Jump to content
StinkerB06

8-Bit Guy controversy

Recommended Posts

Are any of you aware of the controversy he caused from destroying that one extremely-rare IBM prototype? By bending the paper clip to short out the whole system and cutting open the PSU with the saw?

Although this should probably be on-topic: Is the controversy declining interests in the X16, or would it still do well?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
54 minutes ago, dr.diesel said:

I fail to see why the topic was even mentioned and has nothing to do with the X16 or it's future.

Ok then.

At first, people thought he was a good-enough retro tech-content creator with over a million subscribers. But when his video of his IBM "restoration attempt" came about, people have started to become angry. Even when I don't have any experience with electronics, I pointed out that he was doing many things wrong.

He didn't test the monitor power lines correctly, so he went ahead and bent a paperclip, shoved it into the PSU's male connector, turned it on and SNAP! Blown fuse! Next, he used a Dremel saw and some other tool to pull out the 4 security screws, only to find the fuse. He then bought the wrong type from the hardware store, putting it in the PSU caused the machine to not turn on. After this, he refused to do additional work and sent the rare IBM back.

PS: I don't know if this discussion should stay here or go to off-topic. But this thing he did is really dumb in my opinion, and is a good starting point for hardware technicians to know what not to do.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

David has posted a video defending his actions and why the IBM thing was not "really dumb" as you put it. A vast majority of electronics engineers agree. Please watch your language and remember the group rules you agreed to when joining.

 

  • Like 7
  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

My Mom worked in biotech company. And She asked me before I started collecting old comps 10 years ago If I want 20x IBM PS/2 with Model M keyboard brand new old stock in box never opened for free as they buyed new laptops to company. I told Her that I have HP notebook so not that those computers are low specs and can run only MSDOS. They put them into trash. Now I am crying when I see similar 386 PCs on ebay. Also bought one Year ago 1x Model M keyboard for 250euro :))). But as I am Atari and Amiga fan and from that point of view its OK.

Edited by Matej
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Perifractic said:

David has posted a video defending his actions and why the IBM thing was not "really dumb" as you put it. A vast majority of electronics engineers agree. Please watch your language and remember the group rules you agreed to when joining.

 

I'm behind David 1000% on everything said here. Thanks Perifractic for posting this and putting this to bed.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
46 minutes ago, Perifractic said:

the IBM thing was not "really dumb" as you put it. A vast majority of electronics engineers agree.

I can't speak for the vast majority but this electronics engineer thinks the paper clip thing was pretty foolish.  The thing about electronics is, at some point everybody does something foolish.  I expect most people here have a long list of goofs.

David had a couple things working against him: a little knowledge that seemed like it should be applicable (but wasn't) and working in a hurry.  In this situation those turned out to be an unfortunate combination.

David deserves more credit than he has received for sharing his mistake in the first place. He also deserves way less criticism than he received for not owning that mistake particularly well.  That being said, a brief "oops, here's what I should have done..." segment would have gone a long ways toward avoiding the big negative reaction.

Addressing the original poster's question, I think CX16 will succeed or fail on its own merits.  This controversy is orthogonal.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fair enough. Did you watch his response video? He cites several people stating the paperclip method as the first thing they would've done and a "go to" fix in tech support circles over the years.

 

Either way you are right that it probably will not hurt sales. If I had seen Jay Miner do something with a dremel, it wouldn't have stopped me buying an Amiga

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, dr.diesel said:

I fail to see why the topic was even mentioned and has nothing to do with the X16 or it's future.

Well, it looks to me like this was posted to General Retro Chat (not X16), so this seems appropriate enough.

Thank to @Perifractic for signal-boosting Dave's response to the public reaction. It's too bad the IBM guys made their monitor power cable more complicated than first appears. The only reason I wondered about Dave's continuity test before inserting the paperclip was because I'd watched the videos out-of-order and so knew he was about to blow up the power supply. I would be interested in a video from an engineer doing a proper tear-down of one of those machines (possibly the one Dave had, even, since it's already presumed dead) to learn how that cable worked, among other things. Maybe donate that machine to EEVBlog? I'm sure he'd love to explain all the ways someone could turn a bodge into a botch with that thing.

