* Posts by BostonEddie

51 posts • joined 21 Feb 2015

Page:

Techie finds himself telling caller there is no safe depth of water for operating computers

BostonEddie

Re: Basement canteens

Stories, stories...last week was the 100th anniversary of the Great Boston Molasses Flood. I am told there is still a mark at the...um...High Molasses Line

BostonEddie

Re: Floor drains

Perhaps you've heard about the Holy Cross football team of a few decades ago? As there were no backflow preventers, a drain pipe allowed standing water to be sucked into the cold water system. Result was that the majority of the football team were stricken by long term intestinal complaints and the season was cancelled.

'Nother tale: Once upon a time in a town not far away, there was a local who scorned the necessity for requiring licensed professionals and decided to (loudly, that being his habit) show that after all anyone of reasonable intelligence could do a similar job. He decided to do some plumbing of his house and then have the job professionally inspected to show that his work was on par with that of a professional. (Sneer sneer) The pro did the inspection and issued a large "Condemned" tag, commenting that the guy should tear out the job and start over before he poisoned his family. I do recall a few of the issues: no backflow vales, no lead free solder, several other deficiencies.

BostonEddie

Re: Ex designer of military kit

PIND and ESD. Did them both. The idea was to do a big enough sample size to assure a certain specified level of quality. So for example you might allow a lot with a certain number of failures to pass depending on the Acceptable Quality Level

BostonEddie

Re: Ex designer of military kit

"without the harsh environmental specs of the military." Environmental tested COTS ICs for over a decade. Difference between commercial and military stressing per MILSTD 883 was that commercial ICs procedures were stricter than the requirements for military. example: where 883 required, say, 8 shocks, commercial procedures required 10-12 shocks.

Your mates vape. Your boss quit smoking. You promised to quit in 2019. But how will Big Tobacco give it up?

BostonEddie

Re: Dunghill

Lying in bed with a drag on a cigarette and a hit of Wild Turkey bourbon. Finest way to start the day.

BostonEddie

Re: Dunghill

OMG--really? I might still have my 2 emergency packs of "H&B" sitting in a desk drawer from 25 years ago. Got them as "healthier" replacements for my 2 pack/day Camels. Really preferred Old Gold Straights (unfiltered). Oddly enough I was one of the few people who quit after a session of hypnosis.

Ding dong merrily on high. In Berkeley, the bots are singeing: Self-driving college cooler droid goes up in flames

BostonEddie

Re: Theft

But what about the kangaroo? Allegedly when Cook asked a local whaddat? He replied, "Kangaroo" which means, "I dunno"

Pork pulled: Plug jerked out of beacon of bacon delight

BostonEddie

Re: Technology

Much like a wave soldering machine. Parts are placed into a belt; the belt moves and carries the parts through one or more heated/cooled areas. I did work with a Korean gentleman who was modifying the equipment to cook a sheet of some Korean delicacy. Probably work on those flat Jewish crackers too

My hoard of obsolete hardware might be useful… one day

BostonEddie

Re: Talking of old kit

"...As we moved over to digital...That's how I got my two Tektronics oscilloscopes and my Heath RF generator. Used to have a GenRad audio/RF generator but two guys helped me move it out of the house.

BostonEddie

Oh, look! I found my stack of old monitors, one of which I still use on my Win10, and my dot matrix printer for my CoCo and my three or four DVD units! Maybe I can use them for HiFi audio record/playback? Several four channel auto radios, a four channel auto radio synthesizer...What treasures there be here!

BostonEddie

Re: Storage media

You know you can buy a wafer battery from your local dimestore for like $1 or less instead of the few bucks the OEM wants? If you're not into electrowelding, use heat shrink to keep a good connection. Works for me.

BostonEddie

Oh, I suppose I don't really need those dozen or so 386/486 laptops...though I still might trash out the motherboards and build a bunch of Pi laptops instead from the old keyboards and screens. But I'll keep the DG1 and someday I'll restore it. Promise. And what about my 5 1/2 inch floppies, complete with drives for my Autocad 11 with two drawing tablets? And yes, I do have a couple of 3 1/2" external floppy drives, one internal for my Win98 SE (for my music synth an MIDI) software, still useful, and one external for my IBM (before it was Lenovo) and several hundred floppies including systems backup for my win95. Then there's my 8-track desktop with several dozen 80's vintage tapes and my CoCo II with the assembler cartridge. Pity they wouldn't let me keep my IBM 360 to heat the house. The 4-channel stereo, the pair of 386 motherboards...They'll pry my 12500 internal modem out of my cold dead hands! Oh, and my 1922 Sears Neutrodyne, with the horn speaker. And those dozen or so books on obsolete software--the basic principles are still valid!

