Now ain't *THAT* a bizarre incompatibility!!!

Discussion in 'Apple' started by Don Bruder, May 30, 2005.

  1. Don Bruder

    Don Bruder Guest

    Here's one for everybody...

    *DON'T* let the rubber feet from a 7600-era Macintosh rest on the case
    of a white US Robotics Sportster external 33.6 modem for extended
    periods!

    A while back (I don't even recall exactly when it was - at least a
    couple of months) I was doing something or other that ended up with one
    of the rubber feet off the bottom of my PowerMac 7600 coming loose. Did
    a "Well don't that just suck?" kinda reaction, and since I was in a
    hurry to get the machine back together far enough to find out if
    whatever it was I was doing had been sucessful, set the foot down on a
    stack of modems next to the computer and said to myself "I'll worry
    about putting that back on later". The topmost of the stack of modems
    was/is a white USR Sportster 33.6 external unit. (Color and model might
    make a difference due to differing types of plastic. Idunno for sure.)

    Today, I was shuffling around in the paperwork on that side of the desk,
    and uncovered the stack of modems, including the one I'd set the foot on
    (and of course, had promptly forgotten about) and discovered that
    PowerMac7600 feet and white USR Sportster 33.6 modem cases are
    incompatible...

    The foot was *LAYING ON THE CIRCUIT BOARD* of the modem, whose case
    displayed a hole that was a perfect outline of the foot, edged with
    material that was somewhat sticky to the touch. It looked exactly like
    the foot was made of metal, and had been heated glowing hot, then
    dropped on top of the modem.

    Upon closer inspection, the foot was found to be coated with a greyish
    sludge, also sticky.


    Hypothesis:
    In the days of "long ago and far away", before rubber fishing worms were
    invented, early plastic tackleboxes for fishing were made of a
    particular type of plastic. Everything was good. Then along came rubber
    worms. That's when the "fun" started... Something about the rubber worms
    and the plastic used in making tacklebox trays didn't get along - The
    worms would literally melt into the trays. As in physically melt INTO,
    and eventually, THROUGH the plastic.

    I suspect I've just seen a similar process in action.

    How bizarre...
     
    Don Bruder, May 30, 2005
    #1
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  2. Don Bruder

    Davoud Guest

    Well, maybe not *absolutely* everybody...
    I have to wonder how many people, world-wide, are using 7600's with
    external 33.6 modems.

    Davoud
     
    Davoud, May 30, 2005
    #2
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  3. Don Bruder

    Don Bruder Guest

    PHLLLBBBTTTTTT! :)

    The stack of modems is my pile of "backups" - No point in my spending
    money on anything faster, since my line - 20+ miles of mixed
    copper/glass (that was originally hung about 35 years ago according to
    the line techs, and has been grafted, spliced, patched, tapped into, and
    otherwise cobbled back into service so much that it's scary ever since)
    with several SLCs, and a whole bunch of other problems that make it not
    only "56K incompatible", but downright "56K hostile" - won't cope with
    any better than 28.8, and only gets that on a *REALLY* good day. (Don't
    bother telling me to call the phone company... I have... Over, and over,
    and over, and over, and over...) I have a stack of them 'cause I got
    lucky and hit somebody on eBay selling a 10 piece lot of 33.6s, and got
    'em for a total of $18 and change - I lose about 1-3 per year due to
    lightning strikes (even through "protection"), at least partly due to my
    location, so I like to buy 'em cheap, and "in bulk". Under two bucks
    each in quantities of 10 fits my modem buying budget nicely.

    The 7600 is my experimental/sacrificial machine. If I'm gonna do
    something "stupid" (Maybe uncrating some suspicious archive, maybe
    testing my latest attempt at some coding project that might decide to
    run amok, etc), it gets done on the 7600 until I'm convinced it's at
    least relatively safe.
     
    Don Bruder, May 30, 2005
    #3
  4. Don Bruder

    Don Bruder Guest

    Must be nice to have phone lines that will support 56K... Guess that's
    one of the tradeoffs I have to live with - 20 miles from town, with no
    idiots pulling drive-by shootings, trying to mug or carjack me, I can
    leave the doors unlocked - day or night, home or not - and the keys in
    the car ignition, the neighbors (what few there are) aren't cooking meth
    or selling drugs, and so on, versus in town with all its downsides, but
    where I can get fast internet connections is, at least to me, a
    no-brainer choice - gimme the "20 miles from town", thanks!

    The point of the post was, "Wow... I know lots of things can be
    incomatible, but I never would have expected this *KIND* of
    incompatiblity!"
     
