Thursday, January 10, 2019


Here at work, the elevator is broken.  It seems that the circuit board fried itself and we're waiting on a replacement.  It's not generally a big deal, as the building is only two floors and most folks use the stairs anyway.

So, one of the tech guys asked about it, and I told him that the circuit board was fried.  Then I asked him why he didn't just build a new circuit board.  He looked at me like I was crazy.

"Yeah," I told him, "back in the Dark Ages, when I was in high school, we'd go down to Radio Shack, get a piece of circuit board plastic and build our own circuits.  We'd use wire, capacitors, resistors, and a solder iron.  We used to make simple radios from parts."

Low tech still works.  We don't know how long the elevator will be "down", but I'm sure that low tech could fix it.

Speaking of which:

Recently, my son and I were talking, and someone mentioned a common kitchen match.  Grandson, six years old, had no clue..  He's a smart kid, a whiz with his tablet, but he had no idea about proably the most important breakthrough in the history of the human condition.  Fire.  When man learned to harness fire, it was huge.  Everything else, all new technology flowed from that discovery.

Grandson now knows how to operate a standard kitchen match.  It's very low technology, but it works, and it's still a life-changing tool.


Anonymous said...

One of those fire striker permanent matches would make a good gift. Much like a lighter, these units are filled with lighter fluid and a metal shaft with a bit of material at end, along with a striker edge is run across the flint rod on side of unit. Voila - a match that burns. Insert to extinguish or replenish when fluid is burned out.

Less than $10 in many places.

DaveS said...

Ah yes - a six year old boy who has now discovered the wonder and power of being able to create fire! When the novelty of matches wears off, show him how to start a fire using a bow and drill - that'll keep him busy for a few more years until he masters that. Hopefully he doesn't burn anything down while he's experimenting.

Old NFO said...

I'm betting it wasn't a strike anywhere match. Those are getting harder and harder to find!