Percussive maintenance, also known as a technical tap, is the physical concussion of a malfunctioning device in order to make it work.
Lane's Principle states: "There is no problem which cannot be solved by suitable application of blunt force." The identity of the author is unknown, but the saying was included in the MIT SIPB "fortune" program, which dispensed tech-related quotes on demand as early as 1989.
Famous taps in history
- In 1969 during the Apollo 12 mission, Pete Conrad was working on a piece of equipment called the ALSEP. He was trying to remove its power source from its case so that he could insert it into the device but was having difficulty. Alan Bean suggested he hit it with a hammer. Conrad resisted at first but eventually gave it a tap. It worked, leading Bean to quip, "Don't come to the moon without a hammer."