    Don Bruder, May 30, 2005
    #4
  5. Don Bruder

    Jim Hill Guest

    Must be nice to have phone lines that will support 56K... Guess that's
    one of the tradeoffs I have to live with - 20 miles from town, with no
    idiots pulling drive-by shootings, trying to mug or carjack me, I can
    leave the doors unlocked - day or night, home or not - and the keys in
    the car ignition, the neighbors (what few there are) aren't cooking meth
    or selling drugs, and so on, versus in town with all its downsides, but
    where I can get fast internet connections is, at least to me, a
    no-brainer choice - gimme the "20 miles from town", thanks![/QUOTE]

    You're living 20 miles from the wrong town, then. I have all the
    advantages you cite plus my choice of cable or broadband. Of course, I
    live in a weird town. A few years ago my G5 duallie (when the G5 was
    the newest thing Apple had going) was delivered to my home while I was
    out of town. I got home a few days after delivery to find my 23"
    display and my Power Mac G5 boxes sitting in front of the door, text
    prominently facing the street. And I never thought anything about it
    beyond "Hey, my G5's here!"

    Not that this has anything to do with your original post. It definitely
    sounds like you discovered a chemical incompatibility. I'd say the
    plasticizers in your rubber feet reacted with the thermoset plastic of
    the modem case.


    Jim
     
    Jim Hill, May 31, 2005
    #5
  6. Don Bruder

    Davoud Guest

    Don Bruder:
    Davoud> > >
    Don Bruder:
    Ditto. Our little farmstead is in the country, too. Where we live it
    would be considered downright rude to lock your house when you left --
    what if someone needed to borrow some flour for biscuits or some
    canning jars for putting up some beans? But we have a cable modem --
    for now. Verizon is installing fiber optic cable to our house in their
    "FTTP" (Fiber to the premises) scheme :-} Then it's a new ball game,
    maybe.

    Anyway, your point is well taken. I will *NOT* let the rubber feet from
    a 7600-era Macintosh rest on the case of a white US Robotics Sportster
    external 33.6 modem for extended periods!

    Davoud
     
    Davoud, May 31, 2005
    #6
  7. Don Bruder

    Ian Oliver Guest

    I wonder if this is the same process that I've noticed with double CD
    boxes that had thin sheets of foam padding next to the CDs. Quite a few
    of the discs show marks where the foam has eaten into the plastic
    (top/label side) of the CD - some are totally unplayable.

    Hmmm....

    Ol.
     
    Ian Oliver, May 31, 2005
    #7
  8. Don Bruder

    Don Bruder Guest

    Very possible, but hard to say with certainty unless some testing is
    done.
     
    Don Bruder, May 31, 2005
    #8
  9. Don Bruder

    H.B. Elkins Guest

    And the rubber worms (which are actually plastic worms, although my grandfather
    called them rubber worms too) are incompatible with the paint used on a lot of
    baits (which are actually called lures). I've seen many a bait ruined because it
    made contact with a rubber worm.

    But I've never had one component of my computer setup melt another component.
    ;-)
     
    H.B. Elkins, May 31, 2005
    #9
  10. Don Bruder

    H.B. Elkins Guest

    Oh crap -- better go check some of my older CD sets!!! LOL
     
    H.B. Elkins, May 31, 2005
    #10
  11. Yeah, this kind of takes the idea of "incompatible systems" to an
    entirely different level. I'm used to the fact that some devices don't
    interoperate with others, and even with the idea that you could use one
    to damage another if you weren't careful (say, a cable that carries more
    voltage than you really expected). But one device spontaneously
    destroying another one like this is pretty bizarre.
     
    Tom Harrington, May 31, 2005
    #11
  12. Don Bruder

    AES Guest

    But I've never had one component of my computer setup melt another
    Makes one wonder what some of these plastics and synthetic materials may
    do when they come in contact with _you_ (or with food, esp. in a
    microwave over).

    Do (some) rubbers contain a lot of sulfur? Maybe that's the primary
    villain?
     
    AES, May 31, 2005
    #12
  13. I cook in black iron skillets and am suffering from ferrous poisoning at
    this moment. I've been told that it may go ferric. I'm using HgDTA to
    remove the iron from my system. Seems to work and I simply shine in the
    sun.
    Troll ;-)

    leo
     
    Leonard Blaisdell, Jun 1, 2005
    #13
  14. Don Bruder

    AES Guest

    Troll ;-)
    [/QUOTE]

    No, a serious question -- I'm no chemist, but wasn't sulfur used as a
    component of rubber, at least in earlier times?
     
    AES, Jun 1, 2005
    #14
  15. Don Bruder

    Davoud Guest

    Davoud, Jun 1, 2005
    #15
  16. No, a serious question -- I'm no chemist, but wasn't sulfur used as a
    component of rubber, at least in earlier times?[/QUOTE]

    Yes, vulcanization is a treatment of natural latex with sulfur. I
    doubt those feet are made of natural rubber, though.
     
    Matthew Russotto, Jun 1, 2005
    #16
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