Should you correct production mistakes?
shoppa at trailing-edge.com
Wed Aug 25 17:57:40 CDT 2010
> Tony Duell wrote:
>> I could trivially desolder the IC, straighten the pin, and solder it
>> properly. But should I? What would others do?
> Had we found any problem analogous to that in the PDP-1 restoration,
> where the machine operated correctly despite a manufacturing defect, I'm
> sure we would have had a debate on whether to fix it. I think my own
> opinion in that case would be that we should leave it alone, but tag the
> module (paper tag attached with a short loop of string) and document the
> issue in the system logbook.
> For something that isn't considered a museum artifact, I'd be more
> inclined to fix it.
Whatever happened to "if it ain't broke, don't fix it"?
The ability of a robust assembly and QA process to result in working systems,
despite small manufacturing errors, is remarkable. If the board passed QC
and was released into the wild and is still working decades later, that
is a fact worth noting but I see zero reason to correct it. I don't doubt
anyone's soldering skill but there is still a small and nonzero chance
that any attempted "fix" would result in hassles.
When I was in college decades ago, I got to help a civil engineer who
had tried to build a Heathkit maybe 10 years before that but never got it
working. I looked inside, found a few diodes he had reversed, and said that
was the reason. He looked at me incredulously: "You mean a couple of
incorrectly assembled parts will stop
the whole receiver from working?". Yep. "If we designed bridges that way,
there wouldn't be a single bridge standing in the world!"
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