[rescue] A bit of Fun and OT

Michael A. Turner mturner at whro.org
Fri Jun 20 10:29:01 CDT 2003

 > Phil Stracchino <alaric at caerllewys.net> wrote:
> > 
> > I have a sudden disturbing image of an enterprise system 
> held together
> > by safety-wire ....
> ..and duct tape and RTV.
> :-)
> -ls-

	Speaking of backwoods fixes for computer systems. My dad is from a
farm in Montana, big on the backwoods fixes. He had an apple ][e system that
he did all the tracking of his property on (house mainly). A lightning bolt
hit a tree outside his house one night and the apple fried. When you turned
it on, nothing but garbage characters appeared filling the screen and
nothing else would happen. This was in 1998 so the chances of getting a
replacement were slim.
	I found out his predicament and I managed to scrape and apple ][c
system up for him. Unfortunately when I got it to his place we found out the
apple ][c had suffered the disk controller failure that had killed so many
others I had seen. It did boot correctly though, it just could not read
	I was a little stumped on what to do so I cracked both cases to take
a look inside to see if there was anything I could do. In my inspection I
noticed that the e and the c both shared the same chips and that they were
socketed, not soldiered to the board as I would have thought. So I strained
my brain and decided on a chip to replace. Now I was stuck with the problem
that I had a very long chip that needed to be pulled and no puller.
	My dad, ever the backwoods mechanic that he is, pulls his well worn
pocket knife from his pocket and tells me to use that. I am a little leery,
having bent pins pulling similar stunts, but decided to go ahead because I
figured you could not make either one any more broke than they were.
	I gently pry both chips out, managing to keep the pins straight on
the one coming out of the apple ][c so I could insert it into the ][e. I
place the chip in and push it into place to seat it. I boot the system. Much
to my amazement (I had not really thought it would work but wanted to look
like I was at least trying) the system boots up now! Not only that but it
still says Apple ][e when it boots, I really expected it to say ][c. My dad
was tickled pink by this, I cannot remember ever seeing him so pleased on
repairing something. He went around telling people that computers where not
so tuff to operate if the same tricks you used on everything else worked on
them. He figured that this made him a shade tree computer repairman. :-)

Michael A. Turner
Systems Engineer WHRO
michael.turner at whro.org

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