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They Don't Make Them Like They Used To 124

`Sean writes: "Sosik-Hamor Projects has posted an article entitled 'They Don't Make Them Like They Used To' that, with the help of some semiautomatic weapons, documents the durability of old school hardware versus the flimsy cases being used in newer peripherals. The Sun 3/50 came out victorious and was stolen from the trash the next day, probably to be turned into body armor!"
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They Don't Make Them Like They Used To

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  • This is what they mean by a bullet-proof server?

    Its an interesting point though. There is an old 286 next to me that has a case strong enough that I bet I could drive my car over. My current 400 Mhz machine has a case so flimsy I could not sit on it.

    It would be fun to test hardware like this against ESD. Anyone have a Taser???

  • When I was a little brat, I dropped my trusty, 40 pound IBM XT down the stairs by accident. Amazingly, everything was ok, even the 10MB, 4 inch high hard disk.

    It's been sitting in my parents garage for over 10 years. We fired it up this weekend and played commander keen and starflight.

    They dont make em like they used to.

  • Those old "hurricane" cases blew. They were heavy as all hell, a pain in the ass to work in, and didn't give you any real benefit. Yeah, you could drop one and feel a little better about it than you could about dropping yesterday's Dell clamshell. But how often do you drop your freaking tower case?

    A couple years ago I dropped a hard drive down a flight of concrete stairs. It was fine. I've kicked the shit out of my Sony VAIO slim laptop, and it's fine (minus a plastic non-functional hinge cover).

    If you buy cheap shit, it will break. This is not news. This guy had a POS CD burner and he's making it out to be the death of all quality. He needs to get a grip.
  • Come on, try to hack my 31337 firewall []!
    Your firewall was pathetic. I haX0red r00t and am now doing an rm -rf on the root directory. Hmmmmmm. Now.. why is the sysadmin storming down the hall towards my office...?
  • by Anonymous Coward
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    Interesting = Post is extremely vague.
    Informative = Post contains a link.
    Funny = Post bashes Microsoft.
    Offtopic = Post is flamebait.
    Flamebait = Post is offtopic.
    Troll = Poster ran over moderator's cat.
    Redundant = Post is first on-topic post on thread.
    Overrated = "I am scared of meta-moderation."
    Underrated = This moderation is only rumored to existence and has never been seen in the wild.
  • by beebware ( 149208 ) on Monday May 29, 2000 @10:29PM (#1039033) Homepage
    Yep, I totally agree that the cases of hardware (and not just computers - TVs, VCRs etc) are getting less 'sturdy' - but it isn't just the cases.

    In the 'good old days', you could buy a TV and it'll still be working 15 years later - now you are lucky if it lasts 7 before something major goes wrong. My old BBC (circa 1983) micro still works - it was in daily constant use for over 10 years with 5 1/4" floppy drive. I have trouble firing up a 1995 PC with harddrive - sometimes it just won't even get past the BIOS boot.

    All in the name of economy... *sigh*

    On the same vein, the egyptians had the hierographic writings which have lasted over 3,000 years - any 'modern days' records going to last that long? Nope..

    Discuss: Have we really progressed?

    Richy C. []
  • Dea sir, madam, or Anonymous Cowad,

    You have violated Yu Suzuki's Golden ule by including the Devil's Lette (also known as 'R') in you post. Please efain from using this vile lette in futue posts and epent so that Yu Suzuki may save you sinful soul. For you convenience, a coected version of you post appears below.

    This is what they mean by a bullet-poof seve?

    Its an inteesting point though. Thee is an old 286 next to me that has a case stong enough that I bet I could dive my car ove. My cuent 400 Mhz machine has a case so flimsy I could not sit on it.

    It would be fun to test hardware like this against ESD. Anyone have a Tase???

    Yu Suzuki

  • But totally irrelevant to almost everything, unless you are running your hardware in a war zone (or Detroit, maybe). Judging computers fitness to compute by their fitness to withstand gunfire is like judging a sheep's ability to produce wool by its ability to survive on the surface of Venus.

    Although I guess it could be that a company that is shoddy on general physical construction may not care too much about other aspects of design. It could be, but it hardly logically follows.

  • I've got a IBM 286 Server I use as a "desk" for my HP 4c, It has a warning label on it as it's over 35kg! It can stop bullets, be run-over my cars and be used to kill a man (or troll) by hurling it at the victim.
    I want to see more post at 2am+!!!
  • by Convergence ( 64135 ) on Monday May 29, 2000 @10:37PM (#1039037) Homepage Journal
    You do realize that his ISP is going to probably choke or shoot him with his own gun over the slashdotting their server is about to recieve. Especially as it is in norway. (And given the probably very high per-megabyte bandwidth charge.)

    May I suggest a mirror? Quickly

  • <I>On the same vein, the egyptians had the hierographic writings which have lasted over 3,000 years - any 'modern days' records going to last that long? Nope..</I>

    Easy enough if you invest the same manpower in writing. But do you <I>want</I> all of todays writing to last?
  • This is an great example for the likes of the NRA of why guns should not be controlled. Clap clap.
  • The physical durability of hardware IS important.

