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"In 1970 I found little difficulty staying 30 years ahead of the man in the street, and now I find it difficult to stay 18 months ahead of the man on the street."
- Vernor Vinge

Mining Disintegrator  
  A special-purpose boring machine.  

"...it's called a portable field model mining disintegrator. Our power source will [...] give us a little over a minute at full blast if we need it that long. Though we shouldn't need more than about thirty seconds. [To dig through more than 4 miles of rock!]"

"What's special about a mining disintegrator?"

"A funny fringe on the edge of the beam that fuses the rock or whatever so you have a lined tunnel that won't cave in."

From The Arsenal Out of Time, by David McDaniel.
Published by Unknown in 1967
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