Searching \ for 'Fire in the Hole!!! [OT]' in subject line. ()
Make payments with PayPal - it's fast, free and secure! Help us get a faster server
FAQ page: www.piclist.com/techref/index.htm?key=
Search entire site for: 'Fire in the Hole!!! [OT]'.

Truncated match.
PICList Thread
'Fire in the Hole!!! [OT]'
2000\04\26@050201 by Alan B Pearce

face picon face
>!  I'm just lucky that that thing flew over there instead of
>into my eye!

A colleague of mine was even luckier than this. A brand new piece of equipment
arrived, but failed to work on power up. He had the lid off it, and with the
power still on was bending over it looking at the circuit board. A teardrop
tantalum decided just at that moment to give up the unequal struggle and flew
past his ear!!! He was extremely lucky it was not his eye!!!

2000\04\26@060925 by Dmitry Kiryashov

flavicon
face
Thank you Wagner for advice.

I never thought before that battery can be so dangerous.

So battery powered unit designer has to think seriously
about possible power shortage and heat throwing because
of that.

WBR Dmitry.

-----

Wagner Lipnharski wrote:

[skip]

> Thinking seriously to use a fuse in series with ALL my NiCad batteries
> from now on... they are quite dangerously low impedance units.
>
> The experience was interesting, can you imagine it just happening with
> nobody around?  Fire in the Hole!!!.
>
> Wagner.

2000\04\26@061346 by Martin Hill

picon face
This is one of the reasons I am only recomending zinc carbon
batteries for a product I am working on, less likely to cause damage
by shorts as the max power you can get out of them is not so high.
We couldn't use a fuse due to the high resistance of the low value
we would need, and the cost...

Martin


{Quote hidden}

2000\04\26@075414 by Andrew Kunz

flavicon
face
NiCd, NiMH, Pb, and Li cells all discharge quite rapidly when given an
opportunity.  In my racing, it isn't too uncommon for somebody to smoke a pack
on race day due to carelessness.  When they go, they are nasty.

Certainly a fuse is in order, especially for capacities > 600mAH.

Andy









Dmitry Kiryashov <spam_OUTzewsTakeThisOuTspamAHA.RU> on 04/26/2000 04:24:48 AM

Please respond to pic microcontroller discussion list <.....PICLISTKILLspamspam@spam@MITVMA.MIT.EDU>








To:      PICLISTspamKILLspamMITVMA.MIT.EDU

cc:      (bcc: Andrew Kunz/TDI_NOTES)



Subject: Re: Fire in the Hole!!! [OT]








Thank you Wagner for advice.

I never thought before that battery can be so dangerous.

So battery powered unit designer has to think seriously
about possible power shortage and heat throwing because
of that.

WBR Dmitry.

-----

Wagner Lipnharski wrote:

[skip]

> Thinking seriously to use a fuse in series with ALL my NiCad batteries
> from now on... they are quite dangerously low impedance units.
>
> The experience was interesting, can you imagine it just happening with
> nobody around?  Fire in the Hole!!!.
>
> Wagner.

2000\04\26@135938 by William Chops Westfield
face picon face
   This is one of the reasons I am only recomending zinc carbon
   batteries for a product I am working on

Yuk!


   We couldn't use a fuse due to the high resistance of the low value
   we would need, and the cost...

The resistance is high compared to the internal resistance of a zinc/carbon
battery?  Really?  Besides, you don't need a fuse matching the worst-case
current consumption of your circuit, you just need a fuse that will open
on "dangerous" currents.  A 1-amp fuse is probably fine for any circuit
expected to draw less than 100mA...

BillW

2000\04\26@143446 by Craig Lee

flavicon
face
Check out polyswitches..  Say an RXE250-ND from Digikey.

-----Original Message-----
From: pic microcontroller discussion list
[.....PICLISTKILLspamspam.....MITVMA.MIT.EDU]On Behalf Of William Chops Westfield
Sent: Wednesday, April 26, 2000 11:57 AM
To: EraseMEPICLISTspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTMITVMA.MIT.EDU
Subject: Re: Fire in the Hole!!! [OT]


   This is one of the reasons I am only recomending zinc carbon
   batteries for a product I am working on

Yuk!


   We couldn't use a fuse due to the high resistance of the low value
   we would need, and the cost...

The resistance is high compared to the internal resistance of a zinc/carbon
battery?  Really?  Besides, you don't need a fuse matching the worst-case
current consumption of your circuit, you just need a fuse that will open
on "dangerous" currents.  A 1-amp fuse is probably fine for any circuit
expected to draw less than 100mA...

BillW

2000\04\26@150006 by Dan Michaels

flavicon
face
Alan wrote:
>>!  I'm just lucky that that thing flew over there instead of
>>into my eye!
>
>A colleague of mine was even luckier than this. A brand new piece of equipment
>arrived, but failed to work on power up. He had the lid off it, and with the
>power still on was bending over it looking at the circuit board. A teardrop
>tantalum decided just at that moment to give up the unequal struggle and flew
>past his ear!!! He was extremely lucky it was not his eye!!!
>

Since this is gory story day.... A technician friend of mine was
needing a pressure gauges [oy, yoy] - wearing his regular glasses.
He plugged a gauge into an air hose to test it, turned the handle,
and blam! Explosion straight up into his face. Luckily I was 3
feet away at the time. Hands went up to his face, and blood started
pouring out thru his fingers. I got him to remove his hands so
I could appraise the damage. Luckily for him, it was only a
large shard of glass sticking out of his upper lip. Plus a
*very deep* gouge on one of his eyeglass lenses. Other people
came running down the hall because the explosion was so loud.
End of story.

2000\04\26@154338 by Mark Skeels

picon face
At last! Something I can contribute..

During the '70's I worked as a production line tech at a large midwest audio
equipment company. One day one of the techs was testing 300 w 70V power amps
for sound reinforcement and suddenly "BOOM"; a large explosive sound
emanated form the end of the line where the tech was. Upon rushing down
there, we found the tech covered with sticky white fibers. One of the large
power supply caps for the linear bipolar power supply had been installed
backwards. Fortunately, when the vent let go, he was mostly out of the line
of fire...

Mark

2000\04\26@160418 by Marcelo Yamamoto

flavicon
face
Mark wrote:

>During the '70's I worked as a production line tech at a large midwest
audio
>equipment company. One day one of the techs was testing 300 w 70V power
amps
>for sound reinforcement and suddenly "BOOM"; a large explosive sound
>emanated form the end of the line where the tech was. Upon rushing down
>there, we found the tech covered with sticky white fibers. One of the large
>power supply caps for the linear bipolar power supply had been installed
>backwards. Fortunately, when the vent let go, he was mostly out of the line
>of fire...


That's why high capacitance eletrolytic caps have a escape valve :-)

Marcelo Y.

2000\04\26@170354 by jamesnewton

face picon face
Ah well... I guess I have to tell this story again...

When I was 18 I got hired in my medium small home town to install a new set
of 8" drives into a company's CPM (the OS) CPM (the project planning method)
system. The new drives had a different drive door and would not fit in the
old case. I found a case that they would fit into, moved the main board,
power supply and new drives into it and then crosswired the 110 power into
the 12v "on" lamp which was in the power switch. Anyway, when the power was
turned on, it sounded like a string of firecrackers. Just about every chip
on the board had a smoking hole in the middle of it. I was very lucky that
the CPA who recommended me (also their CPA) managed to smooth things over
(thanks John) but I ended up moving to Portland and later joining the Navy
'cause I just couldn't find work after that....

And if you think that one was good, you should hear what I did with a tape
backup on a HP 3000 series III one time...

What was that about some consulting hours Kelly? <GRIN>

---
James Newton jamesnewtonspamspam_OUTgeocities.com 1-619-652-0593
http://techref.massmind.org
All the engineering secrets worth knowing

2000\04\26@172109 by Nigel Goodwin

flavicon
face
In message <009001bfafb6$6189e940$1400a8c0@markslaptop>,
@spam@meskeelsKILLspamspamearthlink.net writes
>At last! Something I can contribute..
>
>During the '70's I worked as a production line tech at a large midwest audio
>equipment company. One day one of the techs was testing 300 w 70V power amps
>for sound reinforcement and suddenly "BOOM"; a large explosive sound
>emanated form the end of the line where the tech was. Upon rushing down
>there, we found the tech covered with sticky white fibers. One of the large
>power supply caps for the linear bipolar power supply had been installed
>backwards. Fortunately, when the vent let go, he was mostly out of the line
>of fire...

Many years ago I repaired an old B/W TV (early 60's vintage), the main
electrolytic (a large multi-section type) had 'exploded'. This
particular capacitor was mounted horizontally on the chassis, fastened
down by a metal clamp, with the terminals facing towards the rear of the
set. The force of the capacitor 'venting' forced the back off the TV
(with loads of 'paper' forced through the ventilation holes in the back)
and the reaction slid the capacitor forwards (despite the clamp) with
sufficient force to crumple the can against the CRT!.

BTW, there has been a lot of discussion about tantalum capacitors in
this thread, in the mid 70's these were quite commonly used in colour TV
sets in the UK - they had an amazingly high failure rate, with de-
couplers often going S/C and being very hard to find which one it was
that had failed :-(.
--

Nigel.

       /--------------------------------------------------------------\
       | Nigel Goodwin   | Internet : KILLspamnigelgKILLspamspamlpilsley.co.uk           |
       | Lower Pilsley   | Web Page : http://www.lpilsley.co.uk       |
       | Chesterfield    | Official site for Shin Ki and New Spirit   |
       | England         |                 Ju Jitsu                   |
       \--------------------------------------------------------------/

2000\04\26@172115 by William K. Borsum

flavicon
face
<x-flowed>Hi All:

Heard some interesting stories about laptop batteries going into
meltdown....now considering the term lap-top to imply where they are
normally used, the consequences could be MOST interesting.....

