Hi Jim, Andrew,
Hope you don't mind me stepping in. I do so only with all parties agreeing to Net Etiquette rule #1, No offense intended, none taken.
The ideas here have become very philosophical. Jim and Andrew both make very good statements. I had to read this 3 times to grasp it. I would like to think the ideas run deep, but the reality might be that I'm just slow.
>Home brew computer club
That was then, this is now. Let's drop this comparison.
>...kitting and assembled boards ... hard and difficult
Popular and Radio Electronics offered many projects, some with full kits, some with partial (hard to find components) kits, some with PCB's only and others with nothing but a parts list and perhaps a vendors list for uncommon parts. Everyone has their own style. Indeed, it is very sad if some older folks are "suffering in silence". But what of those older folks that can't surf the internet? I don't like to close the door on anyone, but yet, I have stairs to reach my front door. Offering an assembled board does not help if someone doesn't know it's being offered. Anyone wanting to know, only needs to ask, there is nothing embarrassing about asking. There are no dumb questions. And if I ever saw such a question, I would happily build something for a modest fee. I think most anyone in this community would, because we love this stuff. Regards to it being "hard and difficult", I disagree, this forum is all about making it easy and accessible. I believe Andrew was just pitching ideas to support his "style" of project.
>...more than "just a"
Jim, you are absolutely right. You have accomplished a lot and I was very pleased to meet you at WoC 2012.
>...cringe at the emails that state "we have a great new PCB design. I need 20 people to sign up to start this process"
Jim, I love your energy and enthusiasm.
>.... letting automation take care of the dirty jobs.
Ahh, here we go with "style" again. We've all heard, it's the journey not the destination. I'm sure you felt the opposite during your drive to Toronto. Perhaps you look back and say "the drive was worth it" or you might say "the drive was 1/2 the fun". Either way, it's your style. We can rush to write our "Hello World" program or we can savor each step. Jim, by the length of your email, I believe you are the type to savor (I'm just making a guess here). The point is, there are no "dirty jobs". I often take the time to pick up a resistor, measure it (because I can't see the colours very well) and put it back in the right bin. The resistor is not worth that amount of time, but I still do it, why? Perhaps if it's the last one, then it's worth the time to save me a trip to the store, but that's not why I do it. I do it because I love playing with electronic parts.
>... my 9 year old daughter, who asks every night "are there orders tonight?"
Cool! I have a 9 year old girl too! I love her dearly. Everything we LOVE makes our lives wonderful. Now I'm starting to sound like one of those hippies in the Home Brew Club.... but if there is a commonality between then and now, it's our passion and LOVE for what we do.
PS. Jim, I have a bone to pick with you. Now that I have your attention. At the WoC 2012, you introduced me to the MiniLogic Logic Analyzer. I bought one, and LOVE it... but, I later found that they were taking the program supplied by Saleae. From what I heard, this program evolved from some shareware project for this type of analyzer, but it still deserves to be supported. Following this, I purchased an authentic Saleae Logic Analyzer and retracted my statements about the "knock off" product. The authentic Saleae product is more expensive, but still worth every cent. I do not blame you in any way, I should have known it was a knock off. I told you I was slow. Ah, now I remember... the only dumb question is the question never asked.