Well, off to my bedroom in the garage. TTFN.

Apple's launch confirms one thing: It's determined to kill off the laptop for iPads

BostonEddie

Re: Would they allow it if...

French Lick, Indiana. Known for it's many honeymoon resorts.

BostonEddie

Re: Would they allow it if...

Alas, there is no longer a Pennsylvania town named Blue Ball. It is now Blue Bell.

BostonEddie

There's a seaside town in Massachusetts named Marion. A local songwriter claims he always smiles when he sees the sign, "You Are Now Entering Marion."

Cosmoboffins think grav waves hold the key to sorting out the disputed Hubble Constant

BostonEddie

All of this gives me to think: According to Guth's initial expansion theory there was a large expansion of the universe coincident with the Big Bang which ceased a very short time later (no my terminology isn't precise but you can figure out what I mean). Now current measurements show that the universe is expanding. Is there a relationship between the initial expansion and the much slower current expansion? (Does Lisa Reynolds know?)

SQLite creator crucified after code of conduct warns devs to love God, and not kill, commit adultery, steal, curse...

BostonEddie

Actually thre were three sets of ten commandments each. And Moses had a hissy on Mt Sinai and destroyed the first set.

Take my advice: The only safe ID is a fake ID

BostonEddie

Re: A different name for every site?

Moonunit?

BostonEddie

once ran into a sales clerk named Yersinia. she said her mother liked the name.

Convenient switch hides an inconvenient truth

BostonEddie

Re: stairs and hallways lights...

I remember that mechanical sequencer setup, though don't recall it ever being used; I think it sat on a shelf in the oven room because it might someday be useful. As late as the 1990s the company ordered one of "my" burn in ovens with a sequencer with semicon logic to assure logic ICs were sequenced in correct order.

US nuke arsenal runs on 1970s IBM 'puter waving 8-inch floppies

BostonEddie

SNOBOL! Autocoder! Had a cartridge in my RS CoCo that would let me program in assembler for...6502 was it? Still got it too.

BostonEddie

I know a guy who maintained COBOL programs until just a few years ago. Financial systems, he did. After so many decades they figured the bugs had all been worked out.

Then there was the guy around boston who many years ago agreed to have installed the first telephone line in the area. As an inducement the local telco gave him the line for free and agreed to let him have it for no charge. Free calls. For as long as he lived. He lived to be very old and took up genealogy as a hobby. Free calls. To Europe. Long discussions searching for European relatives. For years...

30-up: You know what? Those really weren't the days

BostonEddie

Re: Ye Goode Olde Days

Got it in front of me now, on my Zenith 486 laptop.

(sigh) Autocoder and Snoball on an IBM 360. "Nailing Peanut Butter and Jelly to a Tree" (FORTRAN tutorial)

BostonEddie

Re: 1988

"Then: De-fluffing your mouseballs..." Hey--I did that yesterday!

BostonEddie

Re: 'Twas in the year of '88

OMG--am I that old? (I wont mention my exposure on the IBM 360 Mark 1965, fresh out of the box; I have a Certificate of Competence on the IBM 026 Duplicating Keypunch) I remember the Eternal Summer when the internet went to hell...and even the comp.women debate. At the time I had a DEC terminal that I could connect to the internet; there was a local ISP that I could connect to for free after 5 PM. During the day Ed Featherstone would extract and email usenet postings. I later did field circus on Nat. Weather Service weathermap receivers controlled by tone controls over the phone lines

BostonEddie

Re: Alternative 2018 floppy disc put-down

I have a AUTOCAD 11 on 5 1/2 floppy with the drive for 386, complete with two drawing pads and the templates for drawing schematics and text. No USB; sorry. Probably have the xternal power supplies for something or other. I keep it under my workbench with my Data General One laptop and my Sears 1922 Neutrodyne.

Sysadmin sank IBM mainframe by going one VM too deep

BostonEddie

Re: Just to mudddy the waters a trifle ...

From the mathom cabinet of my memory I recall that one of my coworkers in The Old Three Letter Computer Company referred to herself as D!---"D-Bang."

Fast food, slow user – techie tears hair out over crashed drive-thru till

BostonEddie

Re: Very Good Answer...

Along the same lines as using steel wool to repair an intermittent motherboard RAM slot

My PC makes ‘negative energy waves’, said user, then demanded fix

BostonEddie

As the late Johnny Hart of BC comics noted, if you put batteries in a flashlight backwards you get a darksucker.

