Part 4a hacker’s perspective

Engineering and reverse engineering are two sides of the same coin. The best makers know how to hack their tools, and the best hackers routinely make new tools. I might set out to design a circuit, and find myself reverse engineering a chip because the datasheet is vague, incomplete, or simply incorrect. Engineering is a creative exercise; reverse engineering is a learning exercise. When you combine them, even the toughest problems can be solved as a creative learning exercise.

I spent over a quarter-century in school, but I’ve learned more about electronics from reverse engineering. I love trying to figure out why the engineer behind a piece of random hardware made certain design choices. Highly skilled engineers ...

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