E-books that might be of interest to others

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Re: E-books that might be of interest to others

Postby Ellen Kuhfeld » Wed Sep 05, 2018 11:44 am

To move away from embalming, Sir William Snow-Harris' 1867 Treatise on Frictional Electricity is a magnificent mid-19th-century look at the state and technology of static electricity. I love it.

In my job at the Bakken Library and Museum, I did a lot of repair of 18th and 19th century frictional generators. This was the most useful book in the whole museum and library for that job. (The museum wasn't nearly as kid-oriented when I was there.)

I even made one while I was there: a presentation piece for Earl Bakken. (Actually, I made two. I almost always make two if there's not a great amount of extra work involved. Earl got the one kitted out with all the accessories, while I put the spare generator into the museum collections.) It was a 60% scale replica of a 19th-century generator by Alvergniat Freres of Paris

74-14.JPG


And the bastards didn't even include my generator in their online catalog! I'm pretty sure I accessioned it and entered it into the database. I ought to go down there and raise Hell.
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Re: E-books that might be of interest to others

Postby Té Rowan » Wed Sep 05, 2018 5:52 pm

Neat job. Of course, I don’t need a static generator — I bloody am one. It’s become a habit to touch any metal door or other large object with a knuckle before grasping it.
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Re: E-books that might be of interest to others

Postby Ellen Kuhfeld » Wed Sep 05, 2018 6:53 pm

It's your own fault for hanging around with all those catgirls.
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Re: E-books that might be of interest to others

Postby Spica75 » Thu Sep 06, 2018 11:47 am

It's your own fault for hanging around with all those catgirls.


:mrgreen:

Neat job. Of course, I don’t need a static generator — I bloody am one. It’s become a habit to touch any metal door or other large object with a knuckle before grasping it.


Check your clothing, especially shoes. As an example, a resort i visited a lot when i was a kid, i usually used indoor shoes while not out skiing, but the combination of one specific set of indoor shoes and the floor in one of their large rooms, i could take less than a dozen steps in there and then *zap* someone, VISIBLY literally ZAP, static lightning up to a cm or two that actually made clearly audible noise.
(which of course was wonderful fun for a kid to play around with in a room which was among other things used for dancing in the evenings :twisted: :mrgreen: )

Actually, I made two. I almost always make two if there's not a great amount of extra work involved.


Always. Never ever rely on making a single of anything.

It was a 60% scale replica of a 19th-century generator by Alvergniat Freres of Paris


Cool.

And the bastards didn't even include my generator in their online catalog! I'm pretty sure I accessioned it and entered it into the database. I ought to go down there and raise Hell.


At least a small hell. :wink:
Or the smell of sulphur will get into eeeverything. :P
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Re: E-books that might be of interest to others

Postby Té Rowan » Thu Sep 06, 2018 2:30 pm

Spica75 wrote:Check your clothing, especially shoes.

Oh, I already know. They are a pair of work shoes that didn’t fit the buyer so they ended up on my feet. Sadly, they do not have conducting soles unlike another pair that ‘walked away’ in the past. Those I had bought, both for the steel toes and the soles.

Also, much of what clothing I do find is either a synthetic mix or all synthetic. Not good news.

Location? Oh, boy, ever! It was at the (now closed) local grocer’s I got into the habit of first knocking on metal.

And that leads to another thought: How weak a current can one’s fingertips sense while stroking across a metal surface? I presume it was through electroadhesion. And, yes, I am sure it was a very weak electric current as the sensation disappeared completely when I grasped the check-out counter (all-metal) with the other hand.
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Re: E-books that might be of interest to others

Postby Ellen Kuhfeld » Thu Sep 06, 2018 3:30 pm

There is an apocryphal tale from the early days of computing. Mind you, it was already apocryphal when I met it in the mid-sixties, but I'd been using mainframes since '59.

Anyway, we had a CDC 3100, and a radiation door made of solid ferrocrete which was about four feet thick, seven feet high, four feet wide, and ran on rails. Nobody was able to open it by hand, so it was driven by a rather large electric motor. The door and the computer were maybe fifteen feet apart; and every time we opened or closed the door, the computer glitched. The motor was making inductive spikes in the electrical system, and they hadn't completely desensitized computers to electrical interference yet.

This got us all talking about computer glitches, and somebody mentioned a computer they'd dealt with that was just fine with male operators, but balked at females. They tried many things, and eventually they cleared the computer room and sent in a naked female operator. The machine was happy. It turned out static electricity from the nylon underwear was the problem, and everything was fine once they specified everybody had to wear cotton.

As apocrypha go, this one seems more grounded than most. Depending on your definition of "grounded".
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Re: E-books that might be of interest to others

Postby Spica75 » Thu Sep 06, 2018 5:13 pm

This got us all talking about computer glitches, and somebody mentioned a computer they'd dealt with that was just fine with male operators, but balked at females. They tried many things, and eventually they cleared the computer room and sent in a naked female operator. The machine was happy. It turned out static electricity from the nylon underwear was the problem, and everything was fine once they specified everybody had to wear cotton.


Hah! Actually i dont doubt that at all. Once you get back to at least 70s computers, the sometimes dreadfully bad solutions created some very weird interactions.
When my brother started working with computers at a place where due to continuity they still had lots of older ones still running, they had a problem like that, after relocation a previously flawlessly running system("flawless" as in having run constantly for several years without reset or error) kept throwing tantrums, but only if someone was working in the same room, it never failed if you got it running correctly and then managed to leave the room without causing it to crash.
Apparently the floor interacted weirdly with the most common type of sole on shoes. When they measured, it was so minimal it was within margins of error, but everyone working shoeless in the room and voila, no crashing. They never managed to figure out how it worked or even what exactly interacted with the computer, but static from the floor did generate weird magnetic fields, even if weak.

As apocrypha go, this one seems more grounded than most. Depending on your definition of "grounded".


:mrgreen:


#####
And that leads to another thought: How weak a current can one’s fingertips sense while stroking across a metal surface? I presume it was through electroadhesion. And, yes, I am sure it was a very weak electric current as the sensation disappeared completely when I grasped the check-out counter (all-metal) with the other hand.


I have no clue on exact numbers, but from what i've been told, potentially VERY weak.
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Re: E-books that might be of interest to others

Postby Té Rowan » Fri Nov 23, 2018 5:23 am

http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/58319 — “The Story of Paper-making” by Frank O. Butler for the J. W. Butler Paper Co.
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Re: E-books that might be of interest to others

Postby Té Rowan » Mon Dec 03, 2018 7:28 am

http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/58391 — “The Engineer’s Sketch-Book” 4th ed. by Thomas Walker Barber (1902)
It’s full of sketches of various mechanical contrivances and thingamabobs.
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