Acquired skills?

From: Pete Turnbull <>
Date: Wed Feb 2 17:56:57 2005

On Feb 2 2005, 16:20, Jim Leonard wrote:
> I would imagine many of us have acquired skills along the way during
> hobby/career/life with old computers.

Being able to hold the leads of two small components together in one
hand, soldering iron in the other, and touch the whole lot to the
solder reel sitting on the bench to make a good joint.

Equivalently, holding a small resistor (or whatever) in position on a
large PCB balanced vertically on the bench, whilst also holding the
solder, and making a perfect joint with the soldering iron.

Being able to solder/unsolder things on small surface-mount pads, by

Being able to repair the aforementioned surface-mount pads/tracks when
I get it wrong ;-) I did that last weekend, trying to solder some
coax to the innards of a wifi card. Oh, I soldered the coax fine, onto
surface-mount pads intended for an MMCX connector (If you don't know
what that is, it's a tiny round connector with four pins on the
corners, 0.1" apart, and a centre pin). It was when the coax flexed in
use that it took off a pad and ripped up a short section of fine PCB

> - Resting my finger lightly on a drive (hard, floppy, tape) to sense
what it is
> doing, again during a troubleshooting operation.

I've got a real stethoscope for that.

Other sad things? How about the fibre optic cables I ran from the
workbench and one of the racks to the patch panel in the workshop, and
then into the house, to carry the ATM and the FDDI? Well, I already
had a couple of hundred metres of UTP, some multicore serial and some
coax (yes, thick and thin). Learning how to put the connectors on the
fibre-optic ends was fun, since work effectively paid for some of the
equipment (I hope John's not reading this). It was putting in the 2"
round ducting for it that was the real PITA.

Spending umpteen hours writing a Motif-based application to see the
status of an ISDN adapter, which got displaced by a broadband router
before I finished the code, instead of bending down to look at the
lights on the panel. Well, it would have shown me the called/calling
numbers and bit rates too, OK?

Pete						Peter Turnbull
						Network Manager
						University of York
Received on Wed Feb 02 2005 - 17:56:57 GMT

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