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Date: Thu, 19 Feb 98 9:15:19 PST
From: "Peter G. Neumann" <neumann@csl.sri.com>
Subject: Shuttle conversation; April already?

  [Note: The last previous Friday the 24th was in October 1997,
  and the next one, ominously, is in April 1998.]

>From THE WEEKLY UNIX NEWSPAPER, London, 16-20 Feb 1998, Issue Number 667

On Friday the 24th, I was watching the NASA Channel on cable TV to see how
the experiments and Shuttle crew were doing.  The men on board needed to
send some adjusting instructions to the automated setups doing experiments
in the cargo bay, and they were using a laptop to do the sending.  As some
of you may have heard, there was a "computer problem" on board as reported
by CNN.  The dialog between the crew and the Johnson Space Center (JSC) went
something like this:

Crew: Urgent, Johnson, we can't get a DOS prompt!
JSC:  Press "C:<enter>". 
Crew: Heck, we're not familiar with all this.
JSC:  What screen are you looking at? 
Crew: It says "My Computer", and, er, various other icons.
JSC:  Click on "Start", and then "Shutdown". 
Crew: You click the "Start" button to shut down? 
JSC:  Yeah.  Isn't it obvious? 
Crew: Somebody get me an aspirin.
JSC:  Just hit the damn "Start" button. 
Crew: We can't do that.  It didn't load a mouse.
JSC:  Didn't load any mouse at all? 
Crew: Well, yeah, a PS/2 or something.  But we don't have one of those.
JSC:  Okay.  Press Alt + Esc. 
Crew: And what does that do? 
JSC:  It should help. 
Crew: Negative.
JSC:  Stand by, will attempt to replicate the problem down here. 
Crew: Roger.

<Long Pause>

JSC:  Okay then.  Double-click on the MS-DOS icon. 
Crew: I don't have a mouse.
JSC:  Go to the backup plan. 
Crew: Which is what? 
JSC:  Dock with the Russians.  They have a Unix workstation you can borrow.



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