To My Readers

If this is the first time you're visiting my blog, thank you. Whether you're interested or just curious to find out about PCB reverse engineering (PCB-RE), I hope you'll find something useful here.

This blog contains many snippets of the content in my books to provide a more detailed overall sampling for my would-be readers to be better informed before making the purchase. Of course, the book contains more photos and nice illustrations, as evidence from its cover page. Hopefully, this online trailer version will whet your appetite enough to want to get a copy for yourself.

Care to Share?

If you enjoy what I write here, please do me a great favor by recommending the blog and sharing posts that you think are worth reading via social medias or emails. Sharing is a good and healthy community spirit, and the very least we can do if we have benefited from the ideas and insights of fellow engineers. It is also an effective means to encourage authors like me to keep blogging and posting useful articles.

Thank you and have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Latest Review from UK

It's been almost five years since my first book The Art of PCB Reverse Engineering was published. Still, I'm happy that there are occasional reviews from international readers who appreciate my work and giving me the much needed endorsement. Here's one from the UK this year:

This book is really informative, the Author really does explain things in detail. I am half-way through getting to grips with the Visio software. I’m looking forward to completing and purchasing the next book in the series.

For readers who have bought and read my books, I would love to hear from you too! Do leave a review and claim your bonuses. There are freebies for this book as well, in case you didn't know.

And if you find my books beneficial and useful, especially for those interested in this niche topic, do help to recommend and spread the word. I don't advertise as I believe part of the modest royalties earned is best devoted to charities, so if you buy my books you are doing a good work as well.

Take care and stay safe, my friends!

Thursday, September 10, 2020

PCB-RE Probes

When performing PCB-RE to determine the connectivity between components on a PCB, a pair of sharp probes is essential if not indispensable. Most probes that come with a DMM is usually blunt and bulky, making it difficult to probe fine-pitch IC leads and SMD component pads. Working in the PCB testing lab, there is no shortage of spring-loaded probes of all tip types and sizes, so I would convert some of these and insert them as extension on my DMM's existing probes. It worked pretty well except that you need to DIY and custom-build them to your purpose.

With online shopping gaining popularity and many Chinese electronics companies joining the fray, you can find all sorts of PCB gadgetry and equipment at a fraction of the price, compared to the more branded ones in the industry. Recently, I bought a pair of sharp-tip probes online for less than five bucks:

It arrived in about two weeks time and I put it to the test. The quality is good and the gold-plated (or is it bronze?) sharp tips worked surprisingly well on the Gigabyte video card I was reversing on. Except that it's not spring-loaded like the test probes I used in my former lab.

Anyway, can't complain too much for that price and quality.

Sunday, August 30, 2020

Microsoft Visio 2016

When I wrote my first engineering book on PCB-RE back in 2014-15, I was using Microsoft Visio 2007 for illustration. The current book which I'm writing will feature Visio 2016, which is a much improved and streamlined version. Here is a two-page sample:

Since coming across Visio twenty years ago when it was sold by Shapeware, I have never looked back or considered any other drafting tool for my work. As far as I'm concern, Visio is still the best 2D CAD program for its ease of use and powerful features. And I'm sure my readers would readily agree after going through those beautifully created diagrams found in my PCB-RE trilogy books.

If you have not tried it, I suggest that you download an evaluation copy from the Microsoft site and give it a go. You'll not regret it.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

PCB-RE Preparation Checklist

There are things that often bear repetition. This is especially true if you are doing PCB reverse engineering which requires not just the skillset but also the supporting information and trade tools. As I mentioned in The Art of PCB-RE, there are four basic consideration when beginning a PCB-RE project:

1. Accessibility of the probe points
2. Bill of Materials
3. Conformal coating
4. Datasheets

I termed them the ABCD of PCB-RE preparation work which in a nutshell summarizes the key areas to help you decide whether to proceed or call off the attempt. Of course, as most readers would realize, there are more to the above involved in real-world PCB-RE practice. This is just the appetizer, not the main dish. Nevertheless, it is still an important serve.

