Electronics Barn closing

From: Fred N. van Kempen <waltje_at_pdp11.nl>
Date: Mon Aug 2 19:19:24 2004

On Mon, 2 Aug 2004, Tony Duell wrote:

> 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').
Very true.

> 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.
I'd like to insert ".. or do The Talk well enough for a sales job".
Sales is doing well now, since the harder the times get, the better
they pay (good) sales people.

> component layouts and schematics, etc). Nor dows the fact that a lot of
> modern sutff is made deliberately hard to dismantly non-destructively.
Well, a better reason for no longer repairing things is simply the level
of integration we have gotten to. There *is* no way you can repair
something that consists of a PCB the size of a stamp, loaded with a s
single black thingie. If that thingie breaks, the whole thing is

> 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.
Tony, what planet are YOU on? There have always been "for parts" or
"scrap" systems around, even for C64's. At the time, it was easier to
find one of those (usually, ecause of a dead power supply or a fucked-up
case) than to find a replacement 6522 or whatever. And yes, I have
repaired well over 2,000 C64's. That was my job :)

Plus... many folks can (probably..) work out how to replace a board,
or modular part of the system (power supply) with another one from an
also-dead system.. but would NOT be able to actually track down the
real problem and do component-level repairs, simply by lack of skills
in that field. In the service industry, time is money, to field techs
did (and still do) board- or system-level swapping, and the (skilled)
folks in the repair departments (try to) do the rest. Not good per
se, but also not bad. I cost $500 an hour (OK, 475, really) so me
spending hours on locating a problem in a module from a Catalyst
stack would quickly grow extremely expensive. Rather, I'll come in,
determine which board to pull, and then pull it. Often, this is
already known because of system monitoring and reporting, so I know
which board to bring in advance. Result? Customer is happy (quick
response, short downtime), and so is Cisco (because customer is and
remains happy.) They will then off-load the actual board repair to
some repairing facility.

(and yes, Sellam, that is usually off-shore in a low-wages area :-)

Received on Mon Aug 02 2004 - 19:19:24 BST

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