One from the 'believe it or not' file...

From: Tony Duell <>
Date: Sun Nov 16 13:43:00 1997

On Sun, 16 Nov 1997, James Willing wrote:

> You know, I always hate these moral dilemmas...

[Brand new 3B1]

> Found a spot for it on the bench, made a cursory check of the unit (nothing
> loose, nothing rattling...) and powered it up. It hummed and beeped

I'd have been a little more careful here. I'd have opened up the CPU box,
disconnected the PSU, and tested in on a dummy load. It only takes 1 dry
joint to wipe out all the chips in the unit.

> And so, the dilemma... do I open the disks and crank this critter up? Or
> just pack it all away as another classic 'artifact'? (or leave it until I
> have a fair amount of time to spend with it)

I know what _I'd_ do. I'd power it up (after checking the PSU, etc),
install the software, and enjoy it. You see, I collect computers because I
enjoy using them, hacking them, figuring out how they work, programming
them, interfacing them, etc. A computer which doesn't work (or which for
whatever reason is never given the chance to work) is of no interest to
me. Of course repairing computers is a major interest of mine, so
non-working machines don't stay that way.

I'd probably also unpack the disks (although as others have said, getting
a copy from a friend with the same machine is also an option), read the
manuals, etc

I remember that at the HP calculator conference 5 years ago I bought an
HP71 service manual. Now, this manual is not common, and it came in the
original shrink-wrap. Having got it, I ripped off said shrink-wrap, opened
the manual, and started reading. You see, I didn't buy the manual as an
example of HP shrink-wrap. I bought it to learn about the HP71. And that's
something you can only do when you've opened the manual.

> No flame wars please, just the random philosophical question...

Well, it's your machine, so you have to decide what to do in the end...

> -jim

Received on Sun Nov 16 1997 - 13:43:00 GMT

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