Picking up the asterisk from yesterday's post:
* Yes, "rack room," or occasionally "rack compartment," looking not very much different from a modern-day server farm. I was Chief on the freighter Billy How before things were quite so digital, though even then, the early '90s, it was well begun and any fool could see the trend was only going to grow. Still, the end is the same; then it was mostly screwdriver adjustments with oscilloscopes and meters to see the result; now it's all keyboards and screens for the same job.
"Rack" is an overused word. Small to medium sized equipment gets installed in racks nineteen inches wide and standardized to a pattern that goes back to late 19th-Century telephone equipment; when we had computer and audio tapes aboard starships, they got "racked" on the machines instead of "mounted" and "re-racked" instead of rewound. You even sleep in a rack -- well, you do if you're a regular grew member; as Chief Engineer I rated a compartment of my own, much too handy to Engineering and nearly large enough to turn around in. Somehow the meaning is clear in context -- and the galley never serves rack of lamb.
Working On A Starship
1 month ago