    The hardware costs you a lot of money and if you can easily break it physically, its a design flaw.

    I once lost a 1.6 GB data by accidentally dropping a harddisk from the height of a chair. This made me to purchase a few precautions - without hard case my new PalmVx woul be dead after a month (a cow-orker) accidentally dropped it off my desk and stuff). If would ptobably not withstand gunfire but it is safer for the data to be in hard case.

    The same for other hardware. When you purchase a brand-new notebook for $3000 you would want to be able to break it by accidentally dropping. Not to mention data loss.

    Gunfire is extremal but hardware should be durable and withstand heavu physical conditions.

  • by jmv ( 93421 ) on Monday May 29, 2000 @10:49PM (#1039041) Homepage
    That gives a whole new sense to wearable PC's. The PC that can save your life when being shot.
  • Hell, look at current cars. If you lean on one its liable to get a dent in it. People used to actually sit on cars back in the 50's and 60's and not worry about it.

    Given the cost of a computer case it is no surprise. I have seen some 'ruggedized' cases that can take anything you throw at them, drive over them, pour on them and possibly shoot at them. Of course one of these cases costs more than a current PC guts and all.

  • I have a color TV that my parents bought when I was about 2 (I'll be 24 in July). We've had this TV literally as long as I can remember. It still works just fine.

  • On the same vein, the egyptians had the hierographic writings which have lasted over 3,000 years - any 'modern days' records going to last that long? Nope..

    Easy enough if you invest the same manpower in writing

    Substitute 'Manpower of people knowledgeable enough to write that' with 'Salary costs of these people' and you won't get any problems. Just mak records like the ones that went out with the Voyager probes and store them somewhere safe. I'm sure they would last longer than 3000 years.

    But do you
    want all of todays writing to last?

    3000 years old spam and newspapers?!? *YUCK*...

    Regards, Ulli

  • If you are reading this ask yourself this, Why?

    Thank you for that sig. It made me realize that I'm reading Slashdot at 04:13 and that I should go to bed. Thanks. :)


  • The BBC Microcomputer ... mine was probably in constant use for 3 years when I played 'Elite', possibly the coolest game ever to require 16k of RAM.
  • I just think its cool that the articles mentions the USP, that being my favorite weapon in Counter-Strike. Not that I've ever fired a REAL gun, I'm a computer nerd for Christ's sake.

  • Copyright laws do.
  • NU != Norway
    NO == Norway

    They're in the US. A cursory glance at [] reveals that it's hosted by a web hosting company they own.

  • And what's wrong with Wiccans? :)

    At least it does prove one thing: he doesn't believe computers are alive in any way, otherwise he'd be breaking his Rede by shooting at those poor defenseless pieces of hardware.

    Note: I'm not Wiccan, though I did sling-shot around Wicca in my search for my own Path :)

    the Gods have a sense of humour,
  • "-1: Useless personal anecdote"



  • Only in America!

    I'm getting getting all misty-eyed and patriotic just thinking about fact, I think I'll sing!

    (Tue the tune of "America the Beautiful")

    Oh beautiful for shotgun sights,
    For butts in pure wood grain!
    For purple mountains majesty
    Where we go hunt our game!

    America! America! God shed His grace on thee...

    Where we can shoot
    What won't reboot
    And ev'ry dead P.C.!

    Thank you, thank you, groupies always welcome...

    (P.S. Yes, .nu is in the USA -- I have a shell account here in town, and the last letters of its extension are .nu...)

  • by Anonymous Coward
    are you aware of the governm,ent conspiracy relating to tinfoil hats you see they supposedly cover the mind conrtol rays from the secret death satalites but they actually amplify the secret telsa death ray so that the government can kill those that know the truth while leaving their servants like katz and taco to rule the world without the tinfoil hats because the government is actually conspiring to create an anti-conspiracy conspiracy advocating the tinfoil hats as a means of mind control because instead of takeing wawy the mind contorl rays the tinfoil hats actually amplify them so that thje government can peer into your mind and make you work in line with them and control all that they hold sacred so that you will simply become a mindless drone of the worldwide government conspiracy yes that's what the UN is a worldwide governemnt conspiracy designed by monica lewinsky who is actually a secret cia officer designed to steal missile launch codes from bill clinton so that the cia will be able to have control over the us nuclear missile aresonal so that the un and the new world order headed by the us nsa and cia will be able to hold control over the world via a long range interncontrinental ballistic missile range specifically designed to oppress the peoples into creating a workforce so that the rich shall prosper and the poor shall be forced into nazi-style deathcamps for trying to expose the truth and you will be send to the end of the world and back to expose the truth and nobody will listen because of the tinfoil hat conspiracy and the amplified government mind control rays from the secret nasa death satalites.

    Oh man, that was some bad $3 crack.

