19 February 2007
For the scrap-iron drive
The contraption pictured here (actually, ours is just like this, albeit with a poorer paint job) is a Uarco 2060 forms burster, which dates back to the Jurassic period. (How old is it really? The 42nd and Treadmill operation has been running for thirty-nine years, and no one I talked to this morning remembers a time when it wasn't here. I'm guessing late 1970s or very early 1980s.) It bursts no more, alas: the motor is no longer speaking to the controls, and no one has any idea which of the twenty thousand or so strands of wire under the lid is failing to deliver, and a new wiring harness would have to be knitted out of rare and precious Unobtainium, of which we don't have an abundance. There's no real Plan B here: we're going to have to get a new machine, which costs about as much as a small car. On the upside, it will probably last longer than your Kia Rio does.
Posted at 12:44 PM to PEBKAC
Uarco 2060 forms burster
Now you can burst your forms with the forms burster the professionals use!
Which nevertheless leaves me with this dome-scratcher: what is "forms-bursting" and why does it require the investment equivalent of a Kia Rio?
Remember the good old days of dot-matrix printers? Boxes of continuous forms with tractor feed?
During a slow week, we go through something like 50,000 forms, the vast majority of which have to be reduced to single sheets before they can be mailed out or otherwise processed.
Hence the five-digit machine.
Joe told me of the death earlier today. He is sure after 10,000 pages must be ripped by hand that the new machine will be ordered. None too soon?
It can't be too soon for me; I did a thousand or so myself. It is theoretically possible that the New Gizmo will arrive by Wednesday, by which time I will have another 10,000 pages with which to test it.
I think that you could employ several hundred undocumented workers for decades for less than a new burster would cost.
Do it for the children!!!
Well, the new beastie has been ordered, and will arrive sometime tomorrow or early Thursday. It is smaller, about the same speed, and likely smells better. (The old one occasionally gave off the scent of dying wire.) The vendors, bless their flinty little hearts, will have the old one hauled away and beaten into plowshares or something.
For "tomorrow or early Thursday," read "late Friday." Damn.