Perhaps there are those who work best with a kind of standard checklist. Well, your wish is granted! I've just completed the chapter on preparation work for my upcoming book, Manual PCB-RE: The Essentials and included the following checklist:

I'm releasing it here for the benefit of my readers and hopefully it will be useful for your PCB-RE preparation work just as it did for me. It's free for personal use but if you intend to put it in your article or blog, please respect an author's copyright and either make mention of the source or include a link to this post.

Take care and stay safe, my readers.

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Some Statistics

This blog began in February of 2017. Less than four years into its run, it has garnered over 24,000 views by readers from 117 countries worldwide. That's exactly 60% of the countries in the world based on the 195 figure given by Wikipedia. Of these countries, the top 10 have over 100 readers and the leader, which is US, has over 1000.

It would be nice to have more engineers interested in this niche topic visiting and finding information that will help them in their PCB-RE journey. This can only happen if current readers help spread the word in electronic forums and social media to create greater awareness.

With the current CoVid-19 situation and many staying and working from home, perhaps it's a good way to spend time reading up on this subject and preparing yourself with a new skillset that will prove invaluable to your career when the lockdown or restriction is finally lifted.

Think about it and invest your time wisely, my friends.

Saturday, August 15, 2020

Preface to Book IV

Since completing the trilogy to the PCB-RE subject, I had thought that my mission in writing this niche topic is done. The idea of a fourth book, an essential guide to the manual PCB-RE approach, was hatched in the midst of writing my third book, but I shoved it aside due to other commitments. It was only during the CoVid-19 circuit breaker period that had given me the time to re-visit it and pondered over a suitable candidate for the book.

Here is the preface to book 4:

Manual PCB-RE was given a basic treatment in my first book, The Art of PCB Reverse Engineering, using a simple network adapter card to illustrate the steps involved using Microsoft Visio 2007. Besides the detailed instructions on how to create the layout and schematic diagrams, there is also a chapter on Advanced techniques to tap into the power of Visio's Smartshapes.

In the trilogy, PCB-RE: Real-World Examples, I showcased a more complex board that is through-hole with some SMD components, applying the mixed-signal methodology to solve the connectivity puzzle and produce a complete 3-page schematic diagram. This, along with other practical examples, should be enough to get readers new to PCB-RE to a fresh start.

However, I am aware that there are those who just want a no-frills guide to quickly launch them into the deep waters, with the essential know-how to handle surface mount PCBs with all the trappings and real challenges these boards present. After looking into my inventory, I came upon and decided on an Nvidia GeForce 8600GT graphics board which has all the making of an interesting PCB-RE project to work on.

It's by no means an easy PCB but I thought why not give it a try and re-live some of the good moments I had? So here I am, spending at least 3-4 hours a day with this graphics card in front of me while typing away on my keyboard, and drawing the illustrations using Visio 2016. The good news is, I have just completed three out of the five chapters outlined in my preface, including a smashing great chapter on the layout diagram. The fourth chapter is currently in the works but the real challenge will be to reverse engineer the board itself, which I foresee will take up more time and effort than the other chapters put together.

Of course, there will be two introductory chapters that cover the tools of the trade as well as knowledge and skillsets of PCB-RE, additional resources to enable an apprentice to go further, and also tons of information in the appendices for reference. So stay tune and look out for more news.

Saturday, August 8, 2020

Charity vs Piracy

It is a sad fact that book piracy is rampant and unstoppable in this internet age. Illegal downloading of books might not cost the person downloading them or the scumbag who stole the content in the first place, but it costs the one person who should really be rewarded for his or her months of hard work, the author.

Increasingly, though, it seems that those who are looking for free copies of pirated books are falling victims to phishing scam sites that ask gullible users to hand over their credit card information before proceeding to download their ostensibly free copies. It begs the question: is it worth the risk and trouble just to 'steal' a meager amount from a hardworking full-time author who spent so much time and effort to produce a book?

