The General Approach to Computing - A Ramble
teoz at neo.rr.com
Thu Apr 23 15:25:20 CDT 2009
----- Original Message -----
From: "Warren Wolfe" <lists at databasics.us>
To: "General Discussion: On-Topic and Off-Topic Posts"
<cctalk at classiccmp.org>
Sent: Thursday, April 23, 2009 4:04 PM
Subject: The General Approach to Computing - A Ramble
> Sorry for the digression. The point being that it used to be MANDATORY to
> be able to fix one's own computer, lest one become dependent upon the pity
> of others to get anything done. I find that approach still useful to some
> extent, and I've always been able to fix my own machines at least as well
> as the (generally) trained-chimp-level techs at local fix-it shops. 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?
> I guess, to sum up this ramble, Thanks, Tony! I enjoy reading your posts,
> and appreciate your mind-set on the issues.
You can fix anything sold today if you want to spend a bunch of money for
equipment to deal with surface mount chips (BGA type equipment is not
cheap). You can get spare parts (or boards to desolder parts from) at a
recycler or ebay. Most people do not go that route because it is not
economical and they don't have the skills or time to do it anyway. It is
also much easier to troubleshoot something that only has a few chips on it,
compared to the older stuff. I have an Atari 65XE in parts currently and a
Commodore 1750 REU in parts waiting for sockets to redo the RAM. The 65XE
was broke when I got it and I want to fix it, it would be easier just to buy
a working one but I like to tinker anyway.
I don't want to go back to the old days when machines were slow and
unreliable, when you had to fix a machine just to be able to use it.
There are millions of people driving cars that have no idea how to do
anything other then put gas in it and maybe change the oil. Why should
computer (another tool like a car) be any different today? Both cars and
computers are a mature product now where people and companies specialize in
doing support so the user does not have to. Don't expect the masses to want
to expend the time and energy into their commodity tools as you do to your
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