November Progress (or, "There and Back Again")

As things progressed further with the SDU hackery and I started actually reading out tapes, the SDU I was using suddenly failed completely. Suspecting power supplies, I went over every pin of both of them again, and was unable to observe any transients that would account for killing SDUs while not killing anything else. This leaves me with only one SDU, the one with the failed nubus interface, and it started exhibiting increasing flakiness each time it was run.

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More Lambda Shenanigans

I finally got the SDU payload to the point where it could possibly download data and write it to tape; The network parts had been tested on the physical machine, tape reading had been tested, but tape writing had not. My assumption was that my initial failure to read any tapes was due to the age and condition of the tapes, but I had a nagging feeling it could be my tape drive.

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Disk Drive Disappointment

Up until now everything has been going better than expected, which means it's well beyond time for something to blow up in my face. This would of course be the disk drives. As they were mounted lowest in the racks (except for the PDUs) they had the lowest prospects of survival. It was also expected that even if the drives themselves had survived, their non-removable filters would be contaminated with mold and they would destroy the HDAs when spun up. That said, it's best to try and know than forever wonder, so I set about getting the drives out for inspection.

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