I have, personally, used paperclips like that in the past. I'm not an expert, but I did learn of that technique from experienced troubleshooters, and had fortuitously found a guide that was directly applicable, so there was no guesswork involved. That said, I've also seen folks use small-ohm resistors (100Ω, I think?) in some circumstances just to make sure they aren't actually shorting something.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I saw the "process" video, and saw that Computer Reset were helping him open those boxes.  At that point, I realized "this is not valuable equipment".  If it were, David would be using tweezers.  I've seen how he tiptoes around Apple, Atari, and Commodore hardware.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, StinkerB06 said:

He then bought the wrong type from the hardware store, putting it in the PSU caused the machine to not turn on.

Something else that occurs to me, and if there's an engineer or technician who reads this then please correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't Dave's choice of fuse have nothing to do with whether or not the PSU was dead?

I mean, there are three possibilities, right? Either the replacement fuse was correct, or it was wrong and would not blow in the event of overdraw, or it was wrong and would blow under normal circumstances.

  • If the fuse was correct, then it was correct and the PSU was simply dead.
  • If the fuse was wrong, and would not blow in the event of overdraw, then we would have seen magic smoke, angry pixies, or Dave might have simply died(*) on camera. Since none of that happened, the PSU was already dead.
  • If the fuse was wrong, and would blow under normal circumstances, then it would have blown if the PSU was not dead. Since that didn't happen, the PSU was already dead.

In all of these cases, the PSU was already dead and the choice of fuse made no difference.

(*) If it bleeds it leads, right? I mean, dying seems like a steep price to pay to entertain one's followers, but some youtubers will do damn near anything for that ad revenue. I assume Dave's financial means are such that he doesn't need to stoop to such grotesque tactics. 😛 Besides, brushes with death is a niche already being filled by Mehdi Sadaghdar on ElectroBOOM.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think I probably would have done more checking on the power switch (including probing the center pin to figure out what that did, but the Dremel thing is way overblown. 

Keep in mind that while this was a prototype, it also already didn't work. Using a paper clip to bridge the power switch pins was a risk, but I also expected it to work if the monitor really was showing 0 (or nearly 0) ohms when switched on.

And, honestly, we've all let the magic smoke from time to time. My first time was in high school, when I connected a speaker to a running amplifier, blowing up the power amp IC, and the last time was plugging a DC power plug with the wrong polarity (damn the person who thought center-negative on barrel connectors was a good idea..)

Personally, I think blowing up a piece of gear is a rite of passage. If you haven't blown something up, yet - you aren't trying hard enough.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
28 minutes ago, TomXP411 said:

If you haven't blown something up, yet - you aren't trying hard enough.

Hear hear!

I have an uncle who's literally named "Spark" within the family. I imagine you only need one guess why.

Today, he works as a contractor for a NASA project to develop batteries for fully-electric airplanes.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Eh, all we learned is that David like everyone else is human and sometimes screws up; I don't see this having any significant impact on X16. In fact, it bolsters the case for making a new "retro" computer as we'll be able to fiddle with it without worrying we might be damaging vintage hardware.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
If you haven't blown something up, yet - you aren't trying hard enough.

True. The only ones who never blow anything are the ones who are never doing repairs in first place.
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Right, as I think David said, the only people who get nothing wrong are the people who do nothing.

 

Whilst I can see the perspective of some people about some of the things, with nearly a million people having lost their lives from this terrible pandemic, abusing somebody because of an old metal screw is frankly preposterous. Some people need a reality check.

 

 

  • Like 9

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, Perifractic said:

Fair enough. Did you watch his response video?

I did.  Are you suggesting that some people comment on videos without watching them? 🙃

All of this is hindsight of course, but it seems easier to start by focusing on the monitor.  It appears, at least superficially to be completely standard for the era.  It has a video cable, a switch and a 3-conductor power connection.  If we assume it really is just a standard monitor what it the probable wiring of the power connector?

As for the rest of his response, I am setting that to one side and looking forward to his next video.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll be honest, I cringed a bit when I saw him do the paperclip thing because I've always been told to never to that, but I thought there wasn't much anything else he could try and that thing wasn't working anyway. Besides, if this is the normal procedure and other experts are baffled as to why it didn't work, the fault lies in the complexity of the system being repaired, not the one attempting the repairs. In retrospect, of course what David did seems dumb, because we know what happened. Armed with the foreknowledge, it's easy to get angry and blame him. But I think no one would have questioned it if the computer didn't blow, even if it still didn't work.