Granted, there are authors who made millions from their best-selling titles; but these are the rare breed amongst the sea of writers, many of whom are driven by a desire to share their valuable knowledge and invaluable experience through printed materials or electronic mediums. Surely they deserved to be treated with respect and dignity, not plundered and deprived of their means to keep them writing.

For me, being an indie author, I have stated before that a percentage of my book's earnings (which is not really much since I'm a non-US resident or citizen, I'm subject to a further 30% withholding tax) goes to charity. Before the Covid-19 pandemic, I was able to contribute to two organizations, namely the cancer society and the kidney foundation; but the present crisis has hit the world economy really hard and book authors are not spared either. After some deliberation, I had to cut down to just supporting one.

I'm not sure if there are readers out there who manage to get an illegal copy of my book(s). If you do, I do not intend to pursue the matter. All I ask is that you buy a meal for the poor or homeless around your neighborhood and that will be enough. A kind heart is what makes us all human, and what goes around... comes around. You never know when you'll need a helping hand.

Take care and stay safe, my friends.

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Best of Both Worlds

I belong to the generation which witnessed the transition from black-and-white to color television, as well as monochrome to full-color monitor. While no one will want to go back to the old way of watching TV or doing computing, nonetheless there's a sense of nostalgia to it that's magical.

What am I driving at here, you may be asking. Well, actually I was toying with the design of the cover for my fourth book, Manual PCB-RE: The Essentials. The idea of featuring the Gigabyte GeForce 8600GT video card with half-photo half-illustration seemed like a neat idea. But I decided to take it one step further by including a reversed version in the interior cover page which has to be in black-and-white for a non-color print. This has created an interesting contrast with the book's front cover which is in full-color. Here's what they look like side by side:

It's tough to write engineering books but I always take great care and delight in designing my own book covers, and this is the best one yet. Hopefully it will not only spur the imagination of would-be readers but create a great anticipation for its release. When will it hit the bookstore? I really have no idea, but I'm working on it as much as my schedule allows me right now.

Do leave a comment if you like what you see. It will certainly help to cheer me on this arduous journey of being an author.

Monday, July 20, 2020

Reader from Pakistan

Yesterday I received an email from a reader who resides in Pakistan, requesting for the free resources on the purchase of my books. Here's what he wrote:
I have had the chance to read your books and I did really enjoy it. It contains good references for beginners to understand the concept and build on the foundation. The experiences you shared for PCB troubleshooting is another area on which you can write a complete book, I think. I would definitely love to learn from your experience. A step by step guide based on your experience can help a lot to others trying to understand/learn the work. 
The thought of writing about PCB repair and troubleshooting did cross my mind, but given the current schedules I have there is no way I can squeeze out more time for that. Of course, this is not a niche subject to write on, judging by the available books and resources online. Given a choice, I would rather write on PCB testing on different ATE platforms, something which I had mused on in previous posts.

Poster of my former work center which I created.

Readers who have hands on experience in any of these automatic test equipment (ATE) are welcome to leave your comments here. If the response is good enough, I may consider writing about them...

Thursday, July 9, 2020

GeForce 8600 GT Layout Diagram (Part 2)

Continuing with the layout diagram for the Gigabyte GeForce 8600 GT graphics card, I have completed the solder side (rear view) of the board. Again, for contrast, here's the negative photo:

And the Visio drafted diagram:

I have also created different layers for each category of components for better management and flexibility of display:

Notice that besides assigning colors to components belonging to layer, it also shows the number of objects (not components) on each layer. I say 'objects' because each component is made up of a number of basic shapes which are grouped together. And until I merged these shapes, Visio will count them as individual objects still.

At this point of my PCB-RE process, though, there's no need to do so. But having different components in their own layers enables me to turn on or off a group of components at will. And once I assign reference designators to them, it will be much easier to locate a particular component, especially since the PCB does not order them according to location placement. These are two of the advantages of using Visio to create PCB layout diagrams which are mentioned in my books.

