Chips...

Watching the video 'Beyond The Mind's Eye" on YouTube, I was reminded about how much technology has advanced since 1992. Being that I work in the technology field, this is something that we kind of take for granted. I do often question whether technology has come too far however. Older, more analog technology was easily diagnosable and repairable at the component level. It just tended to be more robust. However technology has advanced so far that it has made a society which is now used to just throwing out electronics if they break. Forget about fixing things anymore. Who wants to do that? Who can do that? Not many people.

In the above photo, I hold in my hand a 'platter' of integrated circuits (IC's). These specific IC's are all SATA controllers, for controlling hard drives and other SATA devices. There are about 600 of them on that platter. Only the ones more than an inch or so from the edge of the platter will be useful. The ones closer to the edge have a greater failure rate. This isn't due to the fact that they could be touched, or messed up physically, but rather due to the focus of the projection which imprints the design onto them. It is less clear, or accurate towards the outer edges. In any case, I purchased this platter for about $5. Back in the day, it would of likely been worth at least ten times that.

There is no question that technology will continue to advance. But technology is only as good as those who design and program it. I have noticed that there seems to be a decline in practical engineering over the last decade, and that is quickly becoming more prevalent.

The future should be interesting.