George Langford on 24 Aug 2009 09:02:40 -0700

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Re: [PLUG] Foreboding behavior on IDE controller

Art Alexion wrote:

> When I pulled the card, [the 'puter]  booted fine.  The card was  
> dusty, so I cleaned it, and put it back.  Tried it again and [the  
> 'puter] booted fine without pulling any of the drives.  I have  
> booted [the 'puter]  several times since, and no problem.

Simple explanation, free of acronyms: Dust conducts electricity
when present in sufficient quantities. The board was confused.

A long time ago, my company's IBM PC-XT started behaving
erratically, and so I took off the case and blew out prodigious
amounts of dust from the boards filling the case interior.
After that treatment, it ran ran for several more years, until
the output of the 9-pin ProPrinter became too embarrasing.
Naturally, the 24-pin ProPrinter was too much for the XT and
we had to spring for an AT-clone, whereupon the 24-pin
printer died and we had to scare up an HPLJ5L, which lasted
something like 20 years, finally quitting after several years
on our linux/debian system.  I suspect the HPLJ5L's problem
was more than mere dust.

George Langford

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