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Offline rongouk

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gen science
« on: 08/02/2005 13:04:37 »
hi

why do some recommend disconnecting computers during electic storms, rather than just turning them off. how are they at greater risk than ordinary house wiring

tia


rongo

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Offline Ultima

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Re: gen science
« Reply #1 on: 08/02/2005 13:35:20 »
Welcome to the Forum Rongo :D

Because computers are far more delicate, just the static from your body can destroy vital components on the motherboard if you touch it. Another thing to remember even if you have surge protection with your mains, is to disconnect the modem cable from the phone socket as modems nearly always fry and mess up your whole computer. If you are very worried about keeping your computer safe the only real way is to disconnect from the net and keep it in a Faraday cage ;) but this might be a bit of over kill :D

If you want some scare factors, humans can't perceive static electricity until it reaches 1,500 Volts, and walking around in socks on a carpet on a warm day generates around 12,000 Volts. Taking this into account your computer uses 12 Volts, so if just a person can discharge 1000 times the voltage onto a computer imagine what lightning on a mains/telephone line can do.

Hope this answers your question, basically something like a toaster is fairly robust and uses simple large scale circuits at higher voltage, whereas a computer has lots of tiny fragile circuits that use low voltage. If you can't imagine voltage, think of it like how running water over a waterfall has greater force when it falls from a greater hight, voltage is the difference in height, EMF (electro motive force) is the force, current is the flow, resistance is the air or pool of water below. I think anyway i'm no uber physicist and I kind of suck at analogies. Would you rather your computer was splashed with a couple of drops of water or rather put it in the direct path of a tidal wave? Although I do like melting stuff with lots of electricity its fun ;). Might have to try and fry my computer when it gets to old to be useful.

BTW this is a great example of where we could have a computer science section :P to all those nay sayers :D

wOw the world spins?
« Last Edit: 08/02/2005 13:44:25 by Ultima »
 

Offline gsmollin

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Re: gen science
« Reply #2 on: 09/02/2005 05:15:49 »
No, actually this is an example of the help desk in operation. CS is not really concerned with electrical safety issues, or about a million other issues that people call the help desk with. It is about the science of computing, and is really a pretty technical subject. There are a number of CS newsgroups over on Usenet, and there must be some web-based NG like this one, if you really want to post CS.
 

Offline Ultima

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Re: gen science
« Reply #3 on: 09/02/2005 12:11:34 »
:P You would be surprised what my Computer Science and AI degree covers; a lot of it is a load of trash. Plus this is not help desk this was a legitimate science question about WHY? probably the defining question of any scientist. A help desk question would be:

"OMG wtf?? I just left my PC plugged in during an electrical storm. When I press the power button all I see and smell are sparks and burning plastic. What should I do???"

Health issue wise: I'm doing a module in HCI (Human Computer Interaction) which is all about the psychology and health of a User, and what they are capable of and how I should accommodate there needs in hardware and software.

There is more to science than lofty ideas and equations; it permeates every fold of life? To most that use this forum it is about the science of their day-to-day life, from what I have read anyway. People that may only post once or twice are wanting to know about something that they have observed or heard of, and why it is true or not.

wOw the world spins?
« Last Edit: 09/02/2005 12:30:14 by Ultima »
 

Offline chris

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Re: gen science
« Reply #4 on: 09/02/2005 13:55:14 »
Okay, if we create a dedicated computer science forum, will you publicise it Ultima, and create the necessary traffic? At the moment this is the only computer enquiry we've had - it will be a pretty sad forum wif there's no on ein it.

We could run a trial for, say, a month. If at the end of that time there is not sufficient take-up, then we could merge the contents back into one of the other fora - such as the physics one.

What does everyone think ?

Chris

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Offline Ultima

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Re: gen science
« Reply #5 on: 09/02/2005 14:13:52 »
Nope :D probably not (traffic wise). But if it's just for my sake, I doubt it will take off. And as gsmollin pointed out if I need an outlet for my computer geekness I can go elsewhere. Also Rongo hasn't posted back so I think everyone else is right (even though it makes me :() it would be a very sad and lonely forum. I have plenty of material I would want to talk about, but its pointless if there is no one to talk with :D I'll start a thread in General Science for myself, if thats ok?

wOw the world spins?
« Last Edit: 09/02/2005 14:20:16 by Ultima »
 

Offline gsmollin

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Re: gen science
« Reply #6 on: 09/02/2005 15:40:36 »
Ultima, you may be mis-understanding me. Rongouk's question was not stupid, and it was well received, at least by you, in the general science forum. I just don't believe it was a computer science question. It was an electrical safety and FMEA (failure-mode-effects analysis) question, and I have no problem with it.

The basic issue here is that normally NG's make a separate forum when there is a lot of cross-traffic in the existing forums. So if there is a lot of C++ and Visual Basic cross traffic in sci.computers.languages, they make a sci.computers.languages.C++ and ...VisualBasic NG's.  I haven't noticed that happening here. I think you would like to participate in such forums, so I would recommend you seek them out. It ain't here, babe. I just expect that making a CS forum will collect some help desk questions in it, stupid or intelligent, with little or no real CS.
 

Offline OldMan

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Re: gen science
« Reply #7 on: 11/02/2005 01:50:18 »
I would suggest perhaps computer science and technology instead of just comp science but is just my two cents

Tim
 

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Re: gen science
« Reply #7 on: 11/02/2005 01:50:18 »

 

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