Monday, July 6, 2020

GeForce 8600 GT Layout Diagram (Part 1)

Three weeks ago, I mentioned about reverse engineering a GeForce 8600 GT graphics card. I haven't really gotten into doing it yet as I was busy with some other commitments. In between, when I could find the time, I would work a little on the layout diagram. Well, I managed to create the front view of the card using Microsoft Visio. For comparison, here's the negative photo for contrast:

And here's the Visio drafted diagram:

I've included the PCB artwork just for the fun and effects but there's really no need to do so if you only want to have a basic layout diagram for your PCB-RE work. Hopefully, this example gives you a glimpse of the versatility and power of Visio in creating technical illustrations.

I have yet to include the  reference designations of the components but that would be very cramp and messy, unless I use layering to segregate the components by their categories. This advanced technique is discussed in my first book, The Art of PCB Reverse Engineering, along with how to create stunning layout and schematic diagrams using Visio's powerful features.

Thursday, July 2, 2020

The Company That Nobody Leaves

These days it's hard to find a company that provides job satisfaction and continuous career growth path to retain valuable employees. At the same time, it's definitely harder to find loyal employees who will stick with a company through thick and thin. That's why Linear Technologies stands out among the myriads of electronics component manufacturers with one of the lowest staff turnover rate. So what is their secret?

Besides the solid engineering foundation and strong legacies left behind by its founders and legends in the analog design world, the company's top management believes in one important virtue: PATIENCE. What that means is, they value their engineers' passion and ideas, and give them the time and personal space to bring out their best ideas and innovations. They are able to achieve this remarkable feat by reducing company politics to near zero and bureaucratic processes to a minimum.

Watch the following interview video on Linear Tech's co-founder and executive chairman Bob Swanson and see for yourself why it is one of the most profitable semiconductor companies in Silicon Valley, and one of the few companies that nobody leaves.

Incidentally, the above portraits of Linear Technologies' past design gurus are featured in my sequel book, PCB-RE: Tools & Techniques. There are many other engineering anecdotes that will inspire you and give you one of the best reading experience that a good engineering book should.

Click on the book cover to order your copy on Amazon now.

Note: As of August 2016, Linear Technologies was acquired by Analog Devices, Inc.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

How To Take Good PCB Photos

When it comes to writing your own engineering books, good photos and illustrations are indispensable. No reader enjoys looking at photos that are blurred or poorly taken. Most of the time, I would figure in my mind what I wanted to include in each page and then search for relevant photos that do not have copyright, or if there were, I would ask for permission from the owners as much as I could trace the source. There were also times when I had to buy from stocked photo platforms like Shutterstock, but I felt it was worth the price to ensure my readers have an enjoyable reading experience.

But for the PCBs that I worked on, I depended mostly on photos taken using my mobile phone camera which, in most cases were quite adequate for the job. For my next book which is currently in the works, I started entertaining the idea of a more professional approach. The first attempt using a phone camera for the Gigabyte graphics card looks like this:

It's kinda...OK, except that perspective errors had obscured some reference designators around those tall components, and also the lightings were not evenly distributed and cast shadows on certain areas of the PCB. So I went online to look for some sort of studio light box that is compact but big enough to house the card and found one which is suitable for my purpose. The LED lightings were bright and even against a white backdrop, ensuring minimum shadow effects.

To correct for the perspective errors, I used a bridge camera to take the photo at a farther distance using a zoom factor of 17. The result:

Can you see the difference? I'm certainly pleased with how the photo turns out. Readers can now expect professional quality photos in my next book, Manual PCB-RE: The Essentials. I'm not sure how long it's going to take me to write but I can assure you that it will be worth the wait. I will update as the book progresses but in the meantime, if you have not gotten yourself a copy of my trilogy books, please proceed to the Order page to take a look, click on the links to bring you to Amazon where you can preview the contents, and then decide.

