Ohm the Eskimo
...or, one of the best website names ever.
I ran across www.mightyOhm.com while checking out my web traffic source statistics. First, I love the name. Second and more important, the site and blog has some cool content centered around DIY electronics and a good set of other electronics blogs worth checking out.
Back in my day - in the dark ages (or golden age, depending on your perspective) of DIY electronics, everybody was building stuff. Our building blocks were discreet logic chips, op-amps and eight bit microprocessors and that was about it. I was an RCA 1802 guy myself. That was an odd duck processor, but it was good enough to go to Jupiter, so that's good enough for me.
If we needed to write code, we just used an assembler provided by the manufacturer or hand assembled and entered the machine code through a hexadecimal keypad. The barriers to entry were very low.
In the '80s, every thing became much more complex. The tools got expensive and DIY was set back quite a bit. In the '90s, it was all about the Internet and software DIY was king. But now, thanks in large part to companies like Microchip and Atmel, DIY is back with a vengeance. And it's both hardware and software these days. It's both analog and digital.
So here's a question: Why should a PCB assembly company encourage DIY electronics? Well, for one, it's very cool. I build junk too (I'm a Microchip PIC guy). Second, it encourage the spread of geekdom into mainstream society, and that's a very good thing. This is the technology century and the more people that get it, the better we'll all be. Finally, the commercial side of me says: engineer by day, hacker/bender by night.
Along with the MightyOhm, here are a couple of other DIY sites I spend some time on:
These aren't the only DIY web sites, but it's a good, fun set of them. Gobs of useful information.
When Ohm the Eskimo gets here
Everybody's gonna jump for joy