Screwing around (Was: Multimeter recomendations

Teo Zenios teoz at
Tue Sep 28 08:30:15 CDT 2010

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Jules Richardson" <jules.richardson99 at>
To: "General Discussion: On-Topic and Off-Topic Posts" 
<cctalk at>
Sent: Tuesday, September 28, 2010 8:54 AM
Subject: Re: Screwing around (Was: Multimeter recomendations

> Tony Duell wrote:
>>> I suppose I like to think that nobody who isn't trained in the equipment 
>>> would be allowed to mess with it - but if they've got a cigarette 
>>> dangling from their mouth at the time then they probably deserve 
>>> everything they get :-)
>> You might want to rephrase the first part of that. I have never been 
>> trained in computer repair. Or in soldering, Or in using machine tools.
> You know what I mean! ;-) "Trained" as in understanding the equipment - 
> self-training by reading, dismantling etc. is perfectly acceptable. I 
> never think of training as always meaning having someone looking over your 
> shoulder and telling you what to do.
> The propane grill's an interesting case (although I'm sure it relates to 
> air compressors) - even then I wouldn't expect someone to be messing with 
> valves unless they knew which way they were supposed to be turning (or 
> hooking up lines), but I suppose it's hard to guarantee that it won't 
> happen at some kind of social event...
> cheers
> J.

There are different levels of training. Lets take the propane grill for 
example, anyone can pretty much turn on the gas and hit the igniter and then 
cool a steak. Some people who tinker can adjust the air fuel mixture by 
moving objects or making different sized holes to make the grill a little 
hotter or cooler running even by trial and error. And then there are those 
who know the theory behind combustion and can calculate the perfect orifice 
valve without blindly changing things that could lead to explosions (because 
of air/fuel mixtures) and can even convert the grill from propane to natural 
gas. So you have operating knowledge  (user), maintenance and proper setup 
knowledge (technician), and in  depth design of combustion material and flow 
metering (engineer), and even possibly advanced theorists who know all about 
combustion period (scientist) if we needed to cook using alternatives to a 
common grill (also needing the engineer to then design it, the tech to set 
it up and adjust it for proper burning, and a user to cook the steaks after 
everyone else fought over who was more important).

Screwing around is how many things were discovered over the centuries, but 
doing it blindly is also how many people end up dead.

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