Re: Jupiter ACE
The Jupiter Ace was the one that caught fire.
499 posts • joined 9 Mar 2007
In my yoof I had a fallow period so decided to fix bikes to make a few bob. I was called by a posh solicitor who'd bought a trail bike for his son and it had stopped working. He'd replaced the coil and spark plug and HT lead and battery and then seen my advert in the local paper. I came round, switched on the ignition, checked the fuel tap, checked it was in neutral, put the choke on, flipped the kill switch to run and kick started it. He looked at me totally amazed. And then we realised what I'd done and he went bright red. I did more work for him and he was always referred to as the Off Switch man.
I lived in a house in Ireland for three years form 2012 where the address didn’t have any numbers at all. There were no postcodes and three of the houses in the street had the same name. The postman just had to know.
A similar kind of situation when I lived in Japan where there are very few street names and when the postman went on holiday, your post was usually kept until they returned and could deliver it.
I had the same thing at Southampton airport. Got the keys to a VW something. Loaded up, got in, started it up, oops - no handbrake! Tried everything but nope! Went back and got a car with a handbrake. WTF!? Why can manufacturers mess around with stuff like that? Of what possible use is it to remove the handbrake?
I worked for a well known large high-value print company in the late 80s. They were developing a serial scanning system fitted to the output of a mechanical serial printer mechanism using number wheels to ensure that the printer always printed a different serial number; sometimes the next higher up wheel didn’t rotate because it had dried ink jamming it and the printed high-value “items” were printed with repeated serial numbers. Things like lottery tickets, travel cheques, etc. You can imagine the problems and financial losses involved...
Anyway, when our high-speed number scanning system detected a problem with he printed serial number it did what, can you imagine? Yes, it sounded a klaxon and flashed a light. Although it was fitted onto the printer it was not allowed to connect to the printer wiring and was forbidden from switching off or halting the printer. Union rules! Someone was paid to be in attendance and when the alarm sounded they would (eventually) put down their redtop/knitting and walk over to the printer and stop it. Then management had to bring in teams of people to sort through the printed items to eliminate the duplicates. Did I mention the printer was high-speed? In the time it took for the worker to switch the machine off, hundreds, maybe thousands of items had spewed out from the printer. Literally boxes full. All of this was Special work.
(The scanning system was cutting edge because of the high-speed paper flow causing the paper to actually fly and causing perturbations in the scanned surface.)
We made the klaxon very very loud.
I worked for Mars for a while in the mid-90s and was called down to the chocolate consistency testing room to look at their erratic PC.
It was a venerable IBM XT with 5 1/4 floppies and the flackery keyboard.
They complained that the floppies only worked once or twice and had to keep making new ones.
I typed on the keyboard and instead of the clack it was a sickly sort of crunch. It turned out to be full of bits of chocolate accumulated over years of testing.
When I opened the XT’s case it was jam-packed full of dust and hair and chocolate, so much that it pushed against the slot of the inserted floppy and contaminated it.
I cleaned it all out and suggested a keyboard condom.
The chocolate consistency testing machine was quite fascinating to watch though.
I use the WUUK doorbell thingy and I love not having to check the doors for parcels and the external letterbox (Irish rental house!) each morning and afternoon. Now I know if someone approaches the house up the drive. And yes, we also have a “normal” doorbell for them to have a go at if they want. WUUK is an Indiegogo thingy. It’s missing an upstairs repeater but it rings on all my iDevs so it’s mostly forgiven. There’s a free cloud storage but you can also just use an SD card. Also it’s CHEAP!
I have a keyboard on it so it’s like a small laptop. I use it at work as my personal computer either on guest WiFi or 3/4G. I’ve successfully used this over five different contracts. No need to get permission to visit certain websites or access personal e-mail as I have my own little computer with me on my desk. Never had a problem with managers complaining about my “iPad”.
I worked at NCR in “New Wigan” near Utrecht in the early 90s where they were testing the new WaveLAN WiFi cards. I was writing test software. They were getting figures for MTBF and needed to heat stress the cards in situ. They could fit four of them into an NCR PC and had I think four PCs full of cards in an open fire-safe running 24/7 with my software checking for failures (Pascal and assembler I think). Anyway, one night a cleaner must have been fed up of the noise and swung the fire-safe’s door shut. Next morning we discovered all the plastic in a pool at the bottom of the fire-safe. The cards had kept running for an impressive amount of time before the components started falling out of the PCBs when the solder melted.
I remember when Sun refurbished a floor in the Munich offices circa 2001. They made it Open Office (pun deeply intended) with an A/C system for the whole open floor. The input and sensor was in the ceiling in one corner. They then built an exec’s office right there, enclosing the sensor. The result was the whole A/C system was broken.
I also remember in 1983 working at Square-D in Swindon. We had to start work at 7:30am! We clocked in and then took a coffee into the “soak test” room where all the PLCs (with Ladder Logic and Stack-Core memory) were left for a week after we had repaired them for a snooze.
My first contract was for DEC at DEC Park in Reading (UK). Part of a small team to modify a VT220 work in Arabic (and French)! You would press one of the far right function keys and the cursor would jump to the right and start moving left and you could nest English or French inside the Arabic as much as you wanted. Unfortunately to save costs they’d used the last address line, which they didn’t need for the existing small software, to do something else other than address memory. We needed the full address range for the Arabic additions so had to do a double read or write to get into the other half of RAM. No memory for tables so everything was ifs and elses. Good old PL/M-51. It was all rather enjoyable. We had an arab consultant who would wander over every now and then and diss all our efforts. Such larks!
I had several of the original iMacs. Very nice and a great sound from the Bose speakers. I picked one up on Freecycle! If I had another one I might Raspberry Pi it.
Microsoft DO make good mice. (Not much else though.) The new portable one that clicks into an arch shape looks very interesting. The old little wedge one was great but only had vertical scroll of course. Apple I think wins the current Mice Wars with their Magic Mouse 2 (Dark version of course). I’m currently using one of them on my iPad.
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