RE tantalums--many years ago, had a two sided board designed for the S-100
bus.  Loaded up the power supply components, included 20 or so tantalum
bypass caps, plugged in a board, and powered it up.  Every cap
exploded.  Checked polarity on the caps on the next board--all OK.  Plugged
it it, with the same results.  Checked caps on the bench, all OK.  Seems
the board house had put the component and solder sides on backwards--so of
course the edge card connectors were on the wrong side of the boards--and
reversed the plus and minus 15 volts supplies going on to the board.  Very
expensive lesson in PCB layout and properly marking layers.  Also realized
that 1uF tantalum teardrop caps make marvelous igniters for model rockets.

Back before they invented dirt, I had assembled a rather complex system for
an associate--about a weeks worth of work.  Passed it over the bench for
him to test, and went back to another project.  About five minutes later, I
heard a "Holy Sh...." form the other side of the bench, and a boiling
mushroom cloud of smoke appeared.  Joker had clipped a six inch piece of
heavily insulated wire from a reel, and shorted a 50-amp supply across it,
burning off all the insulation.  My project was sitting safely at the other
end of the bench.  The date was April 01.

Enjoy.
Kelly
William K. Borsum, P.E. -- OEM Dataloggers and Instrumentation Systems
<RemoveMEborsumTakeThisOuTspamdascor.com> & <http://www.dascor.com>San Diego, California, USA

</x-flowed>

2000\04\26@173751 by l.allen

picon face
Alan Wrote

> A colleague of mine was even luckier than this. A brand new piece of equipment
> arrived, but failed to work on power up. He had the lid off it, and with the
> power still on was bending over it looking at the circuit board. A teardrop
> tantalum decided just at that moment to give up the unequal struggle and flew
> past his ear!!! He was extremely lucky it was not his eye!!!

I seem to recall that Russia lost a number of its top
Rocket Scientists when a rocket failed to fire, they all
went out to have a look half an hour later.. boom.
Maybe Im just a victim of another urban legend but it
sounds good when warning reckless techs etc.


_____________________________

Lance Allen
Technical Officer
Uni of Auckland
Psych Dept
New Zealand

http://www.psych.auckland.ac.nz

_____________________________

2000\04\26@183620 by Ken Webster

flavicon
face
Speaking of pressure guages ... a coworker in a lab once hooked a manometor
(one of them big mercury-filled ones) to a T junction on the wrong side of a
needle valve thus placing it between the CO2 tank and the valve rather than
between the valve and his test device.  When he opened the valve on the CO2
tank, all the mercury blew out of the manometer and was dispersed widely
about the room.  It took cleanup crews several days to vacuum enough mercury
out of all the little nooks and crannys in the lab so that the vapor levels
were within OSHA limits.

{Quote hidden}

2000\04\26@210855 by l.allen

picon face
My mandatory best explosion/fire story was when I was a
humble trainee. The factory production engineer was ex
army, as in man with gun not back room boy.
One day near where I was tuning some radios was a
large bang of the several large electrolytics around the
wrong way type.
I remember the production engineer didnt even flinch, I
dont even think he blinked, while the rest of us (including
the perpetrators) dived for cover.

A real nails for breakfast man.
_____________________________

Lance Allen
Technical Officer
Uni of Auckland
Psych Dept
New Zealand

http://www.psych.auckland.ac.nz

_____________________________

2000\04\26@223353 by Brian Kraut

picon face
Shame on you missing an OT.

Reminds me of the time I was having fun charging various caps I had laying
around with a 15,000 Volt neon sign transformer untill I held a ceramic disk cap
between my thumb and forefinger.  Unfortunately the ceramic case of the cap blew
before the dielectric.  Put a nice hole in each side of the cap and gave me a
lesson I won't forget.  Kids, don't try this at home.

Ken Webster wrote:

{Quote hidden}

2000\04\27@021017 by Robert Rolf

picon face
Brian Kraut wrote:
>
> Shame on you missing an OT.
>
> Reminds me of the time I was having fun charging various caps I had laying
> around with a 15,000 Volt neon sign transformer untill I held a ceramic disk cap
> between my thumb and forefinger.  Unfortunately the ceramic case of the cap blew
> before the dielectric.  Put a nice hole in each side of the cap and gave me a
> lesson I won't forget.  Kids, don't try this at home.

Reminds me of the time a friend an I were cutting rings of fluorescent
tubing using the arc from a 15KV neon sign transformer.
We'd strike an arc in air, then bring it down onto the dud tube.
As the glass got hot, it melted, and molten glass conducts electricity!
We'd work our way around the circumference, and then disconnect the
arc, and the glass ring would pop off from the thermal shock.

Unfortunately one of those times the HV lead slipped into the
palm of my hand as I was laying it down, and for about 4/10ths of a
second I discovered what it's like to be 'defibrillated' by 15KV AC.

Ever been stepped on by an elephant? It felt like I was stomped on
by several. Every single muscle fibre in my chest discharged, sending me
flying across the room. Fortunately I lived and learned a VERY healthy
respect for HV.

Of course that didn't stop me from taking out the electrolytics from
old radios and plugging them into the power line. Who needs a dynamite
license when you have access to aluminum electrolytics and AC power?

--
Robert.Rolf-AT-UAlberta.ca

2000\04\27@021908 by Russell McMahon

picon face
Had a friend doing CNG filling controller development.
At one stage he removed a valve from live system to workbench and hooked it
up to the controller to test something.

No names but see CC line :-)

RM




Valve on. BANG. No damage - just a slug of CNG at maybe 3000 psi odd exiting
valve. Could have been fatal in ideally bad circumstances.
>Speaking of pressure guages ... a coworker in a lab once hooked a manometor
>(one of them big mercury-filled ones) to a T junction on the wrong side of
a
>needle valve thus placing it between the CO2 tank and the valve rather than
>between the valve and his test device.  When he opened the valve on the CO2
>tank, all the mercury blew out of the manometer and was dispersed widely
>about the room.  It took cleanup crews several days to vacuum enough
mercury
{Quote hidden}

2000\04\27@050714 by Alan B Pearce

face picon face
>Of course that didn't stop me from taking out the electrolytics from
>old radios and plugging them into the power line. Who needs a dynamite
>license when you have access to aluminum electrolytics and AC power?

When I was doing my apprenticeship the factory manager had a habit of wandering
around the factory talking to various people to pass the time of day. While
doing this at one particular place he would sit on a Nightstore heater (this is
the type of heater full of concrete blocks which are heated with cheap rate
power over night). Right beside this heater was a bench where a couple of
apprentices were testing items as they came off the assembly line. In this
product was a family of electrolytic capacitors sourced from Hong Kong. These
were assembled into a Bakelite case with both leads poking out one end for PCB
mount. The end was then sealed with epoxy. Occasionally one of these would get
inserted the wrong way round and would go bang very loudly several seconds after
switch on.

One of these apprentices decided it was time for a practical joke, and wired the
largest of these caps to a pair of wires. The cap was dropped down behind the
heater and the wires taken to a power supply left switched off on top of the
bench, deliberately wired for reverse polarity. When the boss came round after a
short while he switched the power supply on, and lounged back on his chair
talking to the boss. a minute later just behind the bosses backside came this
almighty crack, causing the boss to bound forward in a most unseemly manner. The
boss took an attitude a bit like Queen Victoria, "We are not amused".

2000\04\27@074636 by Andrew Kunz

flavicon
face
D cells work pretty nicely for this purpose, too.  We used an old extension cord
and taped the ends to a cell.  From a "safe" distance we were able to cause all
kinds of things to move!

Andy









Robert Rolf <spamBeGoneRobert.RolfspamBeGonespamUALBERTA.CA> on 04/27/2000 02:07:59 AM

Please respond to pic microcontroller discussion list <TakeThisOuTPICLISTEraseMEspamspam_OUTMITVMA.MIT.EDU>








To:      RemoveMEPICLISTspamTakeThisOuTMITVMA.MIT.EDU

cc:      (bcc: Andrew Kunz/TDI_NOTES)



Subject: Re: Fire in the Hole!!! [OT]








Brian Kraut wrote:
>
> Shame on you missing an OT.
>
> Reminds me of the time I was having fun charging various caps I had laying
> around with a 15,000 Volt neon sign transformer untill I held a ceramic disk
cap
> between my thumb and forefinger.  Unfortunately the ceramic case of the cap
blew
> before the dielectric.  Put a nice hole in each side of the cap and gave me a
> lesson I won't forget.  Kids, don't try this at home.

Reminds me of the time a friend an I were cutting rings of fluorescent
tubing using the arc from a 15KV neon sign transformer.
We'd strike an arc in air, then bring it down onto the dud tube.
As the glass got hot, it melted, and molten glass conducts electricity!
We'd work our way around the circumference, and then disconnect the
arc, and the glass ring would pop off from the thermal shock.

Unfortunately one of those times the HV lead slipped into the
palm of my hand as I was laying it down, and for about 4/10ths of a
second I discovered what it's like to be 'defibrillated' by 15KV AC.

Ever been stepped on by an elephant? It felt like I was stomped on
by several. Every single muscle fibre in my chest discharged, sending me
flying across the room. Fortunately I lived and learned a VERY healthy
respect for HV.

Of course that didn't stop me from taking out the electrolytics from
old radios and plugging them into the power line. Who needs a dynamite
license when you have access to aluminum electrolytics and AC power?

--
Robert.Rolf-AT-UAlberta.ca

2000\04\27@084443 by Russell McMahon

picon face
>> Reminds me of the time I was having fun charging various caps I had
laying
>> around with a 15,000 Volt neon sign transformer ...