Take care and stay safe, my readers!

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Graphics Card PCB-RE

My old desktop PC which is self-configured around an Intel P35 motherboard running off an E8400 Core2 Duo CPU, is still working well after almost 12 years on. Of course, I have upgraded the DDR RAM from 2GB to the current 8GB, and replaced the now defunked 250GB hard disk with a solid state drive of the same capacity. The last to go was the Gigabyte GeForce 8600 GT graphics card using an NVIDIA G84 GPU, which had caused some issues due to its Windows 10 driver compatibility and subsequent hardware failure.

Somehow, I didn't think to throw that old piece of 'junk' away. Nostalgia reason may be, but on hindsight it seemed to have been a good decision. Recently, I started working on my fourth book, Manual PCB-RE: The Essentials, again after shelving it aside for nearly one and a half years. The structure of the book is already in place; what it lacks is a candidate. Naturally, this graphics card came to mind. Besides being a contemporary example of a consumer PCB, it has some interesting features which makes for a rather challenging PCB-RE study.

I'm not sure how long it will take me to reverse it and then put it into content form, perhaps partially to showcase the essential techniques employed in manual PCB-RE. Hopefully, there will not be too many disturbances or disruptions to distract me from my writing.

Monday, May 18, 2020

New Look, Better in Print!

It's been over five years since my first engineering book, The Art of PCB Reverse Engineering, was published on Amazon through its publishing arm, Createspace. It had since merge with Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). Recently, I did a thorough reformatting of the content of the book to migrate it to the Kindle platform. Since I was at it, besides changing the font to be consistent with the rest of my PCB-RE collection, I thought it would be good to give the dated book cover a total makeover as well. So here it is:

The new font is slightly larger than that found in the original edition, which should look better in print and provide some measure of relief for readers with weaker eyesight. Here are some two-page  samples:

If you had been put off by the former font, perhaps this will allow you to reconsider again. Note that it is only available in the full-color edition (I still keep the Standard edition as it is for nostalgia sake). Readers who bought the non-color Standard edition may want to consider getting the new color edition in Kindle ebook form, which retails for only $29.95.

Just click on the book cover above to go to the Amazon store.

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Reader from Spain (Espanol)

"The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plains." So goes the nursery rhythm. Well, now that my books have found readers in that part of the world, I can safely say that PCB-RE has also gone ashore on the plains of Spain. Here's the review of one Spanish reader, Jose RV:
He's new to PCB-RE and posed the following question to me in his email:
In order to practice some manual RE, where can I find two layer PCBs? I have some old routers but they are 4 layer, which I think will be a bit challenging.
My reply:
Double-sided PCBs are quite rare these days. You might want to try finding them at the electronics hobby shops. Four-layer PCBs are more challenging for sure. PCB designers using four or more layers are usually driven by necessity due to the complexity of their circuit designs. 
As a beginner, avoid attempting on large pin count type PCBs as you might get discouraged easily. Learn to develop your own personal style and skill, and the right strategies for different type of boards. The Art of PCB-RE and Tools & Techniques does cover these topics.
As the proud owner of my first two books, he even sent me a photo complete with a nice bed sheet background:

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Kindle eBook (Part 2)

Two weeks after releasing the trilogy book, PCB-RE: Real-World Examples in ebook form,  I am happy to announce that The Art of PCB Reverse Engineering is also available on Kindle. I've given it an overhaul with a different font, one that I used for the sequel book and trilogy. Best of all, it is in full-color for only 40% of the retail price of the printed edition.

You can go to the Kindle store to take a look and download your electronic copy after placing your order. Thank you for your support in honest purchase. Have a great day and stay safe!

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Kindle eBook (Part 1)

The current CoVid-19 situation has led Amazon to impose restrictions on fulfilling overseas orders for printed books. Having received some feedback from readers who wanted to order my PCB-RE books but could not, I decided to give the eBook option a try, beginning with the third of my trilogy works, since it is the shortest of the three. Still, it took quite a bit of effort to format the original manuscript to make it display correctly on Amazon's Kindle device.

