removing parts from PCBs

Jeff Brendle brendle at
Wed Nov 16 10:06:18 CST 2005

I think that wasn't true here at Penn State ... there was a "big red
button" in an older computer lab (willard for anyone who's been here) that
had at one point, many many years ago, been the home for the campus
mainframe (according to the rumor). Now, I don't know >when< that was, or
>what< was running there "way back when". By the time I worked the lab, it
would've been '89 or something & we were doing IBMs (S/370 gear like the
43xx/30xx series running MVS & VM/CMS) for years but not in that building.
There was a dedicated Computer Building by then & satellite labs scattered
around the place. Wouldn't even know where to find out the history of
this, not too many old-timers around to ask.

In any case, our 'big red button' -- it was right at the door, near the
light switch, but protected somewhat from accidental activation by a
drilled out block of wood. I was told that was done so with one quick
push, when you needed to do it, you could make your way to the door, feel
the switch & the whole place could shut down instantly. I never tried it
to see if it still worked. I figured the people using it as a PC &
terminal lab at that time would've minded my little experiment (to say
nothing of my bosses).

William Donzelli said:
>> Likely not.  If there was it would be a really bad scene. I bet any
>> shutdown for more than minutes would have been viewed quite severely.
> I only remember an IBM 3081 that had a very bad meltdown due to a hose
> break or something, and the system could not shot down fast
> enough. Generally, a loss in pressure would throw the machine into a check
> state and do a really fast shutdown.
>> Remins me of the mainframe mini joke I'd heard years ago. Minis have
>> power
>> switches, mainframes have BIG RED BUTTONS (emergency power off).
> BIG RED PULLS, actually...
> William Donzelli
> aw288 at

Jeff Brendle
Desktop Support Supervisor
Penn State - College of E & M S

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