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Todd, I loved your story. It reminded me of one my Mom told me, about when she was a keypunch supervisor. (Yes, remember those!?) It seems that many of her young ladies would periodically spill their Cokes, and the keys would get sticky and stop working. Her solution was - pour some water on the keys! It apparently worked every time. I, having an EE background, was HORRIFIED that anyone would consider doing something like this. Well, things back then were much more mechanical than they are now. Glad your iPod was resurrected. I'll remember in case this happens to me.

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My mom was a key punch operator as well! I used to hang around her workplace, the Denton Computer Center, while she was keypunching away. And while I don't remember knocking any Coca-Colas into the keyboard, I do remember distinctly those big, whirring System 360s (or a close relative). I think it was then that my own fascination and love with computing technology probably started. Those machines seemed so mysterious to me...those magnetic tapes spinning round and round in a dervish whir of spontaneity, never any rhyme or reason (to me, anyhow) when they stopped or started. My mom would explain that she had to type all those punchcards (people ask me today where I get my quick typing speed...I think it was genetic), then type them all over again to make sure they were correct. And if she didn't type it correctly, it meant that someone at Texas Women's University possibly didn't get paid the next month!So, water on the IBM O29 punchcard keyboards, huh? I'm going to have to ask my mom if that was her remedy as well (although knowing her, she probably never spilt a thing on one of those machines!)