Reply to post: Not surprising really

Australia's Dick finally drops off

Alan 19
Holmes

Not surprising really

It's only reflecting what’s happened in the UK. Tandy/ Radio Shack went out of business (Tandy UK is now an online independent, selling parts), Maplin nearly got bought by Farnell but they bought CPC instead. There is no profit in flogging penny resistors at retail. Almost every hobby electronics magazines in Australia, the UK and USA has gone out of business. In the 50’s and 60’s the main electronic hobby was wireless and TV then audio and digital TTL then CMOS. There was lots to explore and develop in the 60s through to the 90’s. Electronics was also taught in schools as a subject in its own right.

Fast forward to today, it makes no sense to build boards full of logic when a single microcontroller will do the job. So you have to get into software and coding. Worse, there is far more competition for a kid’s money: music, MP3s, downloads, mobiles, tablets, VR games. So why struggle trying to learn something difficult when so much fun is instantly accessible. It’s dads (as much as anything) trying to involve their kids with Arduino, Pi that keeps the interest in electronics alive. Now you buy an Arduino or IoT box and then have to figure out an interface to the real world, that’s where the interest in discrete electronics is today. You don’t repair anything, you chuck it out. It’s the whole story of our society – instant, effortless, painless gratification. It’s also dirt cheap compared to yesteryear. Where tomorrow’s engineers will come from, I don’t know. (China and India probably.)

Only my opinion...

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