[sdiy] TI to buy NatSemi!!!!!

David G. Dixon dixon at interchange.ubc.ca
Wed Apr 6 01:36:15 CEST 2011

> In the real world, outside of the cosy slow-paced realm of 
> DIY, breadboarding went out years ago.  It is far cheaper to 
> go straight to PCB and debug there, not least because the 
> majority of the components you'll be using are SMT.  RFis 
> about the only domain where traditional breadboarding still 
> takes place, although that has its own weird rules of 
> construction and may still use SMT devices, stuck down to 
> copper ground planes with wires sticking out at odd angles.
> Other than home DIY projects the last time I breadboarded a 
> non-trivial circuit (i.e.,  beyond push buttons, LED 
> blinky-lights and connectors :-) was around 1993.

Yeah, I don't breadboard anymore either.  It's too hard!  I just build the
board, cut, scrape, suck and resolder until I'm completely happy, then build
the final board.

However, I do see students walking around the EE department with
breadboards.  Also, they often build these little robot thingies which have
a little breadboard right on the back.  And there are breadboards in all of
the undergraduate labs, so I'm pretty sure they still need to know how to
read resistor values.

Really, I guess there's no point in arguing about this.  I personally don't
care too much about what professional EE's do for a living.  For my part, if
electronics were only about programming chips, I'd have never gotten
involved with it in the first place.  I've had to write simulation code as
part of my "real" job for 25 years, and I personally don't consider it a
recreational activity.  I don't hate it; I just don't really want to do it
for fun.  Electronics gives me an outlet to actually build stuff (and by
that, I mean physically as well as conceptually) without spending too much
money or taking up too much space.  And yes, the aesthetics of the actual
components (like the colour bands on the resistors) are an important part of
the experience for me, stupid as that may sound.

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