PDP-11/45 RSTS/E boot problem

Paul Koning paulkoning at comcast.net
Fri Feb 15 07:59:37 CST 2019

> On Feb 15, 2019, at 6:06 AM, Liam Proven via cctalk <cctalk at classiccmp.org> wrote:
> On Fri, 15 Feb 2019 at 04:34, Jeffrey S. Worley via cctalk
> <cctalk at classiccmp.org> wrote:
>> The install would start and then bomb at a certain point every time.  I
>> decided to work the machine hard and then pull the board and give a
>> good SNIFF.
> Got a nose for a hardware fault, eh? ;-)
> And some of my younger colleagues thought it was strange that I could
> predict hard disk failures from the running noises they made, and
> later than that, whether WinNT's bus-mastering DMA-mode disk
> controller device driver was installed from the sound of the disk
> accesses while the machine booted.

Speaking of sounds made by machines, there is a famous security paper from a few years ago in which researchers read the encryption keys out of smartphones by listening to the sounds made by the device while it was execution the crypto algorithms.

These hardware wizard stories remind me of a legendary repair wizard, non-computer industrial devices I think.  He was called in to fix a tricky problem at the customer site.  Studied it for a while, took out a small hammer, whacked the device at some spot, and reported "fixed".  He then sent in a bill for $500.

Customer challenged that with a demand to itemize the work.  The itemized bill came back like this:

	1. Applying impact to the device: $5
	2. Knowing where and how to apply the impact: $495


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