    ------------------------------------------------ ------------------------ ----
    Join the cult []. Now []. Destroy the new economy [].
    The time is now. Rise up from our trenches, our bunkers, and fight the great war [] against the mortal enemy [].You []. Now []. Fight []!
  • by Anonymous Coward
    It's likely that just about anything makes you think about dildos.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I have it on good authority that the Epytians did not screw shit.
  • When I was a wee nipper, my first computer was a Sinclair ZX81 - the keyboard was basically a piece of plastic over rubber buttons, the power cable would continuosly break where it plugged into the unit, and the 16k add on memory plugged into the back of the unit - one nudge by a passing cat, and all my basic code was fried ! Hey, what can I say, I couldn't afford an IBM with my allowance !
  • Well, officially .nu is a semiautonomous island off the coast of New Zealand with (IIRC) about a hundred residents. They've sold off most of their address space to URL retailers.
  • Sagan was pretty confident about the copper master LP in a metal sleeve that was sent with Voyager. Of course, if you leave it in oxygen there are probably better materials than copper.
  • Perhaps you do, but not everyone does - oh yeah, it also weighed about 50 grams, was about 25x15x5 cm's and had no hard drive.
    It was black.
    It had a Sinclair logo it the top left hand corner
    You connected a standard tape recorder to the back via a jack, the cheaper the better
    It made a lot of noise when loading programs, and often didn't load them properly, crashing in the process
    Clive Sinclair was bald at the time and wore glasses.
    It wasn't as cool as the vic20 or commodore64
  • All this is making me want to take out a CompUSA....
  • I'm curious of what would be left of the M$'s vapour-game console...

  • Gosh, I was asleep, minding my own dreams, when my /. monitoring-daemon said that someone posted the word "gun" in this forum. tyred. Look at tha pretty lights. eyes heavy. i just rest myselllllesss sssssddddddd <p><p><p><p><p>

    Hi honey. You made me eggs? ah thanks. I gotta get to work. boss'll be angry if i'm 1 minute late again.
  • Hey, I sit on my Volvo without worrying about it. But then it is about 16 years old (A-reg, for British viewers). It's not all that fuel-inefficient either, despite being into 6-figure mileage.

  • you mean "Nurway", don't you? or maybe "Norway,
    Pennsylvania"? ;-)

  • It seems like everything goes through these stages:
    1. Big, expensive and barely works.
    2. Smaller, expensive and works.
    3. Affordable, works very well and reliable.
    4. Cheap, works very well but not repairable.
    5. Cheaper, works OK, doesn't last long and not repairable.
  • My old spetrum could stand up to being dropped, especially if you managed to drop it keyboard down, when it would bounce of the moulded rubber keys. It couldn't stand up to the jack from my tape recorder being jammed in its expansion port. This unfortunately seemed to short something leaving it to boot to a black screen, but what the hey, I can still play spectrum games using the Java emultator.
  • Well, OK, but who's going to stagger around wearing a Sun 3/50?

    It would get you noticed, I guess.
  • I'm sure Elite on the BBC requires 32Kbyte of RAM. Still impressive of course. I don't know about the case - you probably could not stand on it - but the system as a whole is certainly pretty solid. Many have survived eighteen years' use in schools.
  • I knew I was holding on to the old 3/50 for something. I suppose the 19 inch monochrome monitor could be strapped on your back for rear protection, and the external SCSI "shoebox" unit could either be made into a helmet, or dangled below the cpu unit for extra protection of sensitive areas. Beige cases with stains of various origin provide urban camouflage.

    If I can't find a good home for it, maybe I'll do my part for the scientific community and see how well it stands up to NATO 7.62 mm rifle rounds (FMJ and solid steel AP).


  • by LL ( 20038 ) on Tuesday May 30, 2000 @01:41AM (#1039070)
    What what I understand, engineers aim for a minimum operational life of 10,000 hours which equate to just over one year of continuous use. When the price points become fixed, then all you can alter are the invisible quality aspects (e.g. smaller hamburgers, larger packaging, higher risk failure). Like any good industrialist and profit seeking capitalist, it is in their interest to have everything fail at the right time (planned obsolescence) just in time for their new upgrades and "bigger/better/faster" range to come out. Henry Ford used to send his engineers scrounging through dumps to find out what parts survived ... and when he discovered cottler pins holding wheels together he reduced the quality of the metal. Remember that in a manufacturing mindset, you only make a profit on the "First Sale" (see previous /. articles on why Microsoft is discouraging resale through EBay). Once hooked and addicted, they calculate the potential lifetime value of each customer and software price yields (ie how much they can screw them and have them coming back for more).

    Unfortunately there's not much you can do ... custom software is still expensive (think 100K/year x #team of hackers) and mass produced software (<$500) creates their own scale of economy (training, pool of experts, etc). You can see how after a while one company dominates a particular ecological niche, Cisco (TCP/IP routing), SGI (OpenGL), AutoCAD (design), Adobe (publishing), high-end databases (Oracle) thus rewarding specialisation and persistance. Without lure of supernormal profits, would you have these companies existing to bribe their option hungry programmers? Let's have a rough look at the economics, it takes say 3 years and a team of 20-30 engineers at $100K/year plus 33% operational overhead, ie a minimum cost of $10M you need to recover from software sales. At an average sale price of $50, you need minimum 2 million copies just to break even and steady state revenue of $3-4M/year. Assuming you are only targetting 1st world countries (starving peasants don't exactly put software at top of their Xmas list) you've got an uphill battle to convince others you're worthwhile keeping for the long-term, not to mention on-going support and hand-holding. Maybe those Indian programmers are not such a bad idea after all.

