@katbyter my mom did that to my flip phone way back in the day. she heard something banging around in the dryer and pulled out his phone. left it sitting on the counter for 3 days, turned it on, and it worked for several more years. can’t say that about phones now tho!
Cracking the LCD panel upon reinstalling it into the front bezel of a Sony LCD HDTV, after having it removed to clean around the edges of the panel and under the bezel. Many fucks were freely given that night. To this day, I will not remove a panel from a bezel unless it is urgently necessary, and even then it’s still the most anxiety-inducing television procedure I have to subject myself to!
(If it wasn’t obvious, cracking the LCD panel pretty much destroys the TV. Finding replacement panels for almost every model of TV ever made is basically impossible.)
As a side note, magnets on a CRT aren’t really a big deal, unless the magnet is quite strong and is pressed against the glass. (In such a case, the magnet can actually pull the metal shadow mask into the phosphor, permanently damaging the latter. Sharp impact to the corners of a CRT can also bend the shadow mask, causing permanent discolorations.) Residual color distortion on the screen can be removed easily using a degaussing device (bulk tape eraser, or any sort of electromagnet) waved in circular patterns around the screen. Even a strong permanent magnet might be able to help, if you don’t have a degausser.
The real danger with magnets pertains to radial (non-SSD) hard drives, which can be seriously scrambled by magnetic waves!
@blaineg Orientation and position of the magnet is very important! Hard drives encode media magnetically, just like any other magnetic media, and stray magnetic fields in the wrong place will wreak havoc on that stored media.
Flipped the wrong DIP switch (that controlled the number of bits expected) by accident and stopped the communication from the hard drives to the CPU. Needless to say all processing stopped for over an hour while we figured out what had happened and why.
I explained why I did what I did and got a promotion and helped stopped similar issues.
Today I set my surface on top of my bag for a second to look at something for the security tech. As soon as I took a step away it dove onto the floor and smashed the glass. The screen is still intact and it works, it’s just no longer a touchscreen and it’s a cut hazard.
Phone dropped in the ocean. Fished out in a matter of seconds, but refused to charge back up after the battery ran down. Received a “water detected in the charging port” error message for months. Wouldn’t charge even with a wireless charger. Long story short, it eventually decided to charge again. So much for the “water resistant” ads this company loved to run.
While driving home with a friend on our way back from a fast food run, we had to veer off the road to avoid a collision. The car hopped the curb and my friend dropped his phone. We got back to the house and spent a good 20 minutes digging under the seats. I realized what had happened and shined a flashlight through my friend’s super-sized Sprite and we saw his phone’s silhouette inside. Apparently hitting the curb had cracked the lid just as his phone slipped into the cup without so much as a splash.
@narfcake Honestly I never had a machine with Vista. I think the sequence was 95, NT, XP for a long time, Ubuntu, Win7, Win10. I also had several dual boot setups in there with various flavors of Linux. I had to keep Winduhs around for games at least.
For Christmas many moons ago, my (now very ex) husband bought me a new case, motherboard and CPU. His gift to me was putting it together so I didn’t have to bother.
I should have known better.
He put the heat sink on wrong. It wasn’t completely off, so it as hard for me to figure out why the brand new machine was so flaky. I ended up troubleshooting that damn thing for ages until I just told him to return the parts, get whatever he could for it, and take me to the jewelry store. Luckily the store didn’t quite realize the cpu was a bit toast, and I still have that ring
Troubleshooting a CT gantry (The 6 foot diameter metal circle that spins at ridiculous speeds, and you go in the middle of all that spinning metal, high voltage, boiling oil and/or water, and X-rays. But try not to think about it too much.) and a slip of the oscilloscope probe causes some amazing explosions and turns a small problem into a much larger and more expensive problem.
A much easier problem to troubleshoot though. See that 120 pound chunk of HV power supply? It’s dead, and needs to be replaced.
In my teens I worked on a cattle ranch. One of my jobs was to drive an old Massey-Ferguson tricycle tractor, pulling a 30 foot piece of railroad iron, around the hay fields. The purpose of which was to break up the cow pies to 1) naturally fertilize the grass, and 2) assure that next year we would cut and bale actual hay, and not bricks of petrified cow shit. (This is true; this is a real thing.)
Anyway 30 seconds of training consisted of an old ranch-hand warning me, “don’t make too tight of turns because one of the rear tires will grab that iron and flip it up and kill you.”
So, of course, overflowing with Teenage Brilliance™ as I was, one of the first things I did was turn too sharply and the rear tire grabbed that 30 feet of railroad track and, out of the corner of my eye I noticed roughly two tons of rusty iron accelerating toward my head.
I dove off that tractor, the iron wrapped up like a pretzel, and the tractor flipped upside down in less time than it takes to tell it. Somehow, I had the presence of mind to crawl over and shut off the engine.
By this point it’s mid-morning and I’m maybe 20 miles from the ranch house, and no one is coming to pick me up until five pm, so I’ve got plenty of time to sit in the shade of that broken tractor and reflect. And I concluding that Oliver Wendell Douglas be damned; farm livin’ is NOT the life for me!
Anyway, around 5pm the boss pulls up, eyes the tractor, looks me over, and says, “Get in.” And those were the only words spoken on the long long drive to the ranch house.
After dinner he took me to the paymaster and said, “Raise this kid’s salary to $16 a day.” (I’d been making the princely sum of $12 / day before this. Remember, this was 50+ years ago.)
I was astonished, and I asked him, “What the hell? I’ve broken your tractor; I’ve ruined the drag; I’ve wasted a day of work. I’m a complete and total fuck-up.”
I’ll never forget his response: “Today you learned a valuable lesson: This line of work can kill you if you let it. Knowing that makes you worth more to me. I pay what you’re worth.”