I'm taking a risk by going the electronic distribution route, considering the rampant piracy out there. But desperate times require desperate measures, and besides reducing carbon footprint I'm able to pass the 40% cost saving off the book price to my readers as well. If this goes well, I might consider doing the same with my other two books.

If you do not own a Kindle tablet, you can still download the Kindle App into your Android device and place order to download a copy to read. Click on the image above to go to Amazon store.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

V.Ray Follow-Up Email

After making the LinkedIn connection with this reader by the name Valery Ray and reminding him to collect the book freebies and review bonus from me, here's his email reply:
Thank you for connection and for offering to share additional materials available for the first book. 
I've started doing component level repair of electronics with (and without) schematics more then 40 years ago. Although since that time my technical interests have moved onto particle beam instrumentation and FIB technology, once in a while PCB repair returns to operation multi-million-dollar FIB/SEM instrument, bringing great satisfaction and some profit. 
Interestingly enough many of the methods you describing are similar to the approaches I've developed, but some of the techniques you describe are different, and as effective and useful as they are practical. Systematic approach presented in your books and collection of useful information is not only invaluable for a novice approaching PCB-level reverse engineering, but also very interesting reading and collection of reference material for professionals.
Well, you heard it from a field-weathered engineer with over 40 years of experience in PCB-RE. So if you're still wondering whether to go into this niche but satisfying endeavor in your engineering career, why not get yourself a copy to acquire the coveted knowledge and shorten your learning curve?


Today, the total pageviews for my blog has crossed the 20,000 mark!

Readership from different countries now stand at 110. Thank you for visiting and recommending this blog. It would not have been possible without your help!

With the current stay and work from home advisory due to the CoVid-19 situation, please continue to share the posts with those whom you think might find useful and beneficial for their engineering endeavors.

Better yet, get my books to help you occupy your time and equip yourself during this probative period, and be ready when the restriction is lifted and the economy restarted.

Meantime, take care and stay safe, everyone!

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

LinkedIn Review

Have not login to my LinkedIn account for quite sometime, so it was a pleasant surprise to find a text message from a reader who bought my three books:

Here's his review and my reply:

Curious as to his profession, I went to his page and this is what he described about himself:
I'm a consultant - I solve problems you can't get solved by anybody else, for any money in ways your engineering department have declared heretical.
Now that's one heck of a confident guy indeed!

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Coronavirus (CoVid-19)

Since December last year, a pneumonia-like symptom was detected among flu patients in the Wuhan city of Hebei province in China. City officials initially dismissed it and even attempted to suppress any alert that might cause alarm to the Central Communist Party (CCP) in Beijing. But before long, this virus started to spread quickly among the city residents and spiral out of control as those infected transit in and out of the city to other parts of the mainland.

Soon, other Asia countries also felt the impact of this unknown but highly-contagious virus. As a precautionary measure, flights to and from China were cancelled while citizens working abroad were quickly brought home through chartered flights and given 14-days stay-home orders. Cruise liners were denied docking when the British-registered cruise ship Diamond Princess was found to carry infected passengers. All this while, China's infection statistics literally exploded in the epicenter as the city of Wuhan was put into lockdown mode.

Singapore was not spared either, considering there are many Chinese nationals who have obtained citizenship and permanent resident status, and these have went back to their former homeland to celebrate the Lunar New Year with their families and friends. The same quarantine measures were also enforced on them upon their return from the festive holiday. Thankfully, the government had learned well from the 2004 SARS saga and the National Center for Infectious Diseases (NCID) quickly implemented various measures to contain the spread.

The World Health Organization (WHO) closely monitored the situation and development in Asia and in particularly China, refusing to announce it as a pandemic since that would most certainly cause worldwide panic and impact the global economy. To remove the stigma of associating the virus to China by its initial name Wuhan-virus, WHO codenamed it the CoVid-19 virus, a new strain of the coronavirus that is especially lethal to the elderly and those with underlying health or medical issues. The west, however, seemed oblivious to this growing threat and went on its daily routines as usual.