    We might whinge at the formula movies and crappy software but we only get what we pay for. The demand for high quality high reliability software (e.g. FAA flight control) is only a select market and if the average purchaser is not interested in paying extra for a higher mean-time-between failure (given today's disposable society) then you are just wasting scarce programmer resources. Perhaps OpenSource software could set a new standard but documenting and independently validating a set of 3 software metrics

    - mean time between failure (reliability)
    - total cost to repair/replace (quality)
    - acceleration of learning curve (difficulty)

    This should sort out the sheep from the goats.

  • Except use sysadmins rather than computers.
  • I have a 3/140 running NetBSD, which makes a fantastic heater. It doesn't have a fan, but it's free-standing and has little ventilation slots in the top and bottom, so it continually wafts out warm air. A room heater you can play nethack on! However, the great thing is, a lot of Universities etc are now throwing these machines away because they're so darned big, but they still make *excellent* X terminals. The type-3 keyboards are probably big and heavy enough to constitute an offensive weapon if you wield them right.
  • Some years back at a company I once worked at, someone went postal in our US office after being sacked. He may have been sacked unfairly, I don't know, but his response was what I'd call disproportionate: he returned to the server room with a large-ish shotgun, and started blasting away from the doorway at machinery. Everyone dived for cover, including my friend Martin, who wisely chose to hide behind an IBM DASD array the size of a coke machine. The shots went through the first wall of the casing, but didn't even make it through the disks, so Martin was safe. No one was seriously hurt, and the guy got hauled away to the Laughter Academy when his ammo ran out.
  • Ah, mr. Anonymous Coward, would you be so kind as to reveal your identity to me? :)

    the Gods have a sense of humour,
  • I'm sorry, but whoever moderated that down was a nimrod. That post was funny as hell, and I'm not even opposed to moderation.

    Sure, the moderator was "literally" correct in scoring it offtopic, but come on- it'd never be on-topic (unless slashdot posts some lame article about their own moderation system), and yet it still deserves to be recognized,
  • What is it about guns and computers?
    Every other day I see some article
    about some guy shooting some piece of hardware.
    Is that some kind of Freudian stuff? Desire to shot something causing you much frustration?

    P.S. I do not shot old SUNs - I use them.

  • by wowbagger ( 69688 ) on Tuesday May 30, 2000 @02:56AM (#1039077) Homepage Journal
    From what I gathered reading the article, the Sun and the Xterm were still alive when shot.


    Putting down broken hardware is one thing, but killing still working Unix hardware boarders on blasphemey!

    May their weapons jam and their clip's springs weaken!
  • by Bad Mojo ( 12210 ) on Tuesday May 30, 2000 @03:00AM (#1039078) Homepage
    I *ONLY* wear wool from Venusian sheep. Nothing less will do, frankly.

    Bad Mojo []
  • I have dropped my IBM c3 (Palm V) a few times, it even has dents in the aluminum case, but still works. (Phew!) My old Palm Pro however has cracked screen after I sat on it at a party. :
  • by StormyMonday ( 163372 ) on Tuesday May 30, 2000 @03:10AM (#1039080) Homepage
    Even the most ultra-liberal, pinko, gun-confiscating, bleeding heart liberal has wanted to do this at one time or another.

    Reminds me of a story from the Vietnam War protests in the late 1960s. A bunch of student radicals took over the computer center at a large university. If their demands were not met, they would Destroy the Computer, symbol of opression. Admin ignored them. So they tried.

    This was a big IBM mainframe. The radicals discovered a number of interesting facts:
    • The computer center staff had shut the computer down and thoughtfully removed anything that looked like a tool.
    • They had cut power to the computer from outside the computer center.
    • All the cases require a special tool to open. The radicals had maybe a screwdriver.
    • You need a floor sucker to get to any of the cables under the raised floor. The radicals didn't have one.
    • Hitting the cases with a chair accomplishes nothing. Heavy steel.
    • Monitors are *very* hard to break.
    • The only thing you can damage with a pocket knife is the upholstry on the operator's chair.
    • Setting a fire in the computer room was more dangerous to them than it was to the computer.

    However, they did a real job on the console keyboard.

  • Yes, the Sun 3/50 is a sturdy machine. I set one up for my brother as an Xterm (also a loaded 3/60 with 24 MBytes of memory). But the damn thing cost about $10,000 for a base system in 1985!

    Big servers like Sun Enterprises and large HPs are still sturdily build, like the large servers of yore.

  • Speaking about TV's, my uncle's Rank Arena has had a hard life but is still going strong.

    About 15 years ago there was a flood at his place and the TV was left floating around downstairs in waist height water. Afterwards they just pulled it open and let it dry. Today it's still in daily use.

  • At my old house out in Pittsburgh, when the concrete on our back porch needed to be redone, we came up with a better solution. We tore up the old crete and laid done about 15 old Sun 3 cases that we had gotten from School. From desktop to porchtop. If I can dig up some picture I'll post a link.