God bless that man for giving me a lesson that I’ve passed on to my proteges.
That’s a good, and well-told, story. That tractor is my childhood image of one. We used to be around them at times when I was a kid and I finally got to drive one at friend’s when I was in my 40s. I remember from being a youngster that you did not shift once you were underway, but you chose the gear needed while stopped. I guess there were no synchromesh transmissions. Correct me if I am wrong. And a question-you were pulling a piece of railroad track? Was the attachment to it in the center of the track or at an end?-Thanks.
@andyw You are correct; one selected the desired gear before releasing the clutch; there was no shifting in motion. (Unless one were a teenage boy and there was no one watching, and it wasn’t your tractor, and you were feeling “experimental”. Or so I’ve been reliably informed.)
The railroad track was connected to the tractor’s hitch by way of a heavy chain welded to each end of the iron. So it formed sort of a “triangle” with the tractor hitched to the middle of the chain. The bar, then, was pulled perpendicular to the path of the tractor.
I’m certain that OSHA didn’t / doesn’t approve of such a device.
A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
Also low tech. One night, we were 10 miles down the road from a soft-icecream stop on a three hour trip home when I said-my wallet is missing. I realized I had left it on the roof while getting in the car. We drove back and I found it where I made the left to get back on the road and it slid off.
A similar one-My box of 8-tracks fell off the roof of our Fiat 124 Spyder leaving the Faneuil Hall area in Boston (before it was a mall). I recovered the tapes and a badly damaged box; my self-esteem may not have recovered.
@Lynnerizer My dad took me to Durgin-Park restaurant in about 1961, before it was partly changed by the mall. Then, it still served many of the people who worked at the wholesale market at Faneuil Hall. I looked it up a few weeks ago, not having been there in about 10 years, and found that it was closed in January 2019 by the restaurant mega company that had bought it. Too bad, unless you are a vegetarian.
One year at the CPL in Dallas back in the 90s, one of the sponsors was a monitor company. They gave out these things that were all the rage at the time. They had a giant magnet in the base and had all these metal stars and moons that you can stack and build on one another on top of the magnet. 700+ people with CRT monitors and a full 1/3 to 1/2 of them had these things sitting on top of or next to their monitors with their star/moon sculpture proudly displayed making their screens all wonky. I thought it was hilarious.
She’s right! Sound is great, and the interface and amount of music you can put on it allows for a deeper library of music/podcasts/audiobooks.
I sill miss mine. I use another, older ‘clip’ primarily when outside working, mowing etc. With earbuds you can listen to music etc while wearing hearing hearing protectors. It’s WAY smaller than a phone in your pocket, and it has a battery that lasts a long time.
Many moons ago I was sent to an office to check out a computer that intermittently had a distorted display.
Luckily it was doing it when I arrived. I looked into the next cubicle and saw that the occupant had a small fan on her desk directly on the other side. Her own monitor was on the other side of her desk, too far to be affected.
I asked her to move the fan and the problem was resolved.
I’ve never really had one. Never dropped a phone in a toilet or shattered a screen. Never fried a gadget due to improper use. I did drop my work laptop enough times that the bottom screws popped oult, but that just meant that I got a new work computer a couple months early.
I used to work for a major chip manufacturer. The company makes CPU chips, boards that feature their chips and software that runs on their boards. I was a SW engineer who was responsible for adapting some existing SW to run on a brand-new generation of CPU chips. The chip guys would produce a small batch of Engineering Sample CPUs and the board guys would cobble together prototype boards to test the new chips and then the SW guys would attempt to get SW to run on the Frankenstein-hardware. Exciting bleeding-edge stuff for a young hi-tech nerd.
OK, so we’re working along on the project and the latest rev of the all-new-and-improved batch of CPU chips is distributed. Low single digit quantities of working samples were available for our whole division. I carefully hand my precious new chip to the tech to swap into our prototype board. I come back in a few minutes to the smell of smoke and a panic stricken tech. There is a charred hole in the board and the corner of the CPU chip’s ceramic is cracked. Turns out the geniuses at the chip fab had rotated the printing on the chip 90 degrees between the steppings. The pins and socket were not keyed back then, so the tech had just pulled out the old chip and installed the new one with the printing in the same orientation and powered up.
Much drama later (both the tech and I managed to escape most recriminations, but it was dicey for a while), we got a replacement prototype board and another sample chip and continued on our mission. Oddly, even thought the board was smoked, we later found that the cracked, cross-connected CPU chip continued to function.
@macromeh in my 20’s, I had to add some RAM to a particularly demanding (read: bitchy) user’s PC. I did it when they left to go to lunch, had them save all their stuff and shut down.
I took a shortcut and did the work on the office floor instead of taking the PC out to the bench. Somehow I installed the new DIMM backwards. I know they are keyed to only go one way. I am puzzled as to how I did it. I do think that this was the original DDR RAM and the keying was less distinct (much closer to the middle) than later generations. Anyway, that day I found out that powering up a PC with RAM installed backwards will immediately let the smoke out of the motherboard. I had to suck it up and listen to this person try to ream me out when lunch was over and the computer was not going to be back up that day.
TVs are probably too big to do this now, but I once saw a guy leaving Best Buy and had forced his wife to sit in the bed of the pick-up truck while the new TV was riding shotgun with him the front seat.
I would consider this a major faux pas, but perhaps he didn’t agree.
I can remember having to drop the top in my Sunfire to get the (at that time) huge/heavy CRT based TV to my house. I think it was a 27 inch 4:3 if I remember correctly. Getting it up on the shelf above the alcove where my wife’s desk was in our den was a real bitch.