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Regarding #10: Oh Lord, I've been there too many times to count.... One of the more memorable time was with an old timing distribution system. The thing would pretty much just send out clock pulses to networked machines and this cost a lot of money to do properly (very abridged here). This particular one was acting 'funky' and came back in. In testing it, we go really weird behavior. True to your list, I think we went 1, 2, 5, 6 (no drivers, per se), 7 (for about 5 days), 8, 9, 10. At 10, we finally plugged in the o-scope and started debugging the PCB vias and connections themselves. Things were getting really wacky now. The Faraday cage that was the testing room had to be re-grounded, we thought, as the wires themselves were still carrying current even when the power was dis-connected. One of the guys brought in his old hand-held impact hammer to drive a new copper stake into the peeled up linoleum and through the foundation of the building. Still, we got strange results. Like really strange results that, to us, were worthy of a Nobel Prize, as we had thus far proved to ourselves that physics herself was broken inside the lab. For reference: a lot of people worked in there, so having stuff about in all kinds of dis-repair was typical. I remember, long after the pizza had gone cold and the Mt. Dew was flat, I was looking up at the ceiling of the room. I saw an old RF horn hanging from the roof, kinda held together with the connecting wires. 'Hey, if that thing was on, would it do anything?' The other techs' eyes all lit up. Turns out, one of the guys was doing something with the horn for some other test. He had left for an extended backpacking vacation and accidentally still had the thing on. The broadcasting from the horn was adding the small amount of current to all our wires, thereby causing the whole box to go out of whack just enough to cause all the issues. At about 4 am, we finally got the box re-configured, the original problem from the customer solved, and all of it packed up and ready to overnight out to the customer for when the UPS store opened at 7am, about 3 hours from then. The poor guy got back from vacation to that mess of an email inbox and many meetings. It was an honest mistake, and he bought us all 12 packs for the trouble. Still, when you think you have proved that physics is broken, I think that will qualify as step 12.



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