Old Computer Collecting vs Electronics Building

a.carlini@ntlworld.com arcarlini at iee.org
Thu Feb 2 17:52:09 CST 2006

Marvin Johnston wrote:
> One thing I've been concerned about for a while is what seems to be
> the lack of electronics building skills. *My* feeling is the desire
> to work on this stuff is going away and I'm not sure why.

Because you can buy X for much less than it would cost you to
build X, in fact you can probably buy X for much less than the
cost of building the subset of X that you actually want.

It must be very hard making a living wage fixing TVs etc. these days.

You can still make money designing electronics (at least we employ
some such people in the UK so I assume they earn at least enough
to eat :-)) but I'm not sure that this will continue to be the
case for much longer. The same goes for software engineers like me.
There's nothing that we do that could not in principle be done
almost anywhere else in the world - and there are plenty of 
places where it is cheaper to hire workers than in the UK.

I'm sure that argument must be pretty obvious to most people
(perhaps not to teenagers, but certainly their parents must
know and the vibes will filter through).

> BUY the argument that components are so small now that nobody can
> build or hack equipment anymore as I view that more of an excuse for
> not building.     

I do not buy that argument either. Most people never even open
the box up so the size of the components is not something they
know about! For that matter, most people do not fix their
washing machines or dishwashers or vacuum cleaners ...
and none of those (that I've had to play with) have small
components in them.



Antonio carlini
arcarlini at iee.org

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