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naperlou
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Late nights
naperlou   5/14/2013 9:52:08 AM
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Orin, I went to Maryland a long time ago (Physics) and can understand your professor's desire to get in some late night work.  It was always much quieter then.  In the Physics building, at least, you were not lonely late at night, but you could always find a place to work undisturbed.  I used to go out for dinner (usually pizza) next to campus.  Then I would get a bumper bottle (quart) of beer on the way back.  Somehow it was legal to have open alchohol containers on campus.  Those of my professors who were there late (usually a few) would often come by with a glass.  It was a bit strange, but fun. 

Totally_Lost
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Silver
Re: Late nights
Totally_Lost   5/14/2013 12:45:25 PM
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For the ADD/ADHD group, distraction free after midnight time is the only productive time.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Late nights
Rob Spiegel   5/14/2013 3:59:56 PM
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That engineering prof was pretty clever in creating a light source for late-night work. That's engineering ingenuity in action.

Orin Laney
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Silver
Re: Late nights
Orin Laney   5/14/2013 4:24:20 PM
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Might your pizza joint have been the late and mostly unlamented Varsity Grill?  My late nights on campus usually amounted to a hunt for an unbusy keypunch machine.  How I don't miss that!

Charles Murray
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Re: Late nights
Charles Murray   5/14/2013 7:28:41 PM
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It's funny how discussions of late night work seem to turn toward pizza...

3drob
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Platinum
Re: Late nights
3drob   5/15/2013 9:46:28 AM
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Back in the day, I was also a UMD "night owl" from time to time (physics and EE).  The campus was an entirely different world at night (never a fight over an electronic terminal, with the loser left having to use the POS teletypes).  As a commuter with a full time job though, it tended only to be when I absolutely HAD to get it done (or by invitation).

Of course, bypassing lock-outs is never good (usually this conversation revolves around generators and people who understand basic circuits but not fault modes).

mr_bandit
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Iron
Re: Late nights
mr_bandit   5/17/2013 9:00:59 PM
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At New Mexico Tech in the late 70's, we had a DEC 20 with TOPS-20. The load average (a quaint term...) was terrible 8am to 11pm. So, the CS guys (ie me and others) would show up at 11pm to work all night. At 8am, the load average woould do a step function from 1 to 25..30 - a log scale IIRC.

Pizza was out - there were two places in town and they closed at 10. Besides, we were poor enough. Many a night with Dr Pepper, Ritz Crackers, and Velveeta. Yum.

The CS instructors never started a class before 11am to give us time for breakfast, shower, and a morning class.

Ralphy Boy
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Re: Late nights
Ralphy Boy   6/3/2013 4:01:53 PM
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I'll take the heat for being the voice of safety first... This sounds like he jumped around what was most likely a locked out/tagged out circuit. I know he knew what he was doing but it was still a no-no and possible illegal. As in if someone got hurt in another part of the building oops would not have been accepted.

Circuits are sometimes not as clear cut as one breaker, one office. We have had partitions and even walls moved over the years, the circuitry has not always been modified to match, especially the lighting circuits.

I know I'd be in deep doodoo if I tried this without consulting building management and the maintenance department.

The short version of my point is that this is a "Do not try this at home" moment.

Debera Harward
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Silver
Power Of Secret Energy
Debera Harward   5/14/2013 9:06:06 PM
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Great Orin Lay , according to me this is not called The Power Of Secret Energy instead it is the Power Of Engineering And Technical Knowledge. Great work done and thanks alot for sharing it .

William K.
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Platinum
Secret energy or secret knowledge
William K.   5/15/2013 7:43:31 PM
This tale clearly shows that knowledge is enlightening, doesn't it.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Secret energy or secret knowledge
Rob Spiegel   5/16/2013 11:13:45 AM
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That's a heck of a comment, William K. I did late-night work when I was in college as well. I worked on the university's daily newspaper. I'd come into the office after a play or concert and have to write a review that evening while the copy editors were waiting for my copy. They couldn't go home until I finished. What pressure. It was good practice.

William K.
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Platinum
Re: Secret energy or secret knowledge
William K.   5/16/2013 10:13:11 PM
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Rob, actually, it was intended to be a sort of terrible pun.

 

But it is becoming very clear to me that there is a growing gap between the abilities of those who just use some tool and those who created the tools. The problem seems to be that the only engineers who seem to be interested in running the show are the ones who should not be running the show.

mr_bandit
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Iron
Re: Secret energy or secret knowledge
mr_bandit   5/17/2013 8:54:04 PM
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Actually, it *was* a terrible pun. More power to you.

Rob Spiegel
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Blogger
Re: Secret energy or secret knowledge
Rob Spiegel   6/4/2013 2:49:59 PM
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Actually, I thought it was a pretty good pun, William. 

William K.
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Platinum
Re: Secret energy or secret knowledge
William K.   6/5/2013 8:46:02 AM
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Rob, at least it was a thought-out pun.

But the secret power story reminds me of the time I rearranged the circuits i a breaker panel because somebody was always switching off my wall clock when they switched off the lights. So after the change they were switching off the local air conditioning, which eventually caused them to be more selective in the circuits they switched off. Some folks, those who ignore signs, sometimes do learn eenually.

But moving circuits has served well on several instances.

Rob Spiegel
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Blogger
Re: Secret energy or secret knowledge
Rob Spiegel   6/11/2013 4:31:24 AM
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Hey William K, it slounds like there is a Made by Monkeys or Sherlock Ohms in that story.

If so, please send it along to me and we'll get it posted:

rob.spiegel@comcast.net

William K.
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Platinum
Re: Secret energy or secret knowledge
William K.   6/11/2013 7:53:49 AM
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It is quite a tale indeed, more of a "sherlock Ohms" tale than a made by monkeys. The other story, based on a recent experience, would also be much more of an investigative tale.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Secret energy or secret knowledge
Rob Spiegel   6/12/2013 1:18:01 PM
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You choose, william, on whether to submit it as a Made by Monkeys or a Sherlock Ohms. 

William K.
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Secret energy or secret knowledge
William K.   6/13/2013 10:45:16 PM
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Rob, the tale of the circuit breaker juggling will be a sherlock Ohms contribution, since it had nothing to do with poor design, but a lot to do with people and human shortcomings.

Rob Spiegel
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Blogger
Re: Secret energy or secret knowledge
Rob Spiegel   6/14/2013 12:52:11 AM
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Great William K. Looking forward to seeing it. Don't forget to include a short bio.

Cabe Atwell
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Blogger
Re: Secret energy or secret knowledge
Cabe Atwell   8/27/2013 2:05:10 PM
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That's a great anecdote and an ingenious way of turning the lights back on.



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