  • Yea, you never know when those 68020 machines are gonna turn on you.

  • learn that shooting things is *not* the answer to everything!
  • by shippo ( 166521 ) on Tuesday May 30, 2000 @03:35AM (#1039086)
    A few years ago, the IRA used to have fun blowing up parts of the City of London, trying to cause as much chaos as possible.

    One of my collegues had to attend the clean-up operation of one such attack at a large financial institution, roughly 7-8 years ago. This company used Banyan CNS servers, which were huge 386 or 486 ISA machines with integrated UPS. The case consisted of an aluminimum frame with removable side panels and top. Due to the integrated UPS, they had to be strong.

    This site had suffered severe structural damage during the attack, so much so that at least 2 of these servers were acting as supports for the rest of the building. What's more, they still worked after the event, although a bit dusty.

    Can anyone beat that..

  • When will you Brits pay attention to the details,
    this guy is from Norway.

    Besides, shooting things worked pretty good
    when we wanted our independence, and when we saved
    your asses from the Krauts twice in a row...etc

  • I have a 20" black and white TV that my parents bought in 1963. It still works, and the picture is very clear.

    Meanwhile, the VCR I got in 1992 is a piece of junk now.
  • I was surprised nobody mentioned the old NeXT cubes - solid magnesium alloy case!

    I never heard of anyone shooting one, but they could be burnt!" []

  • While you're pondering your problem with Americans' propensity for shooting things, fella, just remember where y'all got those Mk-37 torpedoes that HMS Conqueror fired at the General Belgrano back in '82 during the Falklands War.

    You're welcome, by the way.

  • In about 1994, I had a 386DX-20. It one of of those Tandy 3000 computers, with a heavy ass case, and RUBBER SPACERS for the hard drive. Anyway, I was letting a friend use it, and went to pick it up. I put it on the roof of my car, and then got distracted. As I was leaving, the computer flew off the roof as I cornered.

    I got out, pick up the computer, and took it home, feeling embarrassed as hell. However, when I plugged it in, it still worked fine. Case was dented pretty good, but it worked.

    There is a reason I have a facination with older electronic equipment. stereo equipment, telephone sets, and lots of other stuff. I've got a Western Electric touch-tone phone (think Beige Box) that was made in the days where AT&T was *THE* phone company, and they still leased equipment. Of course, to keep replacement costs down, AT&T had them built to last. As a result, you can literally bludgeon someone to death with one of these phones, and then use it to call the coroner. :)

    The problem is this: Sometime after the industrial revolution, when assembly lines were standard, and companies were spitting out product like never before, someone had the bright idea that they were building a product that was *TOO* good. (I think this probably started with light bulbs.) Someone figured that they could cut some corners, and produce a product that was cheaper to make. Of course, it didn't last as long, but it gave the added advantage that the product needed to be replaced more frequently. If they didn't reduced the selling price for their product, the extra money lined their pockets.

    Of course, this seems (to me) to be a massive waste of resources. We could build better products that were more durable, and individuals could save a lot of money on replacement. We also be saving natural resources, reducing trash, and freeing up monitary and physical resources to use for other purposes.

    Yes, it's true that you can get products that are more durable then is the standard. It's also true you pay out the nose for them, and that most people don't need products that can survive bomb blasts and 20 foot drops. I contend, hoever, that it isn't that expensive to build products that can take some abuse and still hold up well, even with modern manufacturing techniques. For me, a perfect example of durability in modern manufactoring is my Nokia 6190. It's been dropped times, and yet it still works well. A little scratched, one latch tab for the battery finally broke off, but still, it's useable.

  • by jcwren ( 166164 ) on Tuesday May 30, 2000 @04:32AM (#1039092) Homepage
    I don't know how many of you are actually old enough to remember when: A) Hayes Microcomputer was still in business, and; B) manufactured a device called a Transet 1000.

    This was one of Dennis' brilliant brain-childs that was basically a marketing flop. It was supposed to be a print buffer (which it did an OK job at), a mailbox (before real internet-type e-mail), and a couple of other things we never were really clear on.

    After the product was launched, all the developers were issued a personal Transet. There were those who worked in the project that thought it was a dumb idea to begin with, and decided to make a point about it.

    The actual Hayes employee, whom I'll call Chuck, another Hayes employee (not involved in the project, but working there at the time), and myself (not a Hayes employee until many years later), took said Transet 1000 out the ol' shooting range in Marietta, named aptly enough "The Bullet Stop".

    The Bullet Stop was owned by Paul LaVista, an arms dealer and active mercenary. You may remember him being in the news about 6-7 years ago for shooting himself, them claiming to find a bomb in his Mercedes. All part of an attempt to divert attention of the ever-viligant IRS for not paying his taxes. (Doesn't everyone pay cash for their Stinger missles?). The first time we walked in there was with two 25lb (that's about 46 kilos) blocks of ice. Paul looked at us and said "You're sick puppies! I'd like to pop a couple of those!" That netted us two free magazines for the H&K MP5-A. We preceded to spend about $600, renting every dang weapon that was semi or full-auto in the place. The rule from then on was "Anything that's already dead, fits through the front door, and isn't in a Sherwin-Williams can"

    After removing the EPROM from the Transet (those were expensive then, 128K x 8, and as hardware hackers, we coveted any such useful hardware) we clipped the Transet into the target clamp, ran it out about 30 feet, and proceeded to try to kill it.

