A tale of woe, including carelessness, stupidity and laziness....

tony duell ard at p850ug1.demon.co.uk
Wed Aug 26 12:02:20 CDT 2015

> Yup, in the first house I owned, i had a "computer room".

Whereas now you have a 'computer house' ? 

> The previous owner had done some retrofits and installed an
> outlet in a closet.  I plugged a printer into that outlet,
> and my computer (S-100, CP/M) into another on the opposite
> wall.  Some strange things happened, some chips got blown, I
> didn't know why.  Then, finally, I put my hand on the
> printer and something connected to the computer and got a

You were very lucky. An arm-to-arm shock is about the most
dangerous you can get. That (of course) is why you keep your
left hand behind your back  when working on anything with
high votlages.

> big shock.  Quickly investigating, I found a Romex staple
> had been driven through the Romex, severing the safety
> ground and tying it to the hot!  This was back before outlet
> testers were common items.  Well, that explained some blown
> chips, etc.

OUCH!. I've seen some dubious wiring in my time (and just becasue 
somebody has the right bit of paper to say they are a qualified
electrician does not mean they do good wiring in my experience!)
but that is lethal. Don't they test wiring after it's installed? Over here
you are certainly supposed to (and a megger would pick that up 
even if the short wan't quite there yet). 


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