Office junior had one job: Tearing perforated bits off tractor-feed dot matrix printer paper

BostonEddie

Re: bursters

"Hand operated card punch..."? Back when I was training on our brand new IBM 360 Mark1965, we were pretty advanced--we used an IBM 026 Duplicating Keypunch. Might even still have my Certificate in Competence. I do remember feeding in the punchcards to get the operating system going and if the cake pan shaped RAM wasn't in, seeing the printout, "Put in the disk, stupid."

Techies building UK web smut age check tools: You'll get a spec next week

BostonEddie

Re: this is why...

BUH MY TELEPHONE NUMBER! BUH MY SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER! BUH MY KID'S PICTURES!

Buh how stupid can you be?

IT peeps, be warned: You'll soon be a museum exhibit

BostonEddie

When I worked at the Worcester (MA) public library they were just beginning to convert the old magazines into microfilm. Also they used a system with vacuum powered carriers to transfer call slips into the sealed stacks where we pages would retrieve them and bring the books to the main desk

BostonEddie

Re: Starting on the Museum exhibits, ending on them.

COBOL? That new fashioned thing? I trained on IBM languages Autocoder and Snoball

BostonEddie

Re: Starting on the Museum exhibits, ending on them.

When I trained on a IBM360 Mark 1965, complete with a card sorter, mag tape storage and, I do believe a thundering 256K of RAM, I obtained a Certificate of Competence on the IBM 026 Keypunch Duplicator. Whadda thrill that was.

Then there were the weather map machines, fascinating technology involving chemically treated paper, a spinning glass cylinder, an IP26 PMT, various tone activates relays to set the drum sped, and several SAMOS earth satellites. Oh, and a modem eventually upgraded to 1200 baud. My piece of the action was still tube technology.

User stepped on mouse, complained pedal wasn’t making PC go faster

BostonEddie

Re: If somebody does not understand...

"Mimsy" isn't quite the same story, but it's close. Mimsy (and the Momsy raiths upgab) was about a baby upgraded by transdimentional aliens to an superntelligent baby who, being a baby and never disciplined, was a pain in the butt. Eventually Baby fools with a gizmo and is...I forget...either reduced to a true baby or vanishes completely. I remember it from Tales of Time and Space, my constant companion for the past 55 years.

BostonEddie

Re: If somebody does not understand... Children and relativity

Mimsy were the borogoves--a similar story but not that one. I'd bet it was by the same author who's name I'll remember as soon as I close.

BostonEddie

Once upon a long ago time, about 1990 or so, the lab bought a new piece of test equipment, an ESD tester. This had a GUI that could vary an electrostatic discharge (voltage, number of spikes, duration of spikes, etc) at a pin of an IC. The GUI had a number of parameters that could be varied by moving a mouse onto the proper field. Remember that this was so long ago that probably none of us had ever tried to target a mouse with any precision; none of the techs/engineers could hit the correct button without at least five minutes of tries to refine coordination.

Now, imagine you're a 70 year old with poor eyesight and coordination who's not quite sure what to do in the first place.

Pope wants journalism like the Catholic church wants child sex abuse probes: Slow, aimless...

BostonEddie

Re: It's been a while

Yeah, the religious authorities hands were generally clean. Heretics were "released to secular authorities" who did the dirty work. Of course the religious who influenced the secular authorities in the absence of restraining power can claim their innocence.

BostonEddie

Re: FTFY

Land grab...? after the collapse of the Roman Empire c 600 more or less), Western Europe was pretty depopulated, as shown by birth/Baptismal records. Some 500-odd years later population rebounded caused by several factors. By the time Charlemagne came up, there was sufficient population pressure to allow expansion of population into new or previously abandoned areas. In the near eastern areas the Avars and (Southern) Saxons were slaughtered; meanwhile the Cathusians (bear with me, I'm doing this from memory) expanded into the German forests and the Estonians, etc expanded into the northern Baltic areas. While Islam and Europe coexisted in Spain for the time being, the reconquest and expansion of Spain continued until 1492 One can guess at the fate of the disorganized pagan tribes of the conquered areas. In summary both Islam and Europe expanded and added land/population until they collided.

'I knew the company was doomed after managers brawled in a biker bar'

BostonEddie

Re: It's all fun and games until someone's toes freeze solid and shatter,

Ah, the days of our yoof...made a hot air balloon out of a trash bag filled with hot air. Attached the better part of a roll of tin foil tailing behind it. I heard the radar personnel at Logan airport thought it was a DC3 that had somehow gotten misplaced.

BostonEddie

Re: "and gloves were forbidden"

Back when I was in college a all knowing under grad chem major would mix ammonia and Iodine to produce Amonium Iodide, a low level contact explosive used mainly by students to amuse unsuspecting visitors. One day he set a batch on the windowsill to dry; a breeze came up and scattered the sample over his dorm room, producing unexpected small and occasional larger unexpected explosions until the room was thoroughly cleaned.