Before long, Italy reported its first cases of infection and within just weeks, the number spiraled as its medical facilities buckled under the weight of thousands of patients needing healthcare. To date, its fatality rate has overtaken China and South Korea as many succumbed to the virus. Two important reasons could be attributed: 1. Italy has the second highest number of elderly in the world, next to Japan; and 2. Its culture of exchanging kisses and cheek rubs most likely accelerated the infection process. But the virus is not done yet. Other European countries such as UK, France, Germany and Spain became the latest victims of CoVid-19's ravages.

It was only a matter of time before the United States felt its sting. As of now, New York has become the epicenter in US, with other states like Florida, Illinois and Michigan taking a hard hit. Predictably, Wall Streets went from its long-run Bull market straight into the Bear bucket. Billions worth of stock investment were wiped out overnight as companies and businesses struggle to stay afloat from the international trade and supply chain freeze. Unemployment and business stagnation forced many to look to the government for financial aid and bailout.

Indeed, the future looks bleak and dark for the whole world as WHO finally declared the CoVid-19 a worldwide pandemic. The only thing we can do now is wait and pray that with the coming of summer, there will be some relief and a possible cure soon for this scourge...

Thursday, February 27, 2020

From Italy with Thanks!

A few days ago, I received the following email from a reader by the name Leandro Genovese who purchased my trilogy books:
I discovered only now that there are some other useful resources over the special books you wrote! I would like to receive this freebies and the bonuses, but yes, I'll attach in this email the proof of purchase. I want to add a special thanks for the help your material gave to me. It's very useful for a newbie like me and I'm very grateful.
Thanks Thanks Thanks!!! 
Here's the proof of purchase he attached (a photo of the three PCB-RE books):

From his name and the foreign text in the email header, I gathered that he is from Italy. It's always nice to know that my works are greatly appreciated by readers around the world, especially those who are new and starting out on this exciting journey of PCB-RE.

I wish him all the best and thank him for the support through honest purchase, which is important for a full-time author like me.

As they would say in Italian: Grazie mille!

Thursday, February 13, 2020

A Reader's Bookshelf

Had been absent from Twitter for quite a while, so it came as a plesent surprise when I was browsing through the latest posts that I came across someone putting up a picture of his bookshelf in the works. Right in the middle shelf are two of my books! Can you see them?

This young engineer by the name of Jeremy Hong is no stranger to me. He bought all my books on PCB-RE and left glowing reviews for the first two. Not only that, he conducted talks on this niche subject at various hackers convention and meet-ups, and recommended my sequel book PCB-RE: Tools & Techniques in his presentations.

This was what he said about my books in an email:
So far I am really enjoying the books, they have been super informative and in some cases kind of mind-blowing, but I'm finally glad that I now have reference books dedicated to this subject.
You can google and find him with the search words 'Hong Electronics'.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Occasional Bulk Orders

Among the trilogy of my PCB reverse engineering books, the sequel PCB-RE: Tools & Techniques is the most popular, with the first book The Art of PCB-RE coming in a close second. Sales of these books are quite constant across each month but occasionally there would be a bulk order made, which I suspect were procurement by a company instead of an individual.

Why would I say that? Well, individuals don't just buy 10 or 20 books at one go unless they want to give the books away as Christmas gifts to their friends, and we're talking a big group of friends who have interest in this niche topic. On a company level, however, there are some good reasons to do so:

1. It's core business is providing PCB-RE training to customers and since my books are currently the only available resources on this subject, they are used as a kind of reference textbooks for the training program.

2. It is engaged in PCB-RE products or services and one of the best corporate gifts is books related to their nature of business. It's a kind of reward for loyalty to the company or appreciation for long-term customers.

3. It is advantageous to use the books as attraction at