You can solve anything with duct tape.
At work we are working on some software for a set top box (STB) and the only way to get updates onto the box is with a specially modified serial cable. We’ve got about 50 STB’s floating around the office and one cable. As you can imagine, the cable is always in high demand.
Today i needed to update my STB. After some searching, i finally managed to track down the cable. But wait, what’s this? Two of the three wires that are ever so fragilely soldered to the circuit board were just floating about loose! Turns out someone had removed the housing from the business end of the cable to try and figure out the hardware configuration so we could order more cables. A noble effort, to be sure. But they hadn’t bothered to replace the housing and now the wires had come loose – rendering the cable completely useless.
What to do? Nobody at work actually had a soldering iron (i checked all over the place). Fortunately, i know a guy i used to work with who lived about 10 minutes away who happened to be at home. FIELD TRIP! Turns out the 10 minute drive took about 25 minutes thanks to a car wreck and heavy traffic. Anyway, after a brief time we were back in business – the wires were successfully reattached.
What does any of this have to do with duct tape? In order to prevent this from happening again, Chuck (a brilliant co-worker who came along with me to actually do the soldering work [you didn't think i did it, did you?]) suggested that we tape up the wires and circuit board with duct tape. Sure, why not? And hell – he even went the extra mile and formed the tape into a rough approximation of the original housing.
Long live duct tape!