    In those days, Hayes modems, Transets and Chronographs (a collectors item, fetching as much as $300 in the right market, these days. I have 15 of them!) came in very nice .125 aluminum cases. This makes for fairly effective PCB armor. We unloaded .30 cal from an M1 carbine, .45 ACP from a stainless Colt M1911A (with Pachmyre grips, Millet sites, ported and polished, and a 2.2lb trigger job), 9mm (from god-knows-what), and last but not least, a few 12 gauge shotgun slugs. The slugs ripped it out of the carrier, but never penetrated the case. The .45 and 9mm went deep, but not all the way through. The .30 cal did the most damage, actually punching through far enough to smash the 68008 CPU (it being ceramic made it particularly brittle).

    All in all, it was an enjoyable afternoon spent killing a Transet, bowling pins, and few other odds-and-ends. But it didn't quite end there...

    Chuck decided that rather than just kill a Transet, we (he) should make a point with it. It was placed on Dennis' desk, before Dennis arrived. Upon find a representative of his beloved project mercilessly slaughtered, he became a tad irate. Word is he never found out who dunnit, but many references were made, and comments such as "A project like that might wind up like a Transet" were occasionally heard. I wish we still had that ol' Transet. It's a bit of Hayes history now...

    Other things we shot up: A running Nova 1200 (with 48K of core memory), a self-propelled vacuum cleaner (fun), platters from disc-packs (they spark when a high speed round goes through them), vinyl records (boring), and numerous other bits of obsolete technology.

    One word of warning: Next to the Bullet Stop was a bar called the Pew-n-Brew. It's very important to get the order correct: Go shooting, *then* go drinking. One of establishments gets a little annoyed if you get these reversed.
  • yes - and if you popped it in the over for an hour or two, it made an interesting table ornament guaranteed to be a talking piece at your next cocktail party.
  • My Linux box is a newer motherboard shoehorned into an old IBM AT case (garage sale: $5.00. Daughter collects old boards, drives, etc. so I got the case & she got the rest.) I had to rip out one of the 5 1/2" drive bays to get things to fit and that was a pain in the a**: these things aren't just steel, they're -thick- steel! Between the crow bar, rotary tool, and other assorted large implements of destruction it still took most of an afternoon. I never worry about anyone bumping the thing, setting stuff on top of it (or even knocking it off the desk.) Ditto with the old IBM keyboard. These things can be a bit dangerous, though: drop the case on a foot or the keyboard on your hand and you'll feel the pain!

  • Thank you for your intelligent commentary. Perhaps when you pass through adolescence you will have something of value to contribute to the world. Untill then, please place your opinions in the orifice you kindly provided the illustration of.

    Blessed Be.

  • When designing computers back in the good 'ole days, IBM realized that some disgruntled employee might throw the thing out the window. They made the computer to survive the fall. I've got an old RS/6000 next to me, also build like a rock. Maybe not as much as an XT, but still so. What's really solid, though, are 10-year-old IBM "workstation" monitors. The thing's practically just as good/solid on image quality as a *new* Sony Trinitron, even though it's 1280x1024@60Hz, and weighs a ton. The 17" is labeled 40lbs, and the 19" is labeled 80lbs. (the 17" feels like 60-70lbs)
  • ...but I suspect that all their old LaserJets were still on-line, cranking out pages like they did 10-15 years ago.

    A year ago, the sysadmin in our department wound up with a couple of HP LJ III-somethings that somebody was actually trying to surplus. He offered them to the department via a mailing list, and they were gone in about a minute.

    We may never know if they really could survive gunfire, but I know I feel more comfortable in a room that has a LaserJet around so I can duck and cover. :-)

  • You just have to pay extra for them. I'm not talking about the "rugged" cases that are lined with kevlar and made of reinforced titanium alloy. Just a simple mid-tower case, with a few strategically places supports. The I have is made out of aluminum. Sure, it's not quite as tough as the old steel cases I have in the basement, but it's a lot better than the new, flimsy, and poorly welded/reinforced cases they have at school, and a good bit lighter, too. It cost me an extra $30 to get. Back in the days of the 8086, which is what my old steel cases once held, the computers costed and arm and a leg, so people didn't mind the protection being a little over-engineered.

    By the way, on the topic of other hardware equipment, once when I was doing an upgrade on my machine, with the outer case off, my brother knocked over his newly-opened ginger ale, spilling a full 12 ounces of bubbling, mildly acidic liquid all over my CD-ROM and power supply, and from there it trickled down to thoroughly drench the motherboard, k6-2 processor, RAM, and various PCI/ISA devices. I nearly had a heart attack, but I realized the machine hadn't even noticed. Of course, I shut it off to clean it up, but the thing ran perfectly fine until I upgraded DirectX.
  • ISP? ISP!?!? I don't need no stinkin' ISP! I have a T1 in my basement. I /.ed myself.



