[rescue] fire v210 upgrade

Thog of Cave People thog at thogscave.net
Wed Jul 4 17:39:31 CDT 2007

On Jul 4, 2007, at 1:27 PM, Carl R. Friend wrote:

>     That speaks more to the quality of the folks in the field than it
> does to engineering or design.  I come from a world where it wasn't
> unusual at all to see a field engineer carry in a 'scope to help with
> troubleshooting.  There's a reason I got out -- there's no challenge
> in it any more (and hence no fun).

Ditto here, but we're the exceptions.  Luckily, the FE who handles us  
is an old, old friend and has been with Sun since the early days.   
Between us we've cobbed up some amazingly fun fixes.

Helll, I remember having to solder cross-connections on Sky FFP  
boards for Sun2's. :-)

>     I've been in the field for going on a third of a century and have
> worked with almost every connector type known to man.  Yes, some
> required what might be considered "excessive" force (see Interdata
> backplanes), but most can be gently cajoled into compliance and
> that's the right way to do it.

Yep.  And, in all my years, I've bent exactly one pin.  If you're  
careful, you should not have breakage.

>   FRUs that require torque-wrenches
> and whatnot (outside of disk-drive heads) are an indication that
> the original design engineers didn't understand the "rough and
> tumble world" outside their ivory towers.

I'm of two minds on that one - having seen the design side, sometimes  
the connectors are needing that, especially the BGA stuff on big  
custom ASICs.  However, the geek in me prefers being able to fix  
anything with a screwdriver and duct tape.  I compromise by not  
trusting any computer. :-)

> OK, that's cruel, but
> there are instances where you'll find such things.  Overly-
> precisely engineered machines that can't survive outside a clean-
> room are doomed to fail in such settings.

Yeah, but by the same measure, multi-million-dollar SMP boxes should  
be in a decently clean and environmentally controlled data center.   
I'm sure you're not surprised when I say I've seen some real  
horrorshows.  (And, for $DEITY's sake, don't put a water line through  
the ceiling of the data center, especially if you live in  
geographically unstable areas....)

> Of course
> the folks in the ivory tower never anticipate that the filters would
> ever *need* replacing because the machines are going to be in clean
> rooms.

Oh, in this case they knew, but they didn't see the reason why  
shutting down was so bad.  That's why our group got involved.... :-)

>     Pat her on the head when she reaches 30, will you?  One of the
> reasons I like "old-school" gear so much is that it's *not* over-
> engineered to the point of meaninglessness and that it was built
> to last more than the typical five (or, nowadays, three) year tax
> writeoff cycle.

I suspect the only problem I'll have with it is the NVRAM.   
Otherwise, like the 2/120's I finally divorced myself of, it would  
make it that long.  (My 2/120s were still running at almost 25....)

I won't argue, I miss real hardware.  But, you also won't see me  
giving up my MacBook any time soon.  I liken it to enjoying nature  
and a pristine view, but also really enjoying flush toilets. :-)


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