A project for Tony...

From: Sark <ian_primus_at_yahoo.com>
Date: Tue Dec 10 19:39:00 2002

On Tuesday, December 10, 2002, at 08:07 PM, Doc Shipley wrote:

> BA23, looks like somebody drove a bobtail (lorry, to you) over it.
> The card cage is crushed. I'd be literally afraid to approach it with
> a power cord, much less hit the switch.
> I didn't even read on to find out what used to live in it...

Unfortunately, the "Hey, I know, lets plug it in and see if it works!"
mindset is pretty common. I heard of someone that spilled something
into a television set (it was not plugged in), then they plugged the
set in and turned it on to test it (big bang). I ALWAYS take a look
inside old hardware that I come across before plugging it in, and have
found a couple things that would have become problems if it had been
powered up in that state, such as screws laying on boards, parts
completely loose in the case, bad wiring jobs, leaky capacitors, etc. I
learned this lesson the hard way very shortly after I started
collecting. Someone gave me a rather dusty XT clone, and I hooked it up
without looking inside first. I flipped the Big Red Switch, and nothing
happened. A few seconds later, the magic smoke escaped. Apparently
something had been wedged into the back of the machine through an empty
card slot, such as a screwdriver or something, because there were a lot
of deep scratches on the motherboard and a nearby serial card, several
small capacitors on the motherboard had been smashed, as well as a
small logic chip. The magic smoke had come from the wiring leading from
the power supply to the motherboard! Two wires had heated up so much
the insulation had melted away. Amazingly enough, the power supply
still worked fine after I patched up the wires, and so did the drives
and non-gouged cards. Fortunately, this was a rather non interesting
computer, and XT clones are very common, so no real loss here, but I
did learn an important lesson in plugging in old hardware without
checking it first!

Ian Primus
Received on Tue Dec 10 2002 - 19:39:00 GMT

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