  • Come on- 20 gauge shotgun? 45 cal? Of course this stuff doesn't do much damage- to get through armor you need real kinetic energy- i.e., velocity. (KE = 1/2mv^2- faster is better than heavier)

    Try it with a NATO 7.62 or a sabot round for that Mossberg.

    Sadly, I'm out of tanks these days, or I'd take up a collection for testing with .50 cal or 105mm. .50 would have reduced any of these to junk in a single shot, 105mm sabot would drill a nice neat hole and 105mm HEAT practice (non-explosive) wouldn't have left anything much bigger than a marble.

    Eric the mostly recovered

  • This reminds me of the *attempted* destruction of an AS/400 I read about in the local IT press.

    Someone broke into an office, dropped all the backup tapes into a bin of water, pushed the as/400 down the stairs, and repeatedly rammed it with a fork lift in the basement. (10 points for effort :)

    The article said the machine was so extensiely damaged you couldn't tell the front from the rear. Even the disks had popped out of their enclosures. Regardless, IBM were able to repair it and get it booting again.

    And when it looked like they would succeed in repairing the box, someone broke in and tried to destroy the machine again! This raised suspicion that it was an inside job and someone was trying to cover their tracks. I didn't hear what happened next.

  • We know it's not the answer to everything.

    You should know by now that we shoot the things we don't like, and fsck the things we do. Simple as that!
  • had bad RAM and crashed randomly after booting and operating for a few hours, so I put holes in it. Had you graciously donated a new VME RAM expansion board, I gladly would have donated it.


  • Hell, the radio in my room is probably from sometime like 1970-1975, and it works perfectly. One knob is missing, and I had to replace the speaker a while back, but soundwise, it blows the hat off most crappy radios there is today.
    (it's a Luma Lumetta LR 58 BM, which I'd love to hear some info about)
    And yes, don't forget about the cars! It almost seem like some new cars never leave beta stage until the get shoveled out of the factory...
  • But don't ponder where the General Belgrano came from in the first place.
  • When will you Brits pay attention to the details, this guy is from Norway.

    Actually, Pennsylvania. Go figure.



  • Who is the retarded f... idiot who moded this down. It is funny. And it does make sense. If all slashdot was on topic nobody would have read it as it would have been boring as hell...
  • >All in the name of economy... *sigh*

    Hmmm... well in the case of computer hardware that becomes obsolete in two years or less, why would a manufacturer trouble themselves to build anything more than the bare minimum to keep the innards from falling out?

    Have we really progressed? No.

    I'd rather have the older, better built stuff anyday (well, except for the fact that the price/performace was 100 times worse). I have the tower case from my first Gateway (386, 4mb, 200 Mb drive) and it is the best computer case I've ever had. Heavy gauge steel, solid frame, ample room for extra fans a drives, everything is easy to get at. It is obviously an AT tower so I had to do a little extra searching for mobo and power supply when I went to build it into a file/print server for my home network, but god is it cool. Something about having a PII-450 with 256Mb and a bunch of SCSI drives running Deb in a case that still proudly proclaims "386/33" just seems really great to me.

    When it comes to a new system, I agree. The spit an toilepaper enclosures that pass for PeeCee cases these days are sad. I helped my Dad buy a new system last year and Gateway had the best stuff from what we looked at. It is still a far cry from the cases they used to put their gear in. I guess when you UPS each and every one of your units out of South Dakaota, every pound you shave of your computers pays off big.

    Now, if you want it done right, you gotta do it yourself, right? The last system I built for myself I used a Supermicro SC750A. [] I highly recommend this case.

  • kommander keen rocked!! did u ever play captain cosmo? i use xt cases now with some mods to at mobos as the are fscking tough
  • Speaking of not making 'em like they used to, anybody here have a Texas Instruments TI-99/4A?

    If you had the "PEB" (Periperal Expansion Box), an expensive add-on that let you have card slots, you'd know why the old TI came immediately to mind.

    The PEB protected all the cards from the outside world with *two* layers of steel. But that wasn't the best part.

    The best part was that the cards themselves were housed in cast aluminum chassis. The 32k RAM expansion alone weighed 6 pounds. Imagine if your video card came like that today?
  • The BBC Microcomputer...

    Up here in Canada we've got something similar.
    The CBC Massesconfuser .
    It too is big and bulky and expensive to run. It's really quite bass ackwards.

    But that there's the way we like it.
  • i dropped my 1994 gateway 486 laptop down two flights of stairs while suspended. not data loss but a dent and the lachtabs came off
  • ...but who's going to stagger around wearing a Sun 3/50

    The chicks dig it.
    At least I think they do, I know that the stare at me a lot.
  •'s worth my time to track down replacement parts for an old machine that no one would want to touch with a ten foot pole. Hell, the schools that I would have donated it to are giving me Mac Quadras and old PowerPCs and stuff because they don't want stuff older than 1998. The father in law is a teacher and offloads stuff on me all the time. Heck, even the local church doesn't want anything that won't run Windows 98.

    Give me an address to ship the stuff to, mail me cash to cover shipping and I'll donate it.