Now, the only real controversy in my book is that he doesn't show if he tried what seemed to be the boot disk. That's all and no need to be salty or toxic about it. The comment section of that video was a mess and just not very fun to look at. I'm more disappointed by the youtube community than by David's damaging a rare, albeit stubborn, prototype which nobody knew anything about anyway. David could have easily decided not to do the video at all and that computer would have remained largely unknown by most. Isn't anyone glad to know this exist? You know, the first thing that went to my mind was "gosh, what other prototypes do we not know about which are stored somewhere ready to be discovered?".

I don't think the X16 will suffer from this. The Commander X16 will succeed or fail on its own, though I don't see how it could fail at this point in time. Most people I've seen are reasonable and can make the difference between an honest mistake and incompetence/negligence. They can also see the difference between two distinct projects. Why should the 8-Bit Guy's ignorance of how that rare prototype computer works be the downfall of an unrelated project? I don't believe there is any reason supporting that line of thought that can't be easily debunked.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Maybe I am too old, but I don't see the big deal. I see tech videos all the time (modern and retro) that do things differently than I would. Sometimes it works, sometimes not, we all live and learn.

As far using a paperclip to power up a PSU or jump a connection, that's common, even today on modern hardware. Similar to firing up a build outside of a case with no switch, just shorting the power switch pins on the MB with a screwdriver.

Cutting proprietary or uncommon screw heads off, I have done that as well on old hardware. Eventually, all hardware needs servicing, one way or the other.

Personally, none of this changes how I feel about the X16 or David. He had nothing to go on with that computer, other than his experience, and as he said, he's done that sort of thing many times with no problems at all. As have many of us.

I didn't even know this was an "issue" until I seen this post. 🙂

 

Edited by Strider
  • Like 7
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It was a nice response video, thanks @Perifractic for putting the link here. It gives a bit of insight in David's reasoning, and from his point of view, I can fully understand why he did what he did. The one thing he probably didn't anticipate, him being a Commodore person, is that there are people who feel as passionate about old, rare IBM hardware as he feels about old, rare Commodore equipment like the C65 he mentioned. To them, it's like he held a brand new rare C65-like prototype and used that paperclip and dremmel on it. Not saying this warrants any hate speech or other types of abuse, but at least I can someone understand the passion someone can feel when encountering such a rare IBM device.

As for some of the other points he made, I think he misses the point. Even if someone's YouTube channel is 100% politics-free, when you know that YouTuber is, say, virulant anti-abortion and women's rights, thinks gays are sick and need to be cured and whatnot, you would 100% "cancel" them if you're pro-choice and pro-lgbtq rights, since watching videos generates revenue, and you wouldn't want to support someone with believes completely opposite yours. The second point he misses is the Morgan Freeman comparison. This is definitely not the same as comparing a white person to Sylvester Stallone, as the "all black people look alike" (and the variant "all asian people look alike") meme does have racist connotations, so as a white person comparing a black person to another black person, even if they do look alike even to other black people, is somewhat tricky. David's remark is not racist per se, but him not understanding what could be racist about it, is a bit short-sighted.

Anyway, I for one think that all those haters wouldn't by a CX16 anyway, so I don't see this project being in any kind of danger because of this.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/3/2020 at 1:09 PM, codewar65 said:

I'm behind David 1000% on everything said here. Thanks Perifractic for posting this and putting this to bed.

ignore the haters. 

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i would never attempt half the things that David does. A friend of my grandfathers who worked on TV's in the 50s killed himself trying to repair one. He touched the wrong thing and got electrocuted. One of my college professor's who worked on the UNIVAC had a bolt of lightning shoot out his nose from trying to repair a tv.

Even really really really smart people make mistakes we are human not perfect. 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/23/2020 at 1:33 AM, markboston36 said:

ignore the haters. 

Haters gonna hate. Even if facebook algorithms train more every day, it's unlikely to affect target market of people who see the CX16 and go,  "wow, cool! ".

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/3/2020 at 9:40 PM, TomXP411 said:

Personally, I think blowing up a piece of gear is a rite of passage. If you haven't blown something up, yet - you aren't trying hard enough.

Quite so.  Been there, done that.

Bruce McF and Taylor Swift got it right.  Haters gonna hate hate hate hate hate hate.

Corollary: hackers gotta hack hack hack hack hack hack.

Edited by rje
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/4/2020 at 11:37 AM, Cyber said:


True. The only ones who never blow anything are the ones who are never doing repairs in first place.

Programmer: "What an outrageous attitude you hardware guys have! It's important to take care with these things!!!!"

{Runs new assembly language code, it crashes the first 16 runs until all the typos and incorrect logic has been cleaned up.}

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Please review our Terms of Use