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Just having been reminded by posting in another thread:
Once upon a time I had a needle-printer. After using it for some hours to generate music by printing lines with different content it stroke back by printing every other 'v' as 'f' (but not the other way round), no _hit.
I got curious.
Turns out the power supply wasn't grounding properly, causing memory errors. Very frustrating however.
My lecturer told me our class a story regarding when he was trying to trouble shoot a problem on a mianframe - assuming it would've been the 70s. They could never get the problem to occur when a tech from the company was on site.
Jokingly (or perhaps in utter frustration) with the tech their, they did a voodoo dance in front of the machine with a rubber chicken (couldn't really use a real one in a computer room). The problem happened immediately and the tech was able to fix it straight away. I don't what the problem was exactly.
Moral of the story (according to my lecturer): when all else fails, get out a rubber chicken to help you trouble shoot ;-)
Easy. Back in U I had a beautiful (for the time) Roland dot matrix printer. (remember the days of tracked paper?) It was good, fast, came about as close to letter quality as pin printers ever did....
Anyhoo, comes term paper time, and I'm giving the thing a workout over the cours of a couple of weeks. Finally finish writing my last paper of the semester (about 4 am of the day it was due), set it to print, then went to put on a pot of coffee because the class was as at 7am. As I'm standing staring at the brew drip out, a viscious ungodly grinding noise starts emanting from the general direction of my computer.
I wander over and stare in horror as the printer starts printing solid black line after solid black line.
I took the resulting printout and a 5&1/4 floppy with the completed paper in to my prof and begged for an extension. He didn't bother asking why I hadn't got around to printing until 4 am that morning. He just laughed so hard I began to wonder if he'd finally flipped his lid.
His printer (same model), had done the same thing to him a couple of days before as he was trying to get a hard copy out for his publisher.
I got my extension.
He also told me how to fix it.
He said, "Just give it a Fonzie. Seemed to work fine on my machine."
Worked fine on mine too.
For those who missed "Happy Days", giving something a "Fonzie" means to whack it, then say "Ehhhh!" and give it the thumbs up. That printer lasted me through University, with one or two "Fonzie's" a semester.
Just give it a Fonzie
Better known these days by the official term of "percussive maintenance". ;)
Most annoying error? In my case, it was that screeching sound as the mechanism disintegrates on my inkjet printer just days out of guarantee. That one got some percussive maintenance too, although it wasn't too effective in fixing the printer, it helped dissipate the frustration!
*THAT* was the most annoying error I ever encountered. But that was almost 20 years ago and I'm completely over it now. Nope, no hard feelings here at all. Grrr...