  • They didn't call VW Westfalia's TANK's back in the day, though. They were overpriced, light and dangerous to anyone who owned Chevrolet Malibu. :-) Rabbits were even worse, but we loved them damnit. Drove them to school 6 miles in the snow, up hill both ways. :-)

    Learn to use a search engine [].
    • Eunuchs: Everything's a file.
    • Windows 9x: Everybody's root.

    The fact that 9x makes all users superusers makes admins at organizations too poor to afford NT shudder.

    Not all superusers on eunuchs systems are named root either []. Here's a good way to set up a boring system (excellent cracker deterrent []):

    1. Rename the superuser account to something not in common use as a superuser account name.
    2. Create these accounts as normal user accounts with small disk quotas:
      • name: god; password: god
      • name: root; password: root
      • name: admin; password: admin
      • name: avatar; password: avatar
      • name: superuser; password: superuser
      • name: Administrator; password: Administrator

    So a cr4x0r claiming to "h4v3 r007 0n 411 j00r b0x0rz" isn't claiming much.

    Good name for a script kiddie tool: Roto-Rooter
  • Ahhhh, you're referring to the USS Phoenix (CL-46), which survived the Pearl Harbor raid on 7 Dec '41 and served in the PacFlt through the duration, then was mothballed and sold to the Argies in '58?

    So much for a Phoenix rising from its own ashes...

    Geez, this place is starting to sound like sci.military.naval....

  • XTs are great, I've got one and several clones. I've only got 2 computers with better cases than my XT, and one's a Z-80 and another's an 8088 too. (I swear, both have cases 1/4 inch thick. I've got a deal in the works to get an 8-inch floppy drive. if you're interested in joining the XT club, If you have any questions related to 486 and below comps, these ppl are glad to help out. Also, check the linx section, there are some places that have lots of share/freeware that runs on older comps.
  • Not that I've ever fired a REAL gun, I'm a computer nerd for Christ's sake.
    One does not preclude the other. There are quite a few heavily armed geeks out there. See, for example, ESR's Gun Nut Page [] (his title, not mine).
  • Hardware is much less sturdy than it used to be. The 486-DX33 that we bought had a book-case topple over on top of it during the LA earthquake a few years back. The metal case is a wee bit dented on the top, but the thing runs fine to this day.

    My new computer from Packard Bell? (ick, indeed) The thing's made outta plastic. They glue aluminum foil on the inside for RF shielding. I've warped the shielding so much, that I've had to rip both pieces out, which now means that I'm probably operating a FCC class A device! ;p

  • Note: He said *wearable* PC, not movable PC. Probably can't move very far with a few Sun's strapped to your butt

    If the case had wheels, I suppose you could scoot along veeeery slowly... but the cheap plastic wheels always broke on me.

  • The Sun 3/50 they showed is not the sturdiest built Sun box either. My Sun 670MP is much bigger and has more boards. (It is also on wheels. The thing is like an end-table on steroids.) You could probably put a couple of clips into it before getting anything to go through. (If at all.)

    I was given the machine from work. I live in an old house with very high ceilings. The first thing I used it for was to change a light bulb. (I now have Redhat 6.2 on it, but I needed a sturdy platform at the time and it was there...)

    Reminds me that I have a bunch of old PC equiptment that needs to be taken out and shot.

  • Actually, the Xterm was dead and the Sun was on the verge of death. It had been hit with lightning in 1995 and had faulty RAM. Enough to boot, get up on the network and

    then crash about half an hour later. Not worth my time to repair it.

    Someone else went off on me because of the same thing and said I should have donated it. Every school/church around here won't take donations unless it'll run Windows 98
    or Mac OS 9. The local high school gives Mac Quadras and PPC boxen to me because they're getting rid of them. I turn around and use the parts to repair/refurbish/upgrade
    systems of random people in town.

    So, it was a mercy killing &ltAudience: "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy!"&gt

    That's OK then.

  • A friend once pointed out to me that in 3000BCE or so, we had storage media that was hardened and made even more durable by fire (read:clay tablets), and no such medium since then has regained that ability.Progress?
  • Are people nuts? They are actually pissed that their hardware doesn't stand up to being shot? Call this a flame (which means automatic karma on slashdot for some reason), but I think you're all nuts.

    I seem to recall a time when hard drives cost a few hundred bucks for 20 megs. Nice, big-ass hard drive. It could probably stop a train. Or, we could spend that few hundred bucks on a current device, one that costs less to manufacture, and get a lot more for our buck.

    Granted, huge advances have allowed us to get that much space. But if giving up the iron solar-flare paneling is going to save me 50 bucks on my next hard drive purchase, get rid of it. I don't take my machines in to areas where they are going to get shot.
  • That happened at the University in Quebec. AFAIK, the reason for the protest was to spur the separation of Quebec from Canada. I can't seem to find any specific information on the web, but I only tried google.

    Remember, outside of the US and Vietnam, no one really was all that involved in what was essentially a small bush fight :)

Love may laugh at locksmiths, but he has a profound respect for money bags. -- Sidney Paternoster, "The Folly of the Wise"