Why old-school is still important (9 Aug, 2017)

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Why old-school is still important (9 Aug, 2017)

Postby aardvark_admin » Wed Aug 09, 2017 11:23 am

This column is archived at: http://aardvark.co.nz/daily/2017/0809.shtml

Where is all the contingency planning by central government to cope with the aftermath of something like a large CME or other major disruption to the technology we have come to depend on so much?

Should we be demanding that such plans are made -- so that *when* (and it is when, not "if") this happens, we're able to pick up the pieces and continue on without taking too much of a hit?

What plans have *you* made to cope with such an event?

And aside from your daily dose of Aardvark, what would you miss the most if all your electronics and the grid stopped working for a protracted period of time?
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Re: Why old-school is still important (9 Aug, 2017)

Postby goosemoose » Wed Aug 09, 2017 11:42 am

Me radio! Being a ham that would probably be what I'd most miss. Any other technology bits and pieces I could do with out except perhaps my chainsaw. Does a chainsaw count?
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Re: Why old-school is still important (9 Aug, 2017)

Postby GSVNoFixedAbode » Wed Aug 09, 2017 12:04 pm

So many businesses have jumped onto the 'In the Cloud' scenario, as well as SaaS. Lose electronics, lose computing, lose communications, and business transactions just stop. Most modern businesses would collapse without comms for 2+ days.
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Re: Why old-school is still important (9 Aug, 2017)

Postby Muscular Jam » Wed Aug 09, 2017 12:45 pm

stuff my phone, what about eft-pos at the local supermarket? “There are only nine meals between mankind and anarchy” Alfred Henry Lewis (1855-1914). I have a cache of baked beans cans for emergencies, now I just need a way to generate energy from methane.
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Re: Why old-school is still important (9 Aug, 2017)

Postby hagfish » Wed Aug 09, 2017 12:50 pm

Our supply chains for everything are very long, very 'efficient', and very fragile. Most households don't even have enough fresh water on hand to last three days. Some of us could probably survive a few days without Facebook, but once the supermarkets and their distribution centres have been looted/requisitioned, I expect we will revert to "bullets'n'beans" within a week, and "rocks'n'fingernails" within a month. I'm not looking forward to it.
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Re: Why old-school is still important (9 Aug, 2017)

Postby paulw » Wed Aug 09, 2017 1:16 pm

Lose power in a CME and you go back to the 1850s. Not sure how we would cope with these days.. Guess a lot of cell phone paper weights.
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Re: Why old-school is still important (9 Aug, 2017)

Postby roygbiv » Wed Aug 09, 2017 3:17 pm

I would not even contemplate resurrecting old valve sets and non electronic stuff as they would probably become unusable with age already, and I do not think anyone makes them now. So in that respect old-school is not a realistic contingency. As to how much damage CME and the resulting EMP would cause to electronics is contentious, the US have studied the consequences of high altitude EMP attacks from nuclear detonations, and cannot determine how or what such impacts would be. There is speculation of degree of impact which depends on the size of such electronic device ie the smaller, the less impact, and make 'helpful' suggestions such as turning off equipment first following a prior warning of such event.

For me, if warned I would turn everything off, take batteries out etc. The degree of damage would be depending on several "ifs" :
If we receive enough advanced warning
If turning electronics off does protect them
If everyone can do it to every electronic device in time

It would be a world first though everyone doing something for a mutual benefit
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Re: Why old-school is still important (9 Aug, 2017)

Postby aardvark_admin » Wed Aug 09, 2017 3:21 pm

roygbiv wrote:If turning electronics off does protect them

Only to a degree... you'd be much better advised to put them in a metal box or wrap them in aluminium foil if time allowed.

Remember that smaller components mean lesser induced currents and voltages but it also means smaller transistor/FET junctions that are more susceptible to damage due to such currents/voltages. It'd be a crap-shoot.

And those old valve radios would likely just need a few new capacitors and they'd be good to go. The valves themselves don't seem to age when not being used and although the old pressed-carbon resistors sometimes get a bit fussy with age, they're easily found and replaced too.

The bigger problem is that they're power-hungry and mains electricity could be a scarce resource for some time.
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Re: Why old-school is still important (9 Aug, 2017)

Postby phill » Wed Aug 09, 2017 3:52 pm

same idea again
every server farm / data storage should be in some sort of faraday shield
with the ability to physically unplug the mains power input
then its those businesses that value their data and ability to carry on that need to also create faraday areas
so biosecurity and health yes
tax and public service pay departments ... not so much
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Re: Why old-school is still important (9 Aug, 2017)

Postby hagfish » Thu Aug 10, 2017 8:07 am

aardvark_admin wrote:
roygbiv wrote:If turning electronics off does protect them

Only to a degree... you'd be much better advised to put them in a metal box or wrap them in aluminium foil if time allowed.

Remember that smaller components mean lesser induced currents and voltages but it also means smaller transistor/FET junctions that are more susceptible to damage due to such currents/voltages. It'd be a crap-shoot.

If we get only a few minutes' warning, my microwave will be stuffed with every little device I can cram in there. First in line will be my beloved Kindle.
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