[ubuntu-uk] (no subject)

Sean Miller sean at seanmiller.net
Tue Nov 13 10:11:00 GMT 2007

> I think it was Alan that mentioned solder bridges etc. I realised a couple
> of years ago that that was why computers are not as much fun as they
> used to be.  When I started you had to know how to use a soldering iron,
> you had to know that a paperclip was the perfect tool for testing that
> a dumb terminal's RS232 port was working properly, you had to be able to
> solder RS232 cables and later centronics cables if they broke.  We have

We were very technological at Foster Yeoman in the late 80s... we crimped
our RS232 plugs and sockets... the fact that you only put in the pins that
you needed gave a useful visual clue to which end was which... 1,2,3,6,7 and
20 were the most common connections I recall, but sometimes a piece of
hardware would need some other pins connected... not sure I ever used a
paperclip to test a dumb terminal, mind you... I did have a "dummy" plug
with pins 2-3 and 6-20 connected inside at one stage, I recall... never
quite figured out why people paid out money for "test plugs" when it was
simple enough to make them yourself... guess it's the "grated cheese"

Now, you can't even have a soldering iron without a qualification from
> the safety inspector and lead in solder - whoa there - toxic material -
> can't have that - you'll need hard hat, eye protection, fume protection,
> gloves and a leather apron before you can touch it.  We were so poor we
> couldn't afford evo-stik - we got our highs breathing in resin cored
> solder fumes :-)

lol!! I still have a soldering iron somewhere, can't remember the last time
I used it... do hardware shops still sell solder?

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