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Author Topic:   magnets and computers?
Snaggy
Moderator

Posts: 1450
From: Canada
Registered: Jan 2000

posted April 10, 2002 17:16     Click Here to See the Profile for Snaggy   Click Here to Email Snaggy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'll pass on this question, which was emailed to me today....

I'm wondering how do magnets effect your cpu?.. As in
putting a magnet on my Titanium G4.

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+Andrew
Super Geek

Posts: 210
From: Boston, MA, USA
Registered: Aug 2001

posted April 10, 2002 18:08     Click Here to See the Profile for +Andrew   Click Here to Email +Andrew     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'd say it depends of the type and placement of the magnet: putting one of those flexible refrigerator-type magnets on the lid probably would do any harm, but having some sort of rare-earth magnet next to the hard drive would probably not be a good idea.

-Andrew

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supaboy
SuperBlabberMouth!

Posts: 1252
From: Columbia, SC, USA
Registered: Jan 2000

posted April 10, 2002 21:50     Click Here to See the Profile for supaboy   Click Here to Email supaboy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think Andrew+ is right, but the question got me thinking. If the magnet is sitting there, it'll probably be fine. But when you start moving magnets around wires, you generate a current. Maybe there's some sort of arrangement of things where if you were scooting the right magnets around just so, you could induce a current in the wrong CPU or motherboard trace.

Wouldn't that be the most interesting tech-support call you got that day, huh?

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iballoondesign
Alpha Geek

Posts: 335
From: Midland, TX
Registered: Dec 2001

posted April 10, 2002 23:21     Click Here to See the Profile for iballoondesign   Click Here to Email iballoondesign     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just keep magnet away the computer.

When I was kid, I play around with magnet around the television and picture appear in wrong color.

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Riding on the balloon, flow over the world...

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macadddikt18
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Posts: 1309
From: In a world beyond your understanding
Registered: Jan 2002

posted April 11, 2002 05:53     Click Here to See the Profile for macadddikt18   Click Here to Email macadddikt18     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
well there is a difference between a magnet near a tv tube and a magnet hear some sort of circuit. I don't think it will do anythig to to motherboard or chip unless it is really powerfull. But it may mess up your hd. Best not to try it though.
Nayt

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c:/dos
c:/dos/run
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spungo
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Posts: 290
From: Hell's toilet
Registered: Jan 2002

posted April 11, 2002 07:09     Click Here to See the Profile for spungo   Click Here to Email spungo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You have to bear in mind the inductive effect as well - if a powerful magnet is moved near a CPU (or a CPU is moved near a magnet), the induced voltage may be enough to zap a wee transistor.

..and I'm not sure hard drives would neccessarily be happy near one either...

I suppose, if in doubt - don't do it - especially a nice G4.

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baker_nat
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From: england
Registered: Jan 2000

posted April 11, 2002 08:12     Click Here to See the Profile for baker_nat   Click Here to Email baker_nat     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm sure you have some greater reason, far beyond my understanding, but, if I didn't know any better, i'd say that this is a little dumb.

In answer, If you put a magnet on top of your cpu, yes it would probably screw it up completely.

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ASM65816
Geek

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From:
Registered: Mar 2001

posted April 11, 2002 08:50     Click Here to See the Profile for ASM65816   Click Here to Email ASM65816     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Next to Hard Drive: TOAST
Next to CPU, RAM, or any other IC: Little or No Effect.

electrons travelling in a vacuum will move in a circle for a magnetic field, or tend to go straight (unaffected).

electrons bumping around in a conductor are going to move from high potential to low potential.

If there were a lot of "windings" in a chip, placing and removing the magnet would generate a current (as would moving across a wire), but otherwise, an equilibrium would be established, then everything would function normally.

My guess is that chips basically a few million or so short, straight wires connecting transistors, so exposure to a strong, constant magnetic field won't do much.

Running a CPU sitting on a commercial generator at a nuclear power plant may be a different story.

Note: Exposing a CPU to Ionizing Radiation (Gamma, Alpha, Beta) will cause the CPU to malfunction. Electrons suddenly jump from one place to another because of particle decay, not electric potential. Not good. Lesson: shield detonator electronics from fissionables.

(BTW: I only play Nuclear CPU Engineer on made for TV movies.)

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Once a proud programmer of Apple II's, he now spends his days and nights in cheap dives fraternizing with exotic dancers....

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xforward
Single Celled Newbie

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From: Canton
Registered: Apr 2002

posted April 11, 2002 14:04     Click Here to See the Profile for xforward   Click Here to Email xforward     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Keep in mind that in your titanium there already are a few magnets....

1. There are very powerful ones in the HD that are used to control the read/write head position.

2. There is a magnet near the trackpad that makes teh latch pop out at just the right time.

3. There are about 8 magnets under the keyboard (they look like metal disks....hey they ARE metal disks (they even pop out!)) ...these hold the keyboard in place.

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GameMaster
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Posts: 116
From: State of insanity
Registered: Mar 2002

posted April 11, 2002 14:16     Click Here to See the Profile for GameMaster   Click Here to Email GameMaster     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Errr... Alpha and Gamma mess with CPUs? Gamma radiation is produced by TV tubes and some computer monitors, so setting an open case near near a working monitor for an extended period of time would/can lead to system failures?

Wow, perhaps I should rethink my all in one system that includes a fridge, Micro-Wave Oven, an ice dispenser, an X-ray machine, a cat scan (megnetic resonace(sp) scan) and reclining leather chair.

I noticed that a lot of people mention not put a magnet by a hard drive, but no one mentioned the reason why it's a no-no. That is why placing a magnet on a recording medium that is based on metalic bits would be adversly affected by the megnetic feild. Hmmmmmmmm.... Could it be that the tiny metal peices attracted by the magnet will shift possition thus turing valuable data into unreadable, unformatted stings of 1s and 0s? It is akin to running the magent over a cassette tape, except that over a hard drive there is the posibility of currupting the surface of the disk if the magnet is strong enough.

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