Cooling and leaks; was: removing parts from PCBs

Chuck Guzis cclist at
Wed Nov 16 10:45:33 CST 2005

On 11/16/2005 at 10:46 AM Allison wrote:

>Water cooling had one less obvious avantage. You can dump the waste heat
>outside the building or at least outside the computer room.

At CDC Sunnyvale, we had a big cooling tower that handled both the chilled
water for the computers as well as the HVAC for the building.  When I first
came to Sunnyvale, I remember that the first thing that I saw of the
building (sitting in the middle of an onion field) was the big vapor plume.

I can't ever remember seeing a water leak in the machine room.  The Bryant
6603 disks (and one very memorable 808 drive) would leak hydraulic fluid,
however.  Made a terrible mess. 

By far, the worst problem was construction that was going on in the area.
It would cause the power to go out at unexpected times.  Bringing a machine
back up after a power failure in those days was a major chore taking hours
and sometimes days.   Normally, machines were never powered down, except
for moving or major maintenance.

As I remember it, both CDC and Cray used the same guy to design their
refrigeration--and he wasn't an employee of either firm, but a guy who used
to work for Amana.   


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