[rescue] Rescued Sun servers, now what?!

der Mouse mouse at Rodents-Montreal.ORG
Thu Jun 16 21:36:34 CDT 2011

>> 3. Is it safe to vacuum the servers periodically with a regular
>> vacuum brush or how should they be kept clean?  I have a lot of dust
>> where I live.
>  Don't do this!  Vacuum cleaners can produce a great deal of static
>  charge at the attachment end,

Q: What's the difference between a belt-driven vacuum cleaner and a van
de Graff generator?

A: Not much.

That said, while you probably don't want to use a "regular vacuum
brush", it is possible to vacuum computers out reasonably safely.  Use
the vacuum to generate airflow and to scarf up airborne dust; don't use
it to get the dust off things, not directly.  When I want to vacuum out
a computer, I hold the vacuum nozzle in my hand, with my hand
projecting past the nozzle, and make sure both I and the computer's
frame stay grounded (I usually leave the power cord plugged in and
either turn off the hard power switch, if there is one, or plug it into
a dead outlet, if not).  Removing dust from parts, if not done as a
side-effect of airflow, is done with my own compressed air generator,
the one that produces short intermittent bursts and is powered by
adenosine triphosphate.

> Use a can of compressed air.

If you can find one.  I've never seen one; the cans that are marked as
compressed air generally aren't.  Look carefully and you'll usually
find they contain some halogenated hydrocarbon, not air.  (If you're
worried about different gases acting differently, use compressed
nitrogen: uniform and atmospherically totally innocuous.  Why nobody's
selling cans of compressed nitrogen instead of what they are selling I
don't know - nor why the truth-in-advertising folks aren't cracking
down on them for misleadingly claiming they hold compressed air.)

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