>Reminds me of the time a friend an I were cutting rings of fluorescent
>tubing using the arc from a 15KV neon sign transformer ...


Sounds like this thread has become all about who has done the stupidest
thing in their youth/lifetime - with a strong educational, training and
saftey aspect, of course :-)

I'd love to tell you all about "The Headmaster and the bomb" but I shouldn't
take the time just now as it's a wee bit long if told properly AND it's got
no electronics/electrical  content (usually it would have had, which was
part of the problem) AND I can't go posting such content on an electronics
list, can I :-) ?
Definitely covers education, saftey and training and must have  alesson in
it somewhere but I may have forgotten it by now.

Sometime maybe

Well. maybe we can manage a quickie more on topic.
I didn't die or get a shock or ... but if I'd done one I'd have probably
done both :-)
Acquired a plastic welder fropm an auction.
27 MHz ISM band.
About 8 KV transformer at ?4 KVA?
Very grunty.
Found you could platic weld with a metal cigarette case as electrode pushed
across surface with suitable "stick" - I was old enough to have made fairly
sure it was non-conductiveish but RF is a tricky beast.
Plastic will only take so much - bzzt, arc, splat. Metal cigarette case had
nice large ragged hole in it in a  trice.
Plastic too.
Fine lesson on the power levels involved. More care taken thererafter.
Sold it to a yacht buildr I'm sad to say.

In between it was used to great advantage to help a friend dissuade a
neighbour from loudly playing records at 3am - problems with a lady friend
having left I was told. I thinkj and he would get up in the early hours and
play stereo loudly. Polite requests didn't seem to help.

So.
Manhandle RF welder into house.
Set up under stairs by common wall.
Tape 27 MHz 1/4 wave dipole to wall.
Fire up filaments - leave HT off.

3am loud music- stagger down stairs - press HT button.
Squawk, crackle bzzzzzzzzzzt etc.
No music though.
He got the idea very quyickly.
I was told that the lady also returned shortly thereafter so all were
happier.

I still have a power transformer from a slightly larger one :-)
One day ........

______________

Now, about that headmaster ...


naah - bedtime.

Anyone doing Atkins "diet"/eating system?
Comment offlist if you are to compare notes.

regards

.

     Russell McMahon
_____________________________

>From other worlds - http://www.easttimor.com
                               http://www.sudan.com

What can one man* do?
Help the hungry at no cost to yourself!
at  http://www.thehungersite.com/

(* - or woman, child or internet enabled intelligent entity :-))


{Original Message removed}

2000\04\27@092351 by M. Adam Davis

flavicon
face
I grew up on a horse farm.  At one point in time the electric fencer needed
repair (you know the type- meant for 5 miles of fencing, and designed to zap
weeds that touch it until they no longer touch it.  Also designed to remind
horses not to get too close, or jump the fence.)

At any rate, I had the entire thing off the fence and in the garage.  I muddled
around until I found a broken wire, wired it back up, and plugged it in.  It
clicked away merrily, but I though, "How do you REALLY know these things are
working well?"  (I know, neon bulb fence tester...)

So I grounded the end which deserved grounding, and (get this) touched both
contacts, one hand to each...  When the click came it felt like I had been hit
in the chest with a sledghammer-a big one.  I sat down (didn't even bother to
turn it off) and was shaky for the rest of the day.

Of course, that was about the worst thing I could have done, placing it directly
across my heart...

For those unfamiliar with horse fences, it charges a cap, then discharges it
through a coil, which then charges the fence.  It is not, and never should be, a
continous charge, as people and other creatures would not be able to let go
under many circumstances.  I remember we also had an electric fencer for dogs,
used around gardens.  This was a continuous charge, which was rather pleasant if
you're older, but small children couldn't let go until it was turned off.

-Adam

P.S. Never get close to a fence while petting a horse on the nose - one of the
most sensitive spots on their body.

2000\04\27@103839 by Andrew Kunz

flavicon
face
We went in the barn and turned off the fence.

Then we got an ear of corn and broke it half through and let friction hold it to
the wire.

Then we turned the fence back on (see, we weren't too stupid <G>)

Then we called the horse over and offered her an ear or two.

Then we let her find the ear on the fence.

Then she bolted around the yard a few times, complaining all the way.

While we sat and snickered about how funny it was.

Then we got home and caught it from our parents.

Andy










"M. Adam Davis" <adavisEraseMEspam.....UBASICS.COM> on 04/27/2000 09:22:12 AM

Please respond to pic microcontroller discussion list <EraseMEPICLISTspamMITVMA.MIT.EDU>








To:      RemoveMEPICLISTEraseMEspamEraseMEMITVMA.MIT.EDU

cc:      (bcc: Andrew Kunz/TDI_NOTES)



Subject: Re: Fire in the Hole!!! [OT]








I grew up on a horse farm.  At one point in time the electric fencer needed
repair (you know the type- meant for 5 miles of fencing, and designed to zap
weeds that touch it until they no longer touch it.  Also designed to remind
horses not to get too close, or jump the fence.)

At any rate, I had the entire thing off the fence and in the garage.  I muddled
around until I found a broken wire, wired it back up, and plugged it in.  It
clicked away merrily, but I though, "How do you REALLY know these things are
working well?"  (I know, neon bulb fence tester...)

So I grounded the end which deserved grounding, and (get this) touched both
contacts, one hand to each...  When the click came it felt like I had been hit
in the chest with a sledghammer-a big one.  I sat down (didn't even bother to
turn it off) and was shaky for the rest of the day.

Of course, that was about the worst thing I could have done, placing it directly
across my heart...

For those unfamiliar with horse fences, it charges a cap, then discharges it
through a coil, which then charges the fence.  It is not, and never should be, a
continous charge, as people and other creatures would not be able to let go
under many circumstances.  I remember we also had an electric fencer for dogs,
used around gardens.  This was a continuous charge, which was rather pleasant if
you're older, but small children couldn't let go until it was turned off.

-Adam

P.S. Never get close to a fence while petting a horse on the nose - one of the
most sensitive spots on their body.

2000\04\27@105120 by M. Adam Davis

flavicon
face
One could hear the distinctive click of the fencer if one was listening for it,
and it was very regular.

Once in awhile one would say to another less knowledgable person, "See?  The
fence isn't on." While casually holding it for the brief second between clicks.
Then 'encouraging' them to find out for themselves.

But then, what do you expect of young mad scientists who have easy access to a
high-voltage generator?

-Adam

Andrew Kunz wrote:
{Quote hidden}

2000\04\27@112900 by Grif\ w. keith griffith

flavicon
face
<x-flowed>At 10:49 AM 4/27/00 -0400, you wrote:
>One could hear the distinctive click of the fencer if one was listening
>for it,
>and it was very regular.


>Dad would always walk next to the electric fence when visitors were
>around,,, if they got close enough, he'd reach out and put his hand on
>their shoulder/neck,,, nice friendly farmer guy,,,, and then reach over
>and grab the fence.  Always claimed it didn't hurt him a bit.  I always
>figgured he was just to busy chuckling to notice.


'Grif'   N7IVS

</x-flowed>

2000\04\27@115751 by Steven Rightnar

flavicon
face
In a Farm in Kansas I was going to make a million  raising cattle. Got cows
and an electric fence. Did not know ANYTHING about electric fences or
electricity. I still dont know how it conducted through me but.... I had to
pee (and much like a man with a gun) I needed a target. And there was the
wire...such a nice target. Well, I dont pee on electric fences and I dont
raise cattle.

{Original Message removed}

2000\04\27@124148 by Andrew Kunz

flavicon
face
When I was a teen I used to work at car shows selling Model A Ford parts for a
man in our church.  He was a big guy, and didn't like to get out in the cold (we
slept in the tent in the autumn - it's cold here then).  Well, one day we
emptied the can of fuel for the lanterns.  He had to go that night, and rather
than wander down to the toilets in a cold wind, he decided to use the fuel can.
In the morning that fuel can was put out beside the over-full trash barrel near
our tent, so the trash crew could pick it up.

As usually happens during that time of year, it got warm during the day.  Real
warm.  The trash crew was late.  Real late.  Like 3:00 pm late.  The guy saw the
fuel can and picked it up along with the other trash, but noticed it wasn't
empty.  Ever concerned with safety, he unscrewed the lid while we in the tent
were saying, "Don't open that can!" but it was too late.  He took a whiff and
went green.  We were laughing so hard we about peed in our pants.  That was in
Carlisle.

Well, a week later we were at the show in Hershey.  (Still laughing about the
fuel can incident, too.)  The guy in the tent next to ours ran this obnoxious
generator to power a stop signal (if you been there, you know who I mean).  Mel,
one of our guys, got tired of listening to the generator and, to show his
disrespect for the owner (who had been asked SEVERAL times not to run the thing
at night) decided to let him know what he thought about it.  Since it was after
dinner, Mel was really ready to give the generator a quick dowsing.  Mel had
good aim, too.  Right onto the spark plug.

The howl and hopping around was funny enough, but to see how he couldn't stop
and ended up with wet pants was just icing on the cake!

Andy









Steven Rightnar <RemoveMErightnarspam_OUTspamKILLspamDOMINION.LLUMC.EDU> on 04/27/2000 11:59:11 AM

Please respond to pic microcontroller discussion list <RemoveMEPICLISTTakeThisOuTspamspamMITVMA.MIT.EDU>








To:      EraseMEPICLISTspamspamspamBeGoneMITVMA.MIT.EDU

cc:      (bcc: Andrew Kunz/TDI_NOTES)



Subject: Re: Fire in the Hole!!! [OT]








In a Farm in Kansas I was going to make a million  raising cattle. Got cows
and an electric fence. Did not know ANYTHING about electric fences or
electricity. I still dont know how it conducted through me but.... I had to
pee (and much like a man with a gun) I needed a target. And there was the
wire...such a nice target. Well, I dont pee on electric fences and I dont
raise cattle.

