Not an oxymoron. There are design features that improve the reliability of computer hardware. In an introduction to hardknuckled hardware, we give you a few basic ways to cut your computer downtime, including maintenance tip number one: get out your vacuum cleaner.

photoComputers are not naturally reliable. Back in 1946, technicians wore roller skates to keep the original Penn State ENIAC calculating. It burned up vacuum tubes with lightning speed. Flaky operating systems are the major culprit today, but hardware also needs tender loving care, particularly in healthcare applications, where patients can’t wait for you to strap on your skates.
(above) A tube integrated circuit from an IBM system sold during the 1950s. Photo taken at The Retro-Computing Society of Rhode Island,

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