As a forensic technologist, I get some strange requests. Not long ago, a guy sends me some zip disks that he needed the files on them. I happen to have one that would read them, put them on a flash drive, and he was a happy camper.
Now there is probably a story I could write about what I found on his zip disks but damned if client information is protected. They could have been the directions to where Hoffa if buried or perhaps who shot Kennedy.
We will never know as the information goes with me to the grave, or in my case, forgetfulness.
This beast came in today.
Many of you are reading this have no idea what this is, but I had one in its heyday! Crossing my fingers, I plugged it into my variable power supply. I wanted to bring the voltage up on the caps slowly.
The magic smoke came out of at least one resistor before I ever got past to 60 volts.
The cost well outweighs the effort necessary to bring this dinosaur back to life. I could, but why?
The odds are high; the hard drive is seized. Most probably, I would be replacing multiple capacitors in the power supplies of not only the PC but the monitor.
Finding parts for this beast would be more of a challenge than fixing it.
I know of a museum that collects things like this. I think the next time I travel that way, I will take it with me.
Fun fact, this device, or one like it, was used as a protocol analyzer. Back in the day, I carried one like this all over the country. That thing would let you see the datagram from the preamble on. When I first saw it, the fellow operating it told it to me like this. (this is what whetted my appetite in forensics btw.)
The topology or network architecture of the day was token-ring.
This machine still has a token-ring card in it. Token-ring was named after its architecture. One token or ‘train car’ goes around the track… The track is the series of wires, MAU’s and devices. Once a data packet ‘token’ was sent out, the token would go to every active device and ask ‘is this for you?’
Terribly inefficient and expensive. Each NIC (network interface card) carried a license from IBM, which was not cheap.
This device could tell me not only who the conductor was but the color of his or her underpants—metaphorically speaking. Without details of the OSI model and technical stuff that would cause you to leave, this was the bomb.
As I lifted it on the bench a little while ago, all those memories of carrying it through the airports came back. This was known at the Compaq luggable, and we called it the singer sewing machine because of the size and shape.
From the Osborn to the Kaypro and then this, we were moving on up.
Truthfully I hoped I would see a C:\ I wanted to type DIR and see what would happen or was it DIR *.* ??
That trip down memory lane stopped with the smoke, but I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. Writers, there are stories in that box. What secrets does it hold? What is on that hard drive? Who owned it?
Yes, I have to get back to my story on The Three Hundred, but work comes before play, and I needed to get in touch with you.
Have a story to share…Use the comments.
Much Love -TW