{Original Message removed}

2000\04\27@124558 by Myke Predko

flavicon
face
I wondered if somebody would come up with this one.

When I was a kid, I used to visit and stay over at my Grandfather's farm.
One of the colourful phrases they used to have was "As stupid as p!$$ing on
an electric fence!"

Well, another kid and I were wondering (I think I was about seven) what this
meant so we decided to try it out.  Fortunately, I wasn't the one that
decided to try it, the other kid did and he dropped like a rock.

I panicked, ran into town ("Goderich, Ontario" - about a half mile away) and
told the first adult I met that I killed Jamie.  Fortunately, when the fire
department got there, Jamie was okay (although a little dazed) and he spent
a couple of days in a hospital making sure there was no damage to his heart
(or other vital organs).  For the next three years I was known as "The kid
who killed Jamie" - it was terribly embarrassing for me and I stopped going
to the farm

Funny story now, but it really could have killed the kid (or me).  Somebody
said listen to the people who are still alive - good advice!

myke



{Original Message removed}

2000\04\27@133625 by Dan Michaels

flavicon
face
Jim Newton wrote:
.....
>power supply and new drives into it and then crosswired the 110 power into
>the 12v "on" lamp which was in the power switch. Anyway, when the power was
..........

[another story here]

Reminds me of when I was working in aerospace [not there anymore], and I
was laid blame for overvoltaging a $7 Million spacecraft in test. Gee,
just one little extra turn on that ole power supply dial, with the load
off. I pleaded "those devil antihistamines made me do it". [!!!!!]
================

Hey, Jim, I hope you're getting some of these ditties for your /begin
page. Moral to my story of yesterday [today's has no moral I'm willing
to admit to]:

1. Wear eye protection.
2. Wear eye protection.
3. Wear eye protection.
4. Establish & follow proper procedures.
5. Don't BS with your friends when you are doing something
  potentially dangerous.

2000\04\27@141349 by Dan Michaels

flavicon
face
>
>Sounds like this thread has become all about who has done the stupidest
>thing in their youth/lifetime - with a strong educational, training and
>saftey aspect, of course :-)
>

And it's only been 2 days. See what you started, Wagner. What was
that somebody called you the other day? - BAD DOG! - <G>

2000\04\27@175630 by Russell McMahon

picon face
While on dangerous behaviour
Here's a real 'fire in the hole"

Don't try this at home (or university).

Old "unmarked untested" transistors could be had for very low cost - by the
bag we bought them from UK.
Germanium. Metal cans.
Low low beta, horrible curves etc.
Some use as transistors but ...

Lab benches at varsity had many power points with a common switch.

- Turn off switch.
- Check switch is off.
- Check again ...
- Twist two transistor leads together to make 2 lead device (any 2 :-))
- Insert transistors into phase/neutral of each socket
- Hide behind bench.
- Ensure all life forms are not in lab.
- Reach around bench and turns on mains.

A Spanish galleon must surely have nothing on such a broadside.
Smoke, noise, some flame even. Barrage of metal transistor cans.
We found some remains.
Dismantling the odd plug to remove wire ends was a nuisance.

Nobody ever complained - looking back I'm a bit amazed. At the time it
seemed fairly "harmless" fun.

DESPITE the above "check switch" warning we had one close shave.
Someone was using an extension cord for a "1 barrel" device.
Switch WAS turned off physically BUT had not broken cleanly !
Inserted transistor and pressed into place.
He was, of course looking into socket end when he did this.
Said he felt a warm feeling on face and flicked the end away from him.
Blam - no damage but COULD have been loss of eye(s) or even worse.
One could think up several good lessons to learn from this.

Now about that headmaster ...
Naah.


RM


PS        were you involved in this Dr Higgie ? :-)

2000\04\27@175818 by Mark Willis

flavicon
face
(Subject changed to track better <G>)

Many times you cannot put a fuse IN the battery pack - for example when
using a 7AH Lead-Acid battery pack.  Best then is to put a nice
polyswitch *against* the battery terminal, and cover the terminal and
polyswitch well, preventing wear through from happening - This'll at
least help.  If you then put another fuse in series, good (Or a circuit
breaker <G>)  If the safety device is far from the pack and leads get
shorted before the safety device, "bad" things happen.

(Still shuddering about a Belt Buckle story here...)

 Mark

Mike W wrote:
> High density batterys should always have a fuse or self resetting
> fusable link installed IN the battery pack AND a fuse in the supply
> lead to prevent this problem
>
> <snipped>

2000\04\27@184502 by Ken Webster

flavicon
face
That reminds me of a coupple of incidents that may even have a lesson
involved (but were quite humorous nonetheless).

One time I was at a friends house drinking.  After we were reasonably
schnockered, he mentioned that his microwave oven had stopped working.  I
volunteered to take a quick look at it.  I had the cover off and couldn't
spot anything obviously wrong.  The transformer would hum and the light
would come on but it didn't heat anything up.  I told him that I thought the
magnetron may be toasted but wasn't sure because I didn't have the proper
tools to measure the 30kV (I think thats what it was) that the HV
transformer and rectifier should be producing.  I told him that a blown HV
rectifier could possibly be responsible and would probably be easier to get
ahold of than a new magnetron.

He said "you mean that little do-jobber?" and, before I could react, stuck
his finger within close range of the HV diode and the chassis -- ZAP!! --
the arc must have jumped a good centimeter or two and fortunately invoked
the appropriate reaction (he jumped back ... no he FLEW back and landed on
his bum).

He did have a good sense of humor about it though ... he went around showing
everybody the cool burn marks on his finger and we all had a good laugh.

---
Another time my roommates and I were good and liquored and listening to
Metallica at deafening volumes when the amplifier in my receiver suddenly
died.  I was not in the mood to put up with a lack of Metallica so I took
apart the receiver and diagnosed that the power transformer was not
producing any output.  I peeled back a coupple layers of paper to discover a
thermal fuse that had opened.  In no time flat I had bypassed the thermal
fuse, taped the thing back up, and put the receiver back together.  Sure
enough .. the light came on!  Cool!  Back in business ... I was sitting on a
carpeted floor wearing shorts with the reciever sitting in my lap .. I
reached for the patch-cords to connect the receiver to other components
(VCR, CD player, etc.) and got a good healthy jolt!  It turns out that in my
haste to put the transformer back together I had neglected to ensure that
the exposed wire didn't short to the frame!  Exposed wire happened to be hot
and the patch cords happened to be grounded through the cable TV connection.

---
Then there was the time my mom's rear-projection TV broke.  I had the back
cover off and the TV on so I could probe around with an O'scope and diagnose
it.  Meanwhile my mom was vacuuming with one of those vacuum cleaners with
the hose and straight sections of metal tubing to which the attachments
connect.  It never occurred to me to instruct her not to put a metal tube
near the 40kV flyback transformers and other goodies inside the TV but I
wish I had because I just barely managed to intercept the vacuum cleaner
hose on its way into the dusty spaces around the CRTs and various circuit
boards!  That definitely could have been ugly!  As I struggled to explain to
her why it would have been bad to do that it occurred to me that I needed to
revise my notion of what is and isn't "common sense" and what non-EE types
do and don't need to be instructed not to do.

Therein lies one of the lessons.  Never assume that someone else will
hesitate to stick his/her finger near a 30kV rectifier or hesitate to stick
a large metal tube inside a powered television set.  I think the other
lesson has something to do with alcohol and electricity but I'm not quite
sure what it is ...

Oh, yeah!
... Alcohol + electricity = funny ;o)



Brian Kraut wrote:
>Shame on you missing an OT.

Oops!  My bad!

>
>Reminds me of the time I was having fun charging various caps I had laying
>around with a 15,000 Volt neon sign transformer untill I held a ceramic
disk cap
>between my thumb and forefinger.  Unfortunately the ceramic case of the cap
blew
>before the dielectric.  Put a nice hole in each side of the cap and gave me
a
>lesson I won't forget.  Kids, don't try this at home.
>
>Ken Webster wrote:
>
>> That kinda reminds me of a time several years ago I got ahold of a big
>> grab-bag of assorted tantalum capacitors.  They were supposedly all rated
>> for 20V or higher and had a longer lead to denote the positive side but
were
>> otherwise unmarked.
>>
>> I happened to have a 12V lead-acid battery just sitting on my desk so I
>> quickly whipped up a little test circuit on a protoboard with a load
>> resistor and voltmeter so I could get a rough idea what size each
capacitor
>> was by counting how many seconds it took to discharge to about 9V.
>>
>> So I went about sorting the capacitors by briefly touching them to the
12V
>> battery and then plunking them into the protoboard and counting the
>> discharge time.
>>
>> Ok .. how many of you out there couldn't see this comming? ... After
>> measuring a coupple dozen capacitors I was getting a bit bored and tired
and
>> spaced out a bit and touched one of the capacitors to the battery
backwards
>> ...  -- POP! -- ... "What the?! ... Doh! .. Oh, well .. plenty more where
>> that one came from, no big deal.  Cool!  The whole thing blew up!"  (all
I
>> had left was a coupple of leads barely held together by a bit of epoxy
but
>> the body of the capacitor was nowhere to be seen).
>>
>> I was just about to go back to sorting capacitors when I noticed a fire
>> break out on the other end of my desk ... it seems that the little
>> cylindrical core from inside the capacitor was quite hot and had landed
on a
>> stack of papers!  I'm just lucky that that thing flew over there instead
of
{Quote hidden}

2000\04\27@184903 by Ken Webster

flavicon
face
I remember a time in 7th grade power/shop class when we were disassebling
and reassembling small 2-stroke lawn-mower engines.  The engines we were
working with used magnetos for ignition.  For those unfamiliar with
magnetos, the flywheel has a strong magnetized area that passes by a
stationary coil and the moving field induces voltage in the coil.  We were
working in small groups and one of my teammates disbelieved that it was
possible to generate a spark with the pistons, etc. removed from the engine.
I slid the crankshaft and flywheel back into place and invited him to hold
on to the plug wire and touch the engine block ... he obliged ... I gave the
flywheel a quick twist and he jumped around the room cussing and shaking his
hands while the rest of us laughed our a**es off!


