Thursday, August 31, 2006


Today I discovered that some motherboard connectors for cables of front-panel USB ports do not have pins numbered 1234-5678, as is usual on ICs, but 1357-2468. If this is so in a more general sense, it could solve some long-standing misteries.

Here's evidence:

Wednesday, August 30, 2006


NOTE if the lamp won't light, turn the instrument off. If the instrument is left on for more than three minutes, the oscillator board will be blow.

That's what the book says. Apparently the book is right. The oscillator board is now black in spots.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Accurate abstraction

Today I discovered that making a diagram correspond to the real world really makes the diagram a help in understanding, rather than hindering.


I've discovered that a thick-walled plastic tube that gets connected to a high-pressure gas cylinder without any pressure regulation bursts with a very satisfying bang!

Friday, August 11, 2006

A shocking experience.

As one does research, one learns a great number of new things. In addition, one re-learns old things. Today I re-learned that it is very important to disconnect the power to an instrument if one wants to work on the inside.

But no harm done; just a little dented dignity and a tarnished image.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Writing machines.

What did we do before we had the internet? I could source, and purchase, plotter pens for a model that's been discontinued for ten years or more.