thread for things that would make fairly interested twitter threads that'd go viral but fuck typing it on twitter (rolling)

or, more succinctly, the fact sharing thread

so i used to work on a nuclear power station that is very very old, and has massive levels of control managed by computers and stuff like that from back when computers were difficult, big, and brand new. those machines and computers still need to be maintained, but the people and companies who made certain parts of the computers no longer make them, right - but the thing is you can’t replace them with new parts without a complete redesign.

so there is this bit of my old employer where they take the silicon chipsets, and strip them back, piece by piece and layer by layer, to map them out, so they can manufacture new ones. they reverse engineer the chips and parts for old computers.

but surely they could just buy some on the market right? well, no - there is no garuantee that these chips and boards are safe, real, and not comprimised. so the only way to replace the older stuff is to literally piece by piece strip it back with acid and x rays to find out how it was made, and then to bit by bit rebuild it.

neat, huh?

fuck it.


That is very interesting, thank you for sharing.


that’s pretty interesting. presumably they documented this as they went along so next time…

was there a full time team on this?

stuxnet is a great case of why modernizing this sort of infrastructure at nuclear power plants is a bad idea.


That is pretty interesting. I’ve worked in places where ancient code has to be maintained because the cost of replacement would be astronomical but never thought about hardware.

One thing I don’t get though. How is the process your describe not the same as:

because you’re not doing a new design - you literally replacing it like-for-like, except you’ve had to strip it back to find out how it was designed. and then add the new aprt, which is for all intents and purposes the exact same bit.

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yeah, basically. the cool thing is that once they stripped it back, they can sell the blueprints on the market as well, as most of the time the patents or whatever will have expired.

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@Epimer not doing his paperwork again, that’s the problem there


This is what my cousin used to do with mars bars. Would eat individual element one at a time, starting with the chocolate around the outside. Made me sick to see him still eating his after I’d finished mine ages ago.


mars bars are very sickly when eaten as a whole I imagine the individual components would be even more so

when my wife first started courting, we went on a trip up north and bought some Meal Deals. With it, she asked for a reccomendation on a snack to go with her sandwich and bottle of water, and i suggested a Twix, for it is the superior snack option at all times.

when we were having the picnic she started to eat it incorrectly, and i corrected her and told her the best way to eat it is to bit off a small chunk and then suck it, letting the biscuit, chocolate and caramel meld into one unique and satisfiying clump on your toungue.

we were eight years married yesterday, if you want to know how well that date went.


20 year term mate, nothing I can do about it. All part of the bargain between inventor and state. You see,