Adam Davis wrote:
>One could hear the distinctive click of the fencer if one was listening for
it,
>and it was very regular.
>
>Once in awhile one would say to another less knowledgable person, "See?
The
>fence isn't on." While casually holding it for the brief second between
clicks.
>Then 'encouraging' them to find out for themselves.
>
>But then, what do you expect of young mad scientists who have easy access
to a
>high-voltage generator?

2000\04\27@222636 by Wagner Lipnharski

flavicon
face
I am delighting myself every evening reading e-v-e-r-y post of this
thread slowly with a smile in my face. I think hundreds of other
piclisters too. :) I would tell you, I can actually "see" the picture,
like a movie, of every one of this stories. One could make a good money
running a small comedy film about it. I know it is taking a pretty wide
bandwidth at the list, but sincerely, I think nobody is actually
complaining, UP TO NOW!!! hehe.. much better than talk about politics,
religion or something else, huh?
Wagner.

Dan Michaels wrote:
>
> >
> >Sounds like this thread has become all about who has done the stupidest
> >thing in their youth/lifetime - with a strong educational, training and
> >saftey aspect, of course :-)
> >
>
> And it's only been 2 days. See what you started, Wagner. What was
> that somebody called you the other day? - BAD DOG! - <G>

2000\04\27@224322 by Donald L Burdette

picon face
When I was in high school, I worked in a university research department
one summer.  They were doing research with high energy pulses, and they
had a room full of large oil-filled capacitors.  These are the ones with
glass insulators on top, and heavy welded steel cases.  It takes two
people to lift one.  They were all bolted to 4" solid copper bus bars.
The caps were mounted on racks about 2 feet away from the walls, and
there were sheets of plywood lying against the walls all around the room,
covering every inch of the walls.  There was even a piece bolted to the
inside of the door.

I asked the professor why the plywood was there.  He said "A few years
ago I was next door in the screen cage (a cage made of fine copper screen
to keep out electrical interferance) when one of those capacitors blew
up.  I know now that cinder block walls don't stop shrapnel, and I
already knew that copper screen wouldn't stop it.  The only reason I'm
here today to tell you this is that some students had left several sheets
of plywood against the screen cage.  Looking at that ruined plywood,
believe me I was a lot happier than they were."

Since so many are enjoying this thread, I'll offer to forward what I call
the "Big-Ass Fireworks" story.  It's several pages, so I'll forward it
privately by request.  My brother (who got me interested in building
fireworks) and I laughed for five solid minutes while reading it.

Don

2000\04\27@225804 by goflo

flavicon
face
You don't have to be a pyro to be on the PIC list -
But it helps!

Regards, Jack

ps - Send me the BAF story, Don

2000\04\27@233458 by Sean Breheny

face picon face
Ok, I have to put my 1-cent worth in, too <VBEG>

I have a particular friend who always seemed to be present with me when
either I or he would have some kind of accident. Here are just a couple of
examples:

#1) He asked me to help him build a high-current DC power supply using a
large transformer which he bought at a hamfest. So, I proceeded to wire up
a circuit using the venerable LM723 and we hooked it up in his room, right
on the carpeted floor (we were about 14 or 15 years old), and we used wire
which was way too thin (about 22 AWG). Well, as usual, it didn't work
correctly, so we tried to troubleshoot it. Just then, one of us hit
something and the circuit shorted right after
the bridge rectifier. The insulation on the wire instantly caught fire and
a huge cloud of blinding, choking smoke emmanated from the whole
contraption. After pulling the plug and assesing the damage, the smoke had
time to diffuse down the stairs and his mother caught a wiff of it. She
said "Lou, are you soldering up there again?!" he replied "No, Ma!". If she
only knew ;-)

#2) We used to participate in a rocketry contest for high school students
at a local junior college. I don't think the people who insured the college
would have been too happy if they witnessed even a few minutes of these
events. The prof who ran the thing took a kinda laid-back attitude toward
the whole event. Just to give you an idea, we had people whose "rockets"
consisted of 2-liter soda bottles, partially filled with black powder and a
solid fuel motor stuck in the end <BEG>. One of these contraptions was
"launched" and only got about 10 feet off the ground, at which point it
plopped back down onto the ground and started smoldering. A few people
began to approach cauciously when the constructor of the rocket yelled "NO!
Get away, it's gunna blow!". Sure enough, a few seconds later, it blew
apart. <VBEG>

At one contest, I launched my rocket and it had a very disappointing
performance (the idea was to stay airborne the longest without drifting out
of visual range). So, I decided to whip something up out of spare parts and
enter it as a last minute entry. Well, I took the 1st stage of a rocket
(which is only about 3 inches long), loaded it with an engine, and taped a
plastic bag to the top as a "parachute". When I asked if I could enter it,
the prof. started laughing and said "yes"!!!  At the last minute I put it
on the launch rod and hit the fire button. As soon as it came off the rail
it went TOTALLY out of control, exactly as you would expect, and drew a
round of applause from the crowd ;-)

At the same contest, my friend took a rocket in which he was using a very
cheap E engine. He had trouble starting these cheap engines, so he added
black powder to it to "help" it start.  For some unknown reason, the local
news station decided to use his launch for the coverage of the event. He
launched his rocket and it climbed up to about 500 feet, at which point it
exploded with a loud report! He, as well as the entire company of
rocketeers, burst out in hysterical laughter. The news camera was closed-up
on my friend's face the whole time, so the TV viewers saw no rational
explanation, only a countdown "5..4..3..2..1..launch!" folllowed by his
head tilting back, and then hysterical laughter <G>

Yes, this is the same contest where (as I already told on this list once
before) one of my friend's rockets lost it's fins, went horizontal, and
smashed into a telephone pole with a huge bang, right above an unsuspecting
groundskeeper!

Sean

At 04:49 PM 4/27/00 -0600, you wrote:
>I remember a time in 7th grade power/shop class when we were disassebling
>and reassembling small 2-stroke lawn-mower engines.  The engines we were

|
| Sean Breheny
| Amateur Radio Callsign: KA3YXM
| Electrical Engineering Student
\--------------=----------------
Save lives, please look at http://www.all.org
Personal page: http://www.people.cornell.edu/pages/shb7
RemoveMEshb7KILLspamspamcornell.edu ICQ #: 3329174

2000\04\28@003228 by Jamie Merrill

flavicon
face
Ditto! ..very short summary of experience with 30KV.

I always took great care to disharge TV tubes before making repairs. However, it never
occured to me that the tube could "rebuild" a charge after being discharged.

I was literally knocked on my "bum" as one lister mentioned, when attempting to remove
the HV connection from the tube several months after I had originally diagnosed the
circuit and discharged the tube. Needless to say, I ALWAYS check for the "impossible"
when something dangerous appears to be harmless. :-)

Jamie

Robert Rolf wrote:

{Quote hidden}

2000\04\28@022109 by Dan Michaels

flavicon
face
Wagner wrote:
>I am delighting myself every evening reading e-v-e-r-y post of this
>thread slowly with a smile in my face. I think hundreds of other
>piclisters too. :) I would tell you, I can actually "see" the picture,
>like a movie, of every one of this stories. One could make a good money
>running a small comedy film about it. I know it is taking a pretty wide
>bandwidth at the list, but sincerely, I think nobody is actually
>complaining, UP TO NOW!!! hehe.. much better than talk about politics,
>religion or something else, huh?
>Wagner.
.....
>> And it's only been 2 days. See what you started, Wagner. What was
>> that somebody called you the other day? - BAD DOG! - <G>
>

Now don't go getting serious on me, Wagner. I wasn't complaining,
I'm guilty too. And I happen to think - BAD DOG - makes a pretty
good call sign.
===================

So, for another true-grit "amateur rocketry" story:

When I was in my teens and learning electronics, my friend's
dad had a cellar full of old vacuum tube TV chassis. [they're
still there, BTW]. We decided to use the power supply from one
for a ham radio transmitter. One day we were [luckily] across
the room from this thing, when the old vacuum tube rectifier
decided to give up. We heard a noise, the transformer
humming I guess, looked over at the rig, and the rectifier
plates were glowing red hot. Then boom! One of the fat
electrolytic caps blew up, and the metal case - about 2" diameter
and 4" long - took off like a rocket, and blasted into the
ceiling of my friend's bedroom. Just as my friend's uncle,
the "true" ham radio operator walked into room to see how
his young neophytes were doing. Guess he found out. BTW, as
I recall, whatever was inside those old caps doesn't smell
or taste too good when you inhale it.
===================

And speaking of cement floors conducting, there is another
story involving a bicycle [you know, metal spokes, but rubber
wheels that insulate], bare feet [can you just see this one
coming now?], hands on the metal handle bars [oh, no], and
an inadvertent bare 120 VAC wire. I'll let you figure out
the details [it still gives me the "shakes" every time I
think about it].

