Chapter 9

Entering Without Breaking: Getting Inside

Once upon a time, getting at the circuitry of a consumer product was a piece of cake. Remove a few screws, pop off the back, and there it was. Providing access to the inner workings was a tradition begun in the vacuum tube days, when the unit’s owner needed to get inside on a frequent basis to change tubes, lamps and fuses. After semiconductor technology replaced the troublesome tubes with considerably more reliable transistors, there was still the expectation that the buyer might have a legitimate need to reach the circuit board. Early solid-state products even put the transistors in sockets! As semiconductors got sturdier, the sockets went away, which was good since their flaky connections ...

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