.I.P. for D.I.Y.

From: Loboyko Steve <sloboyko_at_yahoo.com>
Date: Wed Apr 24 22:01:26 2002

I don't know if this is true. In the last five years,
I've found projects and parts I would never have dared
to imagine doing or owning, as a result of the
Internet and Google. I lived in a major city as a kid,
and even its large library was nothing compared to an
Internet account and a used $200 PC. I like to point
out that Issac Asimov imagined that people would have
a terminal in their homes from which all information
would be accessible. But his books were generally
written as though they were hundreds of years in the
future. This is better, and this is right now.
Collaboration across great distances is easy, and
projects can be done by virtual groups - like the one
I've read about in this group reconstructing source
code from an AIM-65. I didn't even KNOW anyone in my
city interested in things I was interested in, and I
wouldn't have known how to find them anyway if there
were any.

I do miss the "Amateur Scientist" atricles in
Scientific American. The projects often had real
scienfic merit, were all absolutely ingeniously
simple, and were occasionally mind-bogglingly
dangerous, i.e., "fun". I built an infrared laser in
high school from one of those articles so powerful I
took it apart 1/2 hour after finishing it! Invisible,
and capable of shattering glass while reflecting of
off surfaces that didn't seem to be reflective. Wow!

As far as the items listed at the bottom of the
article, I have one word to say: Google. I found all
of this stuff in 2 minutes 20 seconds, on a dialup -
and several sources to choose from.

Still, I do wish that there was a place for the
"generalist" to go on the Internet. What the Internet
needs is an authoratative and often-updated list of
common mechanical and electronic surplus supplies for

--- "Douglas H. Quebbeman" <dquebbeman_at_acm.org> wrote:
> >> I got this URL for an article in Scientific
> American that seems
> > appropriate for this group :). The last paragraph
> reads:
> >
> > "Evidently, the something-for-everyone model
> epitomized by Heathkit and
> > the Amateur Scientist column can't compete
> anymore. Specialized sources
> > and Internet newsgroups cater to each skill level.
> But much of the
> > mentoring and serendipity that the diverse
> community of amateurs offered
> > has been lost. It is hard not to regret its
> passing."
> Well, I didn't know this about Edmund Scientific.
> Crap. I've
> been looking for the older catalogs, now even the
> more recent
> ones I've got will become collectable unobtainium.
> Where will I buy water wetter?
> Where will I buy Nitonol wire?
> Where will I buy flock paper?
> Where will I buy cheap assortment of lab glassware?
> Where will I buy an ultrasonic cleaner?
> Where will I buy a good Chinese microscope?
> and so on...
> <sob!>

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Received on Wed Apr 24 2002 - 22:01:26 BST

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