Wednesday, September 26, 2018

It Worked!

     The thing I was working on came down to one long-odds try.  I had three very obsolete versions of the data-compression widget, one much more obsolete than the others, and that was the only one that was working properly. That oldest version is larger and much more fragile; they're especially difficult to transport.  You have to remove all the 14" square plug-in circuit boards from the mainframe, move it in pieces, and put it back together on the far end, or it will not be working; the card-edge connectors are delicate. 

     The particular example I had was once moved with the cards in it.  Luckily it has a lot more slots than cards; with help from the manufacturer (it was still supported back then), I moved cards around, got it working, and decided never to move it from that location, ever.

     "Never, ever" is about a decade long.  Today, I took it back apart, moved it across town, and put it back together in a new location.  So far, it's working.  This is moderately big deal; I did not have high hopes but there were no other immediate options.

     And that caps the last four days.  I think I'll take the rest of the week off.


John in Philly said...

For some reason I read the word cards and my mind insisted on removing the mental picture of circuit boards and replacing it with an image of a Jacquard loom card.
Then I wondered briefly if people are making new loom cards using CNC mills.

My mind seems to think it is Steampunk Thursday.

Good repair work on your part.

Roberta X said...


It's a big Babbage Engine!

Douglas2 said...


Drang said...

So, a couple days vacation after all?

Zendo Deb said...

I really wish that I could talk to the people in charge of the budget. (Or slap them, but talking would be a good start.)

Something that is important.
Something that is no longer supported.

That sounds so much a Windows system running an un-patched version of NT just waiting for WannaCry.

I'm guessing that no one does risk assessment/disaster-recovery planning. (Aside from you that is, and sounds like no one listens.)

Roberta X said...

Well...Zendo Deb, the thing I was working on isn't the Big Top, it's more like a sideshow. Pretty much all of it is running on either spare capacity, or stuff that would otherwise have gone into a dumpster, which I have kept running long after manufacturer support ended.

Zendo Deb said...

I do understand. In one of the buildings I worked there was a sign. "We have done so much with so little for so long, we are now able to do anything with nothing."

But it was important enough that you canceled your vacation.

Or to put it in the terms the cost-accounts would like... "If it isn't important, why are we spending money on it?"

Hope you get to enjoy the rest of the week. (It is a beautiful, sunny day in Ohio. For a change. Not that it will last.)

Ritchie said...

Have I mentioned the wonders of De-Oxit? A treatment brushed or sprayed on contacts, claimed to clean contacts and enhance conductance. It's in regular unofficial use at the laser mine, and helpful on automotive connectors. Have I mentioned that the l-m uses at least one Win-3 box, and one Dos 6 box, which works far better than the box next to it, which has a hole bored in Win-7 or something, to run the Dos prompt, and a Dos file manager? The future is here, and walking around all hot and proud, with a bit of tp stuck to it's heel.

Robert said...

"The future is here and walking around all hot and proud, with a bit of TP stuck to its heel. "
I am so stealing that.
Just regretfully recycled my Win 3.1 box due to lack of space. Still worked fine albeit a tad slow. A sad day.