Electronics Barn closing

From: Tony Duell <ard_at_p850ug1.demon.co.uk>
Date: Mon Aug 2 17:40:36 2004

> 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

Alas not over here. The common attidude seems to be 'Why bother to
program when you can download it from the net' (whether it's PD/open source
stuff, or 'Warez').

In fact over here kids rarely seem to create anything much any more, and
I can't say I really blame them (note, this is not the same as saying
that I am not worried by this). You do not get a well-paid job (or even a
job at all) by being able to program, or do engineering, or... You get
one by being able ot kick a football or strum a guitar badly.

In fact people are actively discouraged from hardware hacking. The 'no
user serviceable parts' label doesn't help of course. Nor does the fact
that schematics/service manuals are difficult/impossible to obtain even
for quite simple things (I can remember when radios and hi-fi equipment
came with a schemaitc in the handbook, in fact I have an old, valve, FM
tuner where the first page of the manual tells you how to use it, the
rest of the manual describes the complete alignment procedure, gives
component layouts and schematics, etc). Nor dows the fact that a lot of
modern sutff is made deliberately hard to dismantly non-destructively.

> just get into different tools then older people who didn't have a computer
> to play with when they grew up. When I was young I went out and purchased
> some ram chips to fix my dead C64 (was stupid and touched a staticy TV while
> my other hand was on the keyboard, ESD), equipment was expensive. Today if a
> 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

We've had this before, and I still don't believe it. If you can honstly
tell me that it's cheaper (and quicker) to replace some large PCB costing
several hundreed pounds/dollars than to find the dead I/O buffer chip
(which sould cost a few 10s of pence, and which would take me about 10
minutes to find at most), then I have to wonder what planet you're on.

> electronics. 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.

Yes, iut's getting to be a prohlem for those few of us who still do spend
most of our time with a soldering iron ;-)

Received on Mon Aug 02 2004 - 17:40:36 BST

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