In my old Dreamcast, I found after I'd packed it up and moved it a few too many times that it wouldn't start, but would show signs of life when the lid would open and close. I found that there was a position you could put the lid in at which it would boot, and that position could be reliably reached if a SweeTart was placed in the tray near the edge of the disc. I licked the flat side of the SweeTart a few times and it stayed where it was, and it's there to this day. Of course, the lock doesn't engage so I have to keep something heavy on top of it.
And on my PS2, I'd fiddled around with it too much trying to mod it, and messed up something in there, but not bad enough that it wouldn't boot and play a game. But about 3/4 of the way through Resident Evil 4, I found it would skip and eventually reset if you didn't tilt it up by 20 degrees or so. As I progressed in the game, the angle at which it had to be set increased, until eventually not only did it have to be tilted in a second direction as well. Believe it or not, it finally reached the point where no tilt could save it in the middle of the final boss, with my friend moving it this way and that like we were trying to get reception with bunny ears on an old TV. I never beat the game.
When I was about 8-9, I found the mechanism, and ended up dismantling the system. I then wedged a little Wolverine action-figure's foot into the space to keep his foot down on the switch and ran the system without the cover, because it looked pretty badass to have the discs spin out in the open.
[In retrospect: All of this was probably a horribly unsafe thing to do, considering what would happen if the disc cracked or broke while spinning.]
All consoles from the PS2 onwards have an enclosed (tray or slot) drive mechanism because they do spin the disc fast enough for safety to be an issue, but the early disc media systems up to the Dreamcast didn't need to worry about it.
While waiting for my stop, I noticed that if I moved my hand near the left VU meter, the needle would swing. Not much, but a little. It only worked on the left one. I didn't have to touch the case. And no, it wasn't plugged into anything. I'd just ruled out random motion caused by me joggling the deck as I moved my hand when I had to get off.
It doesn't do it any more.
You've just invented the Electroscope.
Anyway the PS2 had a known issue where turning it on its side or over would put the CD closer to the reading laser and "fix it" it was really the only tangible fix the guys in the PlayStation queue had.
Obviously it wasn't, but the way this is written really shows how dumbfound they were because they couldn't explain it.
you would be surprised how often people trust "the map" more than reality. "the map" can be anything, i.e. an instruction manual, an authority figure, folklore, a rumor, whatever.
Eyes still win!
but your eyes are also part of the map…
Reminded me of thinking about what if you targeted a laser on a map and it burned physical terrain.
Completely different, but still a fun story.
Also, it's in the 1.5.0 file: http://jargon-file.org/archive/jargon-1.5.0.dos.txt
(I was a power electronics engineer a few years ago, before getting into the web.)
The PDP-10 itself was mostly discrete logic, so you could see the components and their interconnections just by looking at them. In addition, DEC published full schematics for most of their products. (I never saw the PDP-10 schematics, but it would be unusual if they weren't available.)
If that wasn't enough, Alan Kotok, the architect, came by TMRC every couple of weeks and was more than happy to expound on any part of the system.
For a switch to work a circuit must be present. Either a neutral line or a ground it is the only way to send information.
If a functioning switch has only a single wire feeding into it then it must be reaching ground through other means.
False dichotomy. You omitted a third option: magic.