If you have an ohmmeter, check for continuity between pins 8-9, 9-10, 10-11 of the atmega chip. There should be none. Any shorts here will stop the clock signal and the processor.
Please add some pictures of the area around the crystal. If it sort of wakes up when the crystal is touched, that might indicate that one of the load capacitors is not right. Never heard of it before, but I guess it can happen.
JeffN wrote: One other thought based on a separate post I read... If my controller doesn't have the clock firmware loaded on it, would it exhibit the symptoms in seeing?
Possibly. Your symptoms don't 100% perfectly match a "no firmware" situation as I know it, but it's close enough to consider it. If you are building from a complete kit the controller should already be loaded with the right program. If you bought just the board (or somehow otherwise are using a controller that didn't come from Ian) then you would of course have to load it yourself before anything is going to work right. High voltage generation and LED color sequencing definitely require the program to be in place. The white LEDs and the crystal touching stuff don't nevessarily fit though.
Look into it later when the dust is clearing off the crater.