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"In WWII, they had a saying that there are no atheists in foxholes. I think the modern equivalent of that is that there are no jaded, bored people in the high-tech industry, in the land of really good hardcore geeks."
- Neal Stephenson

Self-Maintaining Circuit Monitoring and Repair  
  A computer that monitors itself for repair.  

Stranton put down his pencil, wadded up a sheaf of scratch papers, and began telling himself that it was time to go home. The others had long since checked out, leaving him to toy with The Gimmick.

The Gimmick was the pet name given to a special engineering problem which one or another of his staff — and a great many other staffs — had pondered hopelessly for years. The problem was to design a practical, self-maintaining circuit monitoring and repairing device which, when installed in a computer bank, would solve the incredibly complex maintenance problems of such instruments.

Well, thought Stranton rising from his drawing desk, there’s no hurry. Human labor is going to be cheap enough for a good many years yet to make the enormously expensive Gimmick a purely academic study.

Technovelgy from Gramp and his Dog, by Frank Quattrocchi.
Published by Astounding Science Fiction in 1952
Additional resources -

Compare to the repair robots from The Well-Oiled Machine (1950) by H.B. Fyfe, the self-repairing robot from Accidental Flight (1952) by W.F. Wallace, the blue collar robot from The Velvet Glove (1956) by Harry Harrison, the service drones from The Two Faces of Tomorrow (1979) by James P. Hogan and the repair drone from Neuromancer (1984) by William Gibson.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Gramp and his Dog
  More Ideas and Technology by Frank Quattrocchi
  Tech news articles related to Gramp and his Dog
  Tech news articles related to works by Frank Quattrocchi

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