But I'll tell you one thing you may not know - even though
your arms may be locked in tetanus, so you can't let go,
and your entire body is shaking like a leaf in a hurricane,
your brain can still think. [Figure it out - how do you save
yourself from electrocution in this situation? You've got
exactly 2 seconds - starting now. Are we dead yet?].
============

Yes, folks, and every story has a moral. Wagner, am I
redeemed now for calling you - BAD DOG! -

2000\04\28@042208 by William K. Borsum

flavicon
face
<x-flowed>Ok, here's another one.
Encina Power plant had just opened, and the hi tensions across the back
country were humming.  One evening we saw a bright flash near the power
plant, and lights went out all around us.  Seems some kids  (teen types)
thought it would be fun to loft a wire up over the lines--about 150
KVA.  As I recall they played Ben Franklin with his Kite.  Out of dumb luck
they decided to stand on the roof of their car to get closer.  Those four
insulating rubber tires saved them.

Also saw the aftermath of an ultra-centrifuge rotor getting loose.  30
pounds of metal spinning at 100,000 RPM.  Grad student didn't think he
needed to "really" balance the load.  Broke through a 1" thick steel case
and spun around the inside of the room--cleaned everything off the walls in
the process.

Also watched the roof blow off a local garage when the mechanic decided to
refill the acetylene tanks himself.

Then there was the time at General Atomic when somebody wasn't paying
attention to the quantities of materials being stacked up and a criticality
alarm went off--way before my time thanks.

Oh Yes--Engineer at Grumman--yes this guy was a real engineer, or at least
he was hired as one--heard that things soaked in liquid nitrogen got real
brittle.  Yup--he froze a mouse, and heaved it at the closest
cement/concrete wall.  Yup. It Shattered.  Pieces everywhere, behind the
filing cabinets, under benches.  Lots of hard to get to places.  And of
course the mouse parts thawed--and we all know what happens to meat in nice
warm, humid conditions.

"stupidity is the only fatal disease with no cure."

Enjoy
Kelly




William K. Borsum, P.E. -- OEM Dataloggers and Instrumentation Systems
<borsumSTOPspamspamspam_OUTdascor.com> & <http://www.dascor.com>San Diego, California, USA

</x-flowed>

2000\04\28@204342 by Russell McMahon

picon face
>I am delighting myself every evening reading e-v-e-r-y post of this
>thread slowly with a smile in my face. I think hundreds of other
>piclisters too. :) I would tell you, I can actually "see" the picture,
>like a movie, of every one of this stories. One could make a good money
>running a small comedy film about it. I know it is taking a pretty wide
>bandwidth at the list, but sincerely, I think nobody is actually
>complaining, UP TO NOW!!! hehe.. much better than talk about politics,
>religion or something else, huh?
>Wagner.


OK then - this one is ALMOST electrical.
I may have told this here before but ...

Need to patch failing swimming pool liner - many holes.
Want to do with water in.
Lots of time spent underwater with glue and patches.
[[An aside here - NEVER use special underwater glue without using
goggles!!!. I surfaced in a bubble of this and got a large dollop in my eye.
Felt like liquid fire and eye was raw and red and very sore for weeks. But
that's not the main story]].
Decide forced air is needed.
Get vacuum cleaner and place in "blow" mode.
Works OK to about half pool depth - about 900mm.
OK - better than nought- wear mask and weights, porpoise to haldf depth to
breathe - go back down to work.
('Why is that man waring a backpack with bricks in it (and brass weights) in
his swimming pool mummy?" )
Any
way ...
In due course the pool exploded loudly and died 0 fair go - but that's
another tale.
So we had a hald full pool and a dead liner.
I went to get vacuum and wondered how well it would SUCK water.
It had not blown air to more than 450mm odd so I "reasoned" that it would
not probably suck much better.
I had a clear extension (breathing hose) on end so I could see water level.
- Stand in half full pool
(can you see it coming?)
- Place vacuum on suck
- Turn on
- Observe water rise to maybe 600mm and stop against available suction head.
- watch while SUDDENLY the water rushes up tube intoi vacuum cleaner.
- Decide that this is not a good mode and reach for off swicth.
- Vacuum is by now spitting water.
- ZAP!!!
Standing in a half full swimming pool and grasping a watery vacuum cleaner
at 230 VAC makes you realise that death can be quite close by.

I lived.
I hope to NEVER do anything that silly ever again.
Would this get into your film Wagner?

>much better than talk about politics,
>religion or something else, huh?

Dunno about politics or religion - talking about God (as distinct from
religion) can be fun.
But I won't start here tonight :-)

Bed time.

               Russell


Sometime the Headmaster and the bomb :-)





{Quote hidden}

2000\04\29@010858 by Peter Crowcroft

flavicon
face
<x-rich><color><param>0000,0000,ffff</param>Subject: Re: Fire in the Hole!!!
[OT]

MIME-Version: 1.0

Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"

Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit


>I am delighting myself every evening reading e-v-e-r-y post of this

>thread slowly with a smile in my face. I think hundreds of other

>piclisters too. :) I would tell you, I can actually "see" the picture,

>like a movie, of every one of this stories. One could make a good
money

</color>


OK, this is not electronic BUT there is a real question related to
programming here which I will come to.


Wife and myself pistol shooting in 1971. Hard and fast rule to always put
the gun in the wooden bracket facing forward. Her gun jams during a
session and she swings around in an arc past me and then to the rear
pulling the trigger as she goes. 'Its jammed' she kept saying. Wife
banned for life and told to leave immediately.


I know it is Politically Incorrect but this firmly convinced me of the
innate differences there are between men and women.


And this is nowhere better illustrated than this List: there are no women
here. How many programmers are women - 5% at most I would guess.


That's all. Enough said.   (Keep the stories coming.)





regards,


Peter Crowcroft

                   DIY Electronics (HK) Ltd

               PO Box 88458, Sham Shui Po, Hong Kong

Voice: 852-2720 0255   Fax: 852-2725 0610    Web:  http://kitsrus.com

  Email: spamBeGonepeterSTOPspamspamEraseMEkitsrus.com          Email:KILLspamdiykitspamBeGonespampacific.net.hk

----------------------------------------------------------------------

</x-rich>

2000\04\29@032038 by Russell McMahon

picon face
>I know it is Politically Incorrect but this firmly convinced me
> of the innate differences there are between men and women.
>And this is nowhere better illustrated than this List: there are
> no women here.
>How many programmers are women - 5% at most I would guess.


There are and have been a few women on the PICList, maybe not on this
particular thread.
The first programmer in th world is said to have been a woman (Countess Ada
Lovelace)(she probably wasn't the first actually but she definitiely was
well versed in the technology).




     Russell McMahon
_____________________________

>From other worlds - http://www.easttimor.com        http://www.sudan.com
What can one progranmmer* do?
Help the hungry at no cost to yourself!
at  http://www.thehungersite.com/

(* - or Countess, child or internet enabled intelligent entity :-))

2000\04\29@051842 by andy howard

flavicon
face
>From: Peter Crowcroft


> And this is nowhere better illustrated than this List: there are no
women here.

I think that Alice and Jane, at least, might disagree there...




















.

2000\04\29@060952 by Alan B Pearce

face picon face
>How many programmers are women - 5% at most I would guess.

Just dont forget that the person who had the first high level language compiler
was a woman in the US Navy.

2000\04\29@064139 by Tom Handley

picon face
  `Gawwwd'! Please don't let me get into this thread! Help Me! I don't
want to get involved! Ok, I can't stand it so here goes...

  First, I've done most of the stupid things folks have mentioned
(ie: Grabbing the 2nd Anode of a CRT before it was discharged, etc).

1. I went to Benson Polytechnical High School in Portland, OR. It was an
incredible place with everything from Electronics, to Welding, to Aviation
with a real F-86 jet and a real engine test stand, to building real aircraft
and houses. I majored in pre-engineering electronics but we had to take
other courses the first two years. I chose welding, sheet metal, electrical,
and aviation. It was a wonderful place to get into trouble ;-)
1a. Someone knocked over an acetylene tank that shot through 1.5 buildings
(3 concrete walls). No one was hurt...
1b. A friend in welding class named Hickock wore cowboy boots. We dumped
water in his boots when he had the welder cranked up to 400A burning a hole
in the table (He liked doing that). He survived and we were still friends...
1c. Favorite prank in pre-eng lab classes was charging large caps up to 600V
and tossing them to a friend. We survived though we could never resist the
temptation to catch the cap ;-)

2. Working on a RADAR project in the USAF, I grabbed 60KV while adjusting
the Maggie which knocked me several feet. What makes this more stupid than
it appears is that I did this often...

3. When the LOX folks would come out to the aircraft, we would spill a
little into a metal pan and drop rice (Baht) bugs into it. Then drop the
bugs onto the concrete and watch them shatter. What make this more stupid
than it appears is that these bugs were a delicacy and a handful of them
could gain you the `services' of a `lady' for the night... Fortunately,
there were hundreds of them hovering in the lights above the reventments
at night. Unfortunately, those same lights made us good `targets'...