In high school the teacher demonstrated the effect of a small amount of adding Phosphorous to a small beaker of water--mainly bubbles, hissing and similar low level effects. This was mildly amusing so the next day a student decided that if a little was amusing, seeing a large amount dumped into a nearby pond would be a most spectacular sight. Unfortunately in haste he grabbed the wrong sample bottle--it was not Phosphorous but Sodium. The most unfortunate part of this episode was that the resulting explosion broke all the windows of the assistant principal's apartment building. The student might still be in the detention room

BostonEddie

Re: 'gloves were forbidden'

Sure. Mars Bars. My lab had a burn-in oven, purged using several good sized tanks of LN2. The usual habit was to freeze the candy bars with the LN2 and then slam them down on a bench, resulting in handy sized fragments.

In the old days film for the instant photo head of the macrocamera needed to be coated with a preservative. The preservative would be packed in a one time use sealed tube about the size of your thumb. Load the tube with a few CCs of LN2 and carefully chewed up fragments of paper and place it in an inconspicuous spot. The pressure would build up and eventually the tube lid would pop off with a loud POP and a shower of confetti would fill the air. "Veddy Bootiful" to quote the Three Stooges

Britain's on the brink of a small-scale nuclear reactor revolution

BostonEddie

like the Tritium that leaked from the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant? Not a problem (once they found the pipes; evidently someone misplaced th diagrams); it all just leached away into the Connecticut River somewhere.

BostonEddie

Re: no, still NIMBYish

Yeah, monju (extract from Wikipedia):

An accident in December 1995, in which a sodium leak caused a major fire, forced a shutdown. A subsequent scandal involving a cover-up of the scope of the accident delayed its restart until May 6, 2010, with renewed criticality reached on May 8, 2010.[4] In August 2010 another accident, involving dropped machinery, shut down the reactor again. As of June 2011, the reactor has only generated electricity for one hour since its first testing two decades prior.[5] As of the end of 2010, total funds spent on the reactor amounted to ¥1.08 trillion. An estimated ¥160-170 billion would be needed to continue to operate the reactor for another 10 years.[6]

As of 2014, the plant had cost 1 trillion yen ($9.8 billion).[7]

A final decision on the project (e.g. to decommission or extend funding) was due by end 2016,[8] and a decision to close the facility was made in December 2016.[9][10]

... Intense vibration caused a thermowell inside a pipe carrying sodium coolant to break,...'

a

Troublesome , those vibrating pipes. Reminds one of that reactor in California...

Printer blown to bits by compressed air

BostonEddie

Nice air compressor: Alice's Restaurant

Bad air compressor: League of Gentlemen (poor turtle1)

Sysadmin 'fixed' PC by hiding it on a bookshelf for a few weeks

BostonEddie

Re: deja vu

At one time the local jokster could produce a "humorous" image of his buttcheeks by sitting on the office copier. But then came the day when the full sized copier was replaced by a desktop sized unit. Jokster did not realize that the glass plate on the copier was now much closer to the (very hot) high intensity lamp. Ah, the scream of pain accompanied by the smell of burning flesh! The explanation submitted to the corporate nurse would have been...interesting...

You shrunk the database into a .gz and the app won't work? Sigh

BostonEddie

Re: Replace tape

recollects me of the time the local (Mass) office of the IRS moved and consolidated their new operation center into one location. There, right in the middle of the new location, was a high voltage line feed power pole exposed for all to see in the middle of the storage area. Most unsightly. Why don't we hide that ugly thing by putting those reels of magnetic tape around it...

Income taxes were a bit late that year.

Brits who live in 'smart cities' don't really know or care

BostonEddie

Re: But in the Real World ...

We used to hit the light sensor on the lamppost with a laser pointer to stop the light from coming on. Made nighttime starwatching much more pleasant.

Tandy 102 proto-laptop still alive and beeping after 30 years, complete with AA batteries

BostonEddie

Memories, memories...still got a DIY manual for assembling and testing the 8080A, complete with hardware and programming. Still got some 8255s around somewhere for IO and RAM. How about Microcomputer Programming and Interfacing for the 8080A in two volumes by Titus, Rony and Larsen. Never could get the damn thing to work.

BostonEddie

Got Autocad 14 on 5 1/2 inch floppies with the tablet and the transparent overlay, complete with the optical drive from a 386.Original box. Also Autocad 12 with two tablets and a few other accessories. Have any number of 386s and 486s including a DataGeneral One, have a CoCo2 with the Assembler pack. Somewhere is my Certificate of Competence for the IBM 026 Duplicating Keypunch.

Page:

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019