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RT : The disk drive failed on our vintage Alto. After extensive debugging of the drive controller (3 boards full…
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19 days ago by benny
(429) https://twitter.com/i/web/status/980132179102523392
The disk drive failed on our vintage Alto. After extensive debugging of the drive controller (3 boards full…
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19 days ago by roens
Why Paper Jams Persist | The New Yorker
For printer engineers, solving paper jams is “the ultimate challenge,” combining physics, chemistry, and programming.

'In the largest sense, jamming is a problem in a field called tribology—the study of friction, lubrication, and wear between interacting surfaces. In the nineteen-sixties, the British government asked an engineer named H. Peter Jost to investigate this subject; the 1966 “Jost Report” found that poorly lubricated surfaces—sticky ball bearings, rusty train rails, and the like—cost Britain 1.4 per cent of its G.D.P. (The term “tribology,” coined by Jost, comes from the Greek verb “to rub.”) The smooth functioning of the world depends on invisible tribological improvements. We rely on axles and gears that don’t grind, artificial joints that don’t stick, and hard drives that spin smoothly. Everything in a printer, likewise, must slide quickly and smoothly over everything else. Paper-path engineers work to accelerate a system that wants to get stuck.'

'There are many loose ends in high-tech life. Like unbreachable blister packs or awkward sticky tape, paper jams suggest that imperfection will persist, despite our best efforts. They’re also a quintessential modern problem—a trivial consequence of an otherwise efficient technology that’s been made monumentally annoying by the scale on which that technology has been adopted. Every year, printers get faster, smarter, and cheaper. All the same, jams endure.'
design  technology  paper  printers  xerox 
10 weeks ago by tarakc02
Xerox Alto zero-day: cracking disk password protection on a 45 year old system
We've been archiving a bunch of old Xerox Alto disk packs from the 1970s. A few of them turned out to be password-protected, so I needed to figure out how to get around the password protection. I've developed a way to disable password protection, as well as a program to find the password instantly. (This attack is called XeroDay, based on a suggestion by msla.)


Wow, check out the comment by Doug Wyatt!
xerox  history  hardware  encryption  alto 
january 2018 by micktwomey

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