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Comment RE: ZX Spectrum radiation (Score 5, Interesting) 64

I have a ZX Spectrum in the loft I often see when I go up there. As far as RFI is concerned our regulations back then were non-existent. I once saw a BBC Micro for the German market, it was encased in metal and built like a tank. The ones on the UK market were plastic and caused havoc with my Amateur Radio gear until I quietened it a fair bit by coating the inside of the case with graphite spray and grounding it. TV's were another problem as they were susceptible to interference from Amateur radio transmissions operating within the legal limits and specifications and we had inspectors who audited our stations for compliance. It was all down to the manufacturers saving may be a penny or 2 by using a cheaper front-end transistor for TV's sold into the UK.

Comment Re:Not just age (Score 2) 515

Definitely not just age. I was around 50 years of age when I started using Linux as my only computing platform. I saw its possibilities from the first kernel that Linus put up for ftp and I started experimenting with it on an old 2 floppy drive Toshiba laptop the company then issued. When I eventually switched to using Linux for all my computing needs both at work and at home I got lots of criticism from colleagues far younger. My company manufactured mainframe and SPARC hardware, supported IBM and Solaris operating systems and associated peripherals so we were positioned at the high end of the computing ecosystem, the pinnacle of the industry, yet very short sighted. My task to build a Linux mail server on a Sun E4500 eventually got terminated, though they began to take notice and tried to sell my services to customers already running Linux on mainframes but those customers were well ahead of our company and could support themselves. I was once introduced to a customer who wanted to install Linux on his mainframe as a Linux bigot. When the corporation eventually saw merit in Linux long after I did, at least my technical director had the humility to admit that when I was using Linux to do everything the job required, they thought I was crazy and gave me credit for my foresight.

Comment Vivid memory of the days before chip memory (Score 2) 46

Worked on the Univac 9700 which first came out with magnetic wire memory that replaced cores in earlier systems. Fixing memory errors was done by desoldering the affected wire, sliding it along and resoldering it. The wire memory was much faster than the core memory and was about the same speed as the early chip memory.

Comment ESD from being handled (Score 1) 724

When you buy memory from an outlet, see how ESD damage is thought not possible if they grab the memory by the ends with thumb and forefinger. I have had to tell shops that they would be sacked on the spot if they were working on building or handling memory at the manufacturer. They proudly tell you they've never damaged memory, just because purchasers have not hot footed it back to the shop minutes later to say it's broken. The damage they've caused may not result in failure for months, but it will. With a large antistatic mat and a monitored wrist strap I have found memory is the most frequent failing component.

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