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Re: The Airplane Example (was Re: Streaming XML)

repairing ups

On Thu, 6 Jan 2005, Elliotte Harold wrote:

> Benjamin Franz wrote:
>> Just because it doesn't have any 'moving parts' doesn't mean it doesn't 
>> wear out: EVERYTHING wears out sooner or later.
> Yes, but there's a point at which a quantitative difference becomes a 
> qualitative one; and I think the orders of magnitude difference between a 
> computer wearing out due to cosmic rays and thermal fatigue and a car engine 
> wearing out due to mechanical friction crosses that line.

The difference is only about 1 order of magnitude in my experience. Not 
enough to call it a qualitative difference.

I was an electronics tech with the US Navy for several years in addition 
to having been in the computer field for 25 years: Believe me when I say 
electronics fail. A lot. My _job_ was repairing failed electronics.

Good maintenance and operational practices help a lot, but even when you 
do everything right, electronics break. If we were speaking face-to-face I 
could go on for more than an hour just listing the electronics failures 
I've seen in the last 25 years. Everything from transistor failures to 
having a pair of 25-foot HF antennas literally go up in flames due to an 
electronic component failure (a shorted capacitor).

The most recent was just last week. I plugged a retail 800VA APC UPS (I've 
had it about 8 months, well treated, not abused or overloaded) in and 
turned it on and something (probably a capacitor) literally _blew up_ 
inside with a loud double bang 5 to 10 seconds later. Fortunately I hadn't 
yet turned on the computer attached to it. It was the second UPS I've had 
blow up after being turned on (the first was while I was in the Navy about 
12 years ago).

Benjamin Franz

"All right, where is the answer? The battle of wits has begun.
It ends when you click and we both serve pages - and find out who is right,
and who is slashdotted." - David Brandt


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