Electronics Barn closing

From: Philip Pemberton <philpem_at_dsl.pipex.com>
Date: Mon Aug 2 14:29:26 2004

In message <001801c478c1$de6b6d20$0500fea9_at_game>
          "Teo Zenios" <teoz_at_neo.rr.com> wrote:

> I think there are alot of kids designing websites, programming, hacking, and
> making the occasional virus. The fact that they put away the soldering iron
> and took up the keyboard doesnt mean they are selfish or not creative, they
> just get into different tools then older people who didn't have a computer
> to play with when they grew up.
I think I fall in to the former category - I do a lot of programming, mostly
in C and assembler. On the other hand, I do like "getting my hands dirty"
every now and again - my hardware repair skills need improvement, but I can
build - or rather have built - a 6502-based computer from scratch and had it
run code. Now I just need to find out why it's not running the BASIC
interpreter properly - which means I'm going to need an ICE or a set of pods
for my logic analyser :-/

> pc card breaks its cheaper to chuck it and get a new/used one then it is to
> even think of looking for the parts to fix it, same with all other
> electronics.
That is, IMO, the main problem today. People just throw things away, they're
not repairable. Even my HP logic analyser is boardswap only - no schematics
or anything like that are present in the service manual. Thankfully my
Tektronix oscilloscope came with a service manual that included full
schematics. Nice to know I can at least fix the scope if and when it fails.

> Electronics repair places were the first to disapear, makes
> sense that the surplus stores that supplied those buisinesses are next in
> line to go. Even Radioshack does not carry much in the way of electronics
> parts these days.
I've started buying parts through some of the industrial electronics
companies, e.g. Farnell and RS. Farnell have been pretty good, but RS weren't
interested at all. I tried to place an order with them last year (about ?90
worth of stuff) and they refused to accept the order, despite the
announcement of the closure of RS-Electromail that was published in EPE
(including RS's "if you've got a credit card, we'll accept the order" spiel).
Their loss, not mine.
Maplin are going the same way as Tandy (RadioShack) - selling insanely
overpriced computer components. They're OK for stuff like printer cables,
certainly much better than PC World, but I wouldn't buy a CPU or anything
like that from them. Their range of electronic components is so-so, and their
discontinuation of basically the whole "Hardware and Mechanical" section of
the catalogue was a bad move IMO. Still, at least they still sell heatshrink,

Phil.                              | Acorn Risc PC600 Mk3, SA202, 64MB, 6GB,
philpem_at_dsl.pipex.com              | ViewFinder, 10BaseT Ethernet, 2-slice,
http://www.philpem.dsl.pipex.com/  | 48xCD, ARCINv6c IDE, SCSI
My other vehicle is a Galaxy Class Starship
Received on Mon Aug 02 2004 - 14:29:26 BST

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