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'The capacitors exploded, showering the lab in flaming confetti'

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

The ICL2903 was an interesting computer to program at system level. You were programming with microcode to handle its built-in devices.

One of these devices was a card reader - which had a powerful solenoid that was designed to be activated in short bursts.

It was reputed that one of the development sequences gained the name "select solenoid, stop, and catch fire". Now when I build anything with a solenoid rated for intermittent use - I always include an independent safety device to cut the current after a set delay.

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