4. (and finally) My first job after the military was an engineering `job
shop'. Lot's of interesting projects. One of them was producing baseball
pitching machines for Joe Paul Industries. This is basically two rotating
tires with speed controllers. We had just switched to a new RCA TRIAC and
were experiencing a lot of failures in the field. I suspected we were
exceeding the dV/dT rating so I made a little test setup. I would lean over
the board, about 5" from my face, and look up at an O-Scope while cycling
the motors on and off. After hours of trying to duplicate this, I finally
saw a spike go up to around 1.5KV. Like a near-death experience, time went
into s-l-o-w m-o-t-i-o-n. I thought to myself; "This thing is going to
blowup". Of course it did. Now at this time of my life I was working on my
long-haired pony tail so I would fit in with the rest of my friends in the
early 70's. Well, my face was black and my hair blown back and smoking
like a Disney cartoon. I did'nt realize how I looked when I went to the
Sr engineer and said "Dave, I think I found the problem". It took several
minutes before Dave regained his composure and then he led me over to
Christine in production who pulled out a mirror. This definitely called for
a party so we shut down early ;-)

  - Tom


------------------------------------------------------------------------
Tom Handley
New Age Communications
Since '75 before "New Age" and no one around here is waiting for UFOs ;-)

2000\04\29@100814 by goflo

flavicon
face
Grace Hopper comes to mind, a guru on the big iron
of the 40's & 50's - Adm. Hopper, USN, actually.
Originated the term "bug" for pgming glitches.
In the early defense projects women were preferred
as pgmrs, as they were considered better suited to
the painstaking nature of the task...
And howja miss Alice? :)

Regards, Jack


{Quote hidden}

2000\04\29@101031 by Russell McMahon

picon face
>   `Gawwwd'! Please don't let me get into this thread! Help Me! I don't
>want to get involved! Ok, I can't stand it so here goes...
>
>   First, I've done most of the stupid things folks have mentioned
>(ie: Grabbing the 2nd Anode of a CRT before it was discharged, etc).


Brief pot-boiler to keep the thread alive :-)
A true story even though it sounds like a W Coyote / Road Runner skit.

Way back when, I was in the University radio club.
We had a TRIO SSB transceiver with VOX* facility.
One day it didn't want to load up to the aerial.
Associate started trouble shooting - leaning over the back of the set he
found the problem - feeder went to some inline device (?SWR meter) & had
come loose.
Holding the feeder in his hand he turned to me and called 'I've found the
problem" or similar.
The VOX did what VOXes do - I don't know what his SWR was.
Only about 150W capable so no great harm done.




RM



* VOX = Voice Operated Transmission.

2000\04\29@104826 by Alan B Pearce

face picon face
>The VOX did what VOXes do - I don't know what his SWR was.
>Only about 150W capable so no great harm done.

Ah but what did the VOX do with the resulting "ARGH".

2000\04\29@143350 by goflo

flavicon
face
Russell McMahon wrote:
> ...
> A true story even though it sounds like a W Coyote / Road Runner skit.
> ...

More like Rocky/Bullwinkle, I'd say...

Presto, Jack

2000\04\30@083957 by Russell McMahon

picon face
Here's a response I received from a friend of mine after I sent him a
message from this thread.

RM

=============================================================


On the other subject of engineers doing silly (and often dangerous)
hings  - there seems to be a lot of it about and much of it is absolutely
hilarious.  Maybe there is a commercial opportunity here (modern versions of
Victorian morality tales ?)  - how about acting as a publishing editor for a
book of short stories (promoted via snippets posted on the web).

Sounds as though you could come close to filling it by yourself but I'm sure
there would be plenty of willing contributors.  Like the time I nearly
electrocuted myself under Mums' house while investigating a water leak, or
"the home made arc lamp incidents" (yes two separate ones  - melting the
glass in my bedroom window and burning a hole right through by bedding and
foam mattress to the wire-wove supporting it), or exploding insects on the
back lawn using a 1500uF capacitor bank charged to 2kV and a set of old
multimeter test leads, or the Tesla coil incident (or maybe I should let
Chris Paice tell his own story), or the pirate FM transmitter mounted on a
ramp on top of the U of A chemistry building with a remote release as an aid
to preventing it falling into the hands of the radio inspectors (involving
persons who are now respectively head of an F&P division and a senior
engineer at Talon).

Gavin Higgie could tell the story of the EPROM programmer and the 230VAC
supply (and an engineer at DSE whose name I can't recall could tell a
similar story involving literally hundreds of very expensive (and very dead)
NMOS chips in a top-secret digital signal processing system  - being a
military establishment the poor individual was required to wear the results
of his labours on an arm-band for several days).

You could even cast the net wider and allow non-electrical themes.  That
would admit a large number of "bomb" stories (including of course "RDM and
the Headmaster"), allow Ross to relate his story of the dangers of making
smoke bombs by melting ingredients on a gas stove, not to mention the
dangerous combination of boredom and compressed air (as epitomised while I
was working overtime assembling Eveready torches at Fountain Electronics
when I was 15), the
total destruction of the school chem lab fume cupboard (a small 2H + 0
explosion), and how the front 20 rows at the school drama production were
showered with burning newspaper.

Then there is just plain dumb stuff like having to explain to the NZ Forest
Products Ltd. Accomodation Officer a disassembled (and very oily) motorcycle
engine in the lounge of the company house provided for student vacation
employees, or the dye capsules which mysteriously found their way into the
public swimming pool, or the time I helped roll a spare wheel down one of
Wellington's steeper streets (no real harm done but the consequences could
have been horrendous), or the attempt to shoot a large rat with a spear gun
(stupid at the best of times but doubly so considering we were both in a
small tin dinghy at the time), or the time I broke the fish tank and flooded
the doctors waiting room.

There is also the "penguin" incident  - person on holiday at East Cape
sleeping peacefully in back of small van is woken up in pitch dark by cold
wet flapping fishy-smelly alien monster thing (introduced by so-called
"friends")  - penguin survives ordeal relatively intact but person sustains
deep gash on head which bleeds profusely and by light of feeble torches
makes entire scene look like horror movie.

Now there just has to be a market for book of that kind of stuff.

Regards

   Ken Mardle

2000\04\30@165158 by l.allen

picon face
> 1c. Favorite prank in pre-eng lab classes was charging large caps up to 600V
> and tossing them to a friend. We survived though we could never resist the
> temptation to catch the cap ;-)
>
I cant help myself here again....

When I was at a tertiary institute there was a sort of
Macho competition in the labs to see who could hold
onto two electrodes the longest (or yell to stop) while the
voltage was slowly cranked up. The higher the voltage..
the lower the I.Q. I suspect.

My days in electronic security were probably the best.
- Finding a jewelry store where the owner had rigged up a
pump to spew cyanide into his shop if the alarm went off.

-Locking up the Reserve Bank of NZ and the British
Consul when the British Finance minister came to visit.
The British Secret Service (or whoever the suits were)
used UHF hand helds. The Reserve bank guards
handhelds were VHF and we were unaware the
equipment was succeptable to these frequencies.. man
did it malfunction big time.
The emergency override button had to be pressed...
unlocking every single door in the building(including cash
rooms etc).... asses were kicked, words were exchanged
etc.

I could go on but there has to be a limit
-Like the time I came close to closing Auckland
International Airport.
-My several near crashes while learning to fly.
-The car being chased by Police that nearly ran into us,
on three different occasions before we got home.
-The 747 emergency I was in.

All very OT even for this OT

_____________________________

Lance Allen
Technical Officer
Uni of Auckland
Psych Dept
New Zealand

http://www.psych.auckland.ac.nz

_____________________________

2000\04\30@201939 by steve

flavicon
face
> I could go on but there has to be a limit
> -Like the time.......

I'd like to point out that Lance, Russell, et al aren't
representative of all New Zealand electronic engineers.
Many of us go weeks, even months, without blowing anything up or
causing grievous personal injury.
:-)

Steve.

======================================================
Steve Baldwin                Electronic Product Design
TLA Microsystems Ltd         Microcontroller Specialists
PO Box 15-680, New Lynn      http://www.tla.co.nz
Auckland, New Zealand        ph  +64 9 820-2221
email: EraseMEstevebspamEraseMEtla.co.nz      fax +64 9 820-1929
======================================================


'Fire in the Hole!!! [OT]'
2000\05\01@083848 by Russell McMahon
picon face
I'd like to point out that Lance, Russell, et al aren't
representative of all New Zealand electronic engineers.
Many of us go weeks, even months, without blowing anything up or
causing grievous personal injury.
:-)

Steve.



I resemble that assertion :-)

How do you get your fixes then Steve ? :-)
(I haven't blown anything up for several weeks,alas).
(Unless you count the 140 psi PET bottle water rocket launched across a
Hamilton gully at Easter that self-dismantled in mid-air (200+g / 300+ kph
does that if you're not careful enough.)).




           Russell
                        "Jack of all trades,
                          Master (sometimes) of electrical
                          engineering"
          McMahon






======================================================
Steve Baldwin                Electronic Product Design
TLA Microsystems Ltd         Microcontroller Specialists
PO Box 15-680, New Lynn      http://www.tla.co.nz
Auckland, New Zealand        ph  +64 9 820-2221
email: @spam@steveb@spam@spamspam_OUTtla.co.nz      fax +64 9 820-1929
======================================================

2000\05\01@084054 by Alan B Pearce

face picon face
> 1c. Favorite prank in pre-eng lab classes was charging large caps up to 600V
> and tossing them to a friend. We survived though we could never resist the
> temptation to catch the cap ;-)

When I was an apprentice, the company used many capacitors made by Philips, and
two particular capacitors we used were in the same size can. One was an 8uF 350V
which was used in a marine transceiver the company built, and the other was a
64uF 64V used in an audio amplifier. The favourite trick of a couple of the
apprentices was to charge an 8uF cap up to 500V using an insulation tester, then
one apprentice would come up to one of the women on the production line who was
fitting 64uF caps into PCB's. he would engage the women in conversation while
another apprentice approached on the "blind" side with a charged capacitor
carefully held in his hand. He would drop this in the box of 64uF caps, and then
both apprentices would wander away. A couple of minutes later there would be a
yelp from the woman as she reached for the next cap to put in the circuit board.
After this happened two or three times, they got very wary of any approaching
apprentice, and would look through the box carefully, as they found the odd
capacitor out generally had a slightly different colour insulation tape on it.
It then became a game of one apprentice approaching and talking without another
one dropping anything in the box, and watching the search after he left.

