The General Approach to Computing - A Ramble
ard at p850ug1.demon.co.uk
Fri Apr 24 13:55:11 CDT 2009
> On Thu, Apr 23, 2009 at 1:04 PM, Warren Wolfe <lists at databasics.us> wrote:
> > That many
> > orders of magnitude of complexity have come and gone since the IMSAI days
> > are good, in terms of what one's money will buy today, but bad in that one
> > is much less likely to be able to fix one's own equipment to component
> > level. It's not as satisfying to say "Hmmm. You need a new video card" as
> > to hold up the offending transistor and cackle. Or is that just me?
> Maybe I'm seeing this from a different angle... I don't see a lot of
> difference besides the complexity of the devices. A transistor is a
The difference to me is that I know I can't repair a transistor. I
suspect I could make a transistor, although it would be a very poor one
(The book 'Instruments of Amplification' covers making point-contact and
copper oxide junction transsitors at home). But I couldn't repair one. I
can't open the package without damaging it, so the package wouldn't e any
use once I'd repaired the insides. And the failure is very likely to have
damaged hte semiconductor 'pellet' inside, so I can't repair that.
But I can repair a video card. I know I can take it apart into separate
componetnts and put them back again without damage. I know that I can do
electrical tests to find out just which of those compoentns has failed.
What I don't like is not having enough information to be able to carry
out those tests, or worse still, once I've found the problem not being
able to get the part.
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