Bad Drives

From: John Lawson <>
Date: Thu Aug 22 03:38:00 2002

  I was working for a rat-hole computer store when the Kaypro 10s debuted
- Kaypro made a deal with Lal Tandon to buy 10MB drives made (IIRC) in
Mother India - at any rate the 10s of that vintage had about an 80% DOA

  You could (and I did, on numerous occasions) show up in the reception
area of Kaypro in San Diego lugging a 10, and someone would bring you out
a new one on a box, that had been burned-in... no questions asked, just
"Sorry for the inconveience, here's a new one under warranty."

  They had a big tent set up in the parking lot complete with mobile
air conditioners to handle all the re-work. It was truly a nightmare.

  These were from the batch where you could pay extra to have your unit
'personalized': it was supposed to be a mark of distinction that you had
an expensive portable computer with your name tastefully inlaid. What
happened in practice was the last guy on the production line took one of
those vibrating-carbide-stylus things and scrawled whatever was on the
invoice all over the back plate - never mind the paint or the
silk-screening.... it's funny, now...

  AND - my 1988 Mac SE30 came with a CMS internal HD, complete with a nice
copy of nVir - courtesy of a disgruntled quality-control tech at CMS. It
would replicate itself at intervals and grab the speaker and say "Don't
Panic" in that early MacInTalk voice. Then at some point it would say
"Now Panic!" and trash your HD. Pretty tame as virii go today, back then
the store I bought it from had to shut down for two days while they
disinfected every machine and disk in the joint. Mine included. And I
just recently found the original invoice for that machine, which looks
down on me now from the shelf where it sits in snug reirement; it used to
run my music studio.


Received on Thu Aug 22 2002 - 03:38:00 BST

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