2000\05\01@124420 by Alice Campbell

flavicon
face
From:                   Peter Crowcroft <spamBeGonepeterspamKILLspamKITSRUS.COM>
Subject:                Fire in the Hole!!! [OT]
To:                     .....PICLISTspam_OUTspamMITVMA.MIT.EDU

Careful, Peter, your contempt is showing again (see below).

Alice.  Not a guy.  Not an engineer.  Not stupid.  Not impressed.


{Quote hidden}

2000\05\01@144333 by David VanHorn

flavicon
face
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA1


>> And this is nowhere better illustrated than this List: there
>> are no women here. How many programmers are women - 5% at
>> most I would guess.

Of the programmers I've met, I'd agree that it's about 5%, and they also
seem to be the most competent 5%.
I have sort of a list of people I'd like to work for, and several entries
are female programmers I have known.
Not a sexual thing, just that they were great to work with, and very
competent.

- --
Are you an ISP?  Tired of spam?
http://www.spamwhack.com  A pre-emptive strike against spam!

Where's Dave? http://www.findu.com/cgi-bin/find.cgi?kc6ete-9

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE-----
Version: PGPfreeware 6.5.2 for non-commercial use <http://www.pgp.com>

iQA/AwUBOQ3qHoFlGDz1l6VWEQIfDgCfVkmhKmkcbN7TS6be1m2eFa22vYEAoLxU
zOctaLt/YJOB8SWXvaca9leW
=tfdP
-----END PGP SIGNATURE-----

2000\05\01@160034 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face
> I know it is Politically Incorrect but this firmly convinced
> me of the innate differences there are between men and women.

Inate differences (even supposing they exist) are irrelevant as long as
individual variations span a wide range of ability anyway.  And they do.

BillW

2000\05\01@162322 by David VanHorn

flavicon
face
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA1


>Inate differences (even supposing they exist) are irrelevant as long as
>individual variations span a wide range of ability anyway.  And they do.

If we were all the same, then a few billion of us would be redundant!
Vive La Difference!
:)

- --
Are you an ISP?  Tired of spam?
http://www.spamwhack.com  A pre-emptive strike against spam!

Where's Dave? http://www.findu.com/cgi-bin/find.cgi?kc6ete-9

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE-----
Version: PGPfreeware 6.5.2 for non-commercial use <http://www.pgp.com>

iQA/AwUBOQ4BJ4FlGDz1l6VWEQLkkACg/ULJNOCGTJ/iKv2QkfeDIgyjRPMAoLqI
Yi4KdqFOQAlGfPezIhvhgYr9
=ULl3
-----END PGP SIGNATURE-----

2000\05\01@173733 by jamesnewton

face picon face
Ascribing the characteristics of one individual to an entire gender is
unacceptable in a thinking persons world.

Blaming lack of ability or participation on gender when social bias is
clearly present is also unacceptable.

That sort of thinking is so fundamentally flawed that it boarders on
insanity. I won't be part of a group where that is accepted. Mr. Crowcroft
will leave the PICList or I will. I appreciate the corrective feedback from
a few members, but I'd like to know if anyone else agrees with Mr. Crowcroft
on this point. The list members should decide which way they want this list
to go. Either sexism is not accepted and I will police it, or it is accepted
and I will have a good excuse to stop spending my time on this.

If you feel that women are just not able to handle guns and engineering:
TakeThisOuTjamesnewtonKILLspamspamspampiclist.com?subject=SEXISM+Fact+of+life

If you feel that making sexist remarks should not be tolerated:
.....jamesnewtonspamRemoveMEpiclist.com?subject=SEXISM+Not+acceptable

Notice the lack of a "calm down" option. <SAD GRIN>

---
James Newton (PICList Admin #3)
RemoveMEjamesnewtonspamspamBeGonepiclist.com 1-619-652-0593
PIC/PICList FAQ: http://www.piclist.com or .org

{Original Message removed}

2000\05\01@201206 by Jeffrey D Spears

flavicon
face
Another big female programmer was Ada Lovelace? Is that her name?
She was some sort of movie star who happened to be a whiz at math.
Apparently did some cypto-analytical work during WWII. Very sharp
lady. Beauty and brains.

ok..jef


On Sat, 29 Apr 2000, John Gardner wrote:

{Quote hidden}

Jeffrey D. Spears
University of Michigan
College of Engineering

``Double-E, can't spell gEEk without it!''
                       -Captain Gerald M. Bloomfield II, USMC
                        (my brother)

2000\05\01@204318 by Sean Breheny

face picon face
Hi Jef,

I think you mean Hedi Lamour (sp?). I think she invented (a type of?)
spread spectrum communications. Lady Lovelace lived in the 19th century, IIRC.

Sean

At 08:10 PM 5/1/00 -0400, you wrote:
>Another big female programmer was Ada Lovelace? Is that her name?
>She was some sort of movie star who happened to be a whiz at math.
>Apparently did some cypto-analytical work during WWII. Very sharp
>lady. Beauty and brains.
>
>ok..jef
>
>

|
| Sean Breheny
| Amateur Radio Callsign: KA3YXM
| Electrical Engineering Student
\--------------=----------------
Save lives, please look at http://www.all.org
Personal page: http://www.people.cornell.edu/pages/shb7
spamBeGoneshb7@spam@spamspam_OUTcornell.edu ICQ #: 3329174

2000\05\01@210709 by Jeffrey D Spears

flavicon
face
Right! Mrs. Lovelace worked with Mr. Babbage? Is that correct?

There is a writeup about Mrs. Lamour, as you say, in my Dietel Dietel
c++ book. Too lazy to look up the details.

We stand on the shoulders of giants!

ok..jef

On Mon, 1 May 2000, Sean Breheny wrote:

{Quote hidden}

Jeffrey D. Spears
University of Michigan
College of Engineering

``Double-E, can't spell gEEk without it!''
                       -Captain Gerald M. Bloomfield II, USMC
                        (my brother)

2000\05\01@211740 by picxpert

picon face
The correct spelling is Hedy Lamarr, according to my CorelDRAW 8 CD... She
invented (or was it helped invent?...) a form of spread-spectrum
communications, which used sequences of frequencies coded onto paper strips
(why not a PIC, I wonder? just joking...) See
http://www.ncafe.com/chris/pat2/index.html,
http://www.astr.ua.edu/4000ws/didyouknow.1.html

Re: Ada Lovelace, here's something from the Babbage Pages (URL:
http://www.ex.ac.uk/BABBAGE/ada.html):
------
In 1833 Ada met Babbage and was fascinated with both him and his Engines.
Later Ada became a competent student of mathematics, which was most unusual
for a woman at the time. She translated a paper on Babbage's Engines by
General Menabrea, later to be prime minister of the newly united Italy.
Under Babbage's careful supervision Ada added extensive notes (c.f. Science
and Reform, Selected Works of Charles Babbage, by Anthony Hyman) which
constitute the best contemporary description of the Engines, and the best
account we have of Babbage's views on the general powers of the Engines.
Beautiful, charming, temperamental, an aristocratic hostess, mathematicians
of the time thought her a magnificent addition to their number
------

Hope this helps,

-Randy Glenn
PICxpertANTISPAMEraseMEspamtechie.com (remove ANTISPAM)
http://i.am/PICxpert

"My Finder has died of fits, chokin',
My Finder has quite ceased to be.
OS X's new Finder looks broken,
Please bring back my Finder to me!" - A concerned Mac user

===========
To unsubscribe, send a message containing the text "unsubscribe PICLIST" to
RemoveMELISTSERVEraseMEspamspam_OUTMITVMA.MIT.EDU

Any questions about the list? http://www.piclist.com/

{Original Message removed}

2000\05\01@214258 by andy howard

flavicon
face
> From: "Jeffrey D Spears" <@spam@jspearsRemoveMEspamEraseMEENGIN.UMICH.EDU>

> Another big female programmer was Ada Lovelace? Is that her name?
> Apparently did some cypto-analytical work during WWII. Very sharp
> lady. Beauty and brains.

I don't think so. Augusta Ada King - Countess of Lovelace (nee Byron),
was a 19th century polymath who amongst many other remarkable
acheivements collaborated with Charles Babbage on his difference engine
and, with remarkable foresight, suggested that rather than just using it
for calculating books of tables, which was Babbage's initial intent, it
could rather be used as a general purpose computing machine. She wrote
what remains the fullest and most important treatise on Baggage's
invention and contributed significantly to the development of
programming on it.
She was, incidentally, the daughter of the poet Byron.

> She was some sort of movie star who happened to be a whiz at math.

Maybe you're confusing her with Linda Lovelace...   :>


Do you mean Admiral Grace Hopper, inventor of the language compiler and
of COBOL?
She was the person who almost single-handed, and against the scepticism
of her colleagues, decided that there was a better way to communicate
with digital computers than inputting zeroes and ones and that machines
should be programable in something much more like English..
We owe her a lot.

Or is Hedy Lamarr is perhaps the one you're thinking of?  She didn't
work in cryptography as far as I know but did come up with the idea of a
radio controlled torpedo in discussion with her arms-dealer first
husband who pointed out that it would be too easy to jam.
Just before the war started she left her husband and Germany to move to
the US where she and composer George Antheil (not sure of the spelling
there) came up with the idea of changing the frequency of the radio
control signal, not unlike playing music. In fact they based their
system on the 88 keys of a piano and controlled the frequency hopping
with punched paper rolls like an automatic piano player.
They patented the idea but the device was never made. Two decades later
the idea was used in a somewhat different form by Sylvania, initially
for satellite comms and now in a wide range of applications from
wireless modems to cellular phones.
















.

More... (looser matching)
- Last day of these posts
- In 2000 , 2001 only
- Today
- New search...