Long before we designed MobyGames, one of my hobbies was restoring old computer hardware; now that MobyGames is successful, it is still a useful skill to have in order to get very old computer games into the database. I read with a chuckle recently the trials of a fellow old computer hardware restorer, who found that, sometimes, there really are bugs in the hardware. The operative words for what you're looking at is the work of the Mud Dauber, getting comfortable inside an old disk drive.
The solution? Soak the entire thing in water for a week. And let dry, carefully, for a very long time :-)
That is crazy. I've heard of freezing hard drives to get the metallic parts to unblock, but having an actual wasp nest inside your computer...
It happens, and if the stuff you want to use is no longer made and doesn't show up on ebay... you soak.
Update from the person with the trouble: "After soaking in water for four days, I tried using a little steam cleaner (Euro-Pro). It's working, but slow. I got about 1/2 of a mound cleaned off in an hour. A mound that was on a flat surface (the disk drive chassis) actually slid off after undermining it with the steam! Looks like I'll be able to save the drives."
An old neighbour of mine found a rat's nest in a DEC Alpha he bought from Ebay.
Haha! A friend of mine brought over his computer saying that it was making a funny sound and then turning off (he knows little about computers and I'm usually the one that fixes systems for my friends and family). I turn it on and sure enough there's some fan noise. I open it up and the cpu fan is so clogged up with dead roaches that it barely spins, and I assume causing it to overheat shutting the system down.
I used to do volunteer work setting up (and teaching) computer hardware for low-income families. Donated equipment would come from both businesses and private citizens cleaning out their basements. From my first-hand experiences... I've seen the following things inside computers: Dead Ants, Live Roaches, Rat Droppings, coffee-stained rusted up circuitry, 2 inches of "packed mud" and small children's toys... the ones small enough to fit into the vents or the disk drive.
Cleaning them... well some of them weren't worth cleaning. I mean it's a real turn-off seeing that kind of stuff and so easy to just throw away... But the ones that were, I used so-called cleaning alcohol and some other non-rust cleaning supplies to get rid of the stuff.
A running computer would be a haven for some of these bugs. It's warm, dark, and with plenty of circulation. What more do you need?
His other photos are quite interesting as well.
the term computer "bug" was originally coined from one such incident with one of the tube computers.... I can remember if it was eniac or univac 1. In any case, a moth got caught in some circuitry, and the report stated that a bug has been found. The rest, as they say, is history.
Or, so I was told.
Yeah, I've heard that as well. How true it is, I don't really know.
Don Komarechka Wrote:
The story goes that a colleague of Mrs Granny of Computing, Grace Hopper, found a moth stuck in a relay in a Mark II which led to her commenting that they were debugging the system, hence the term.
The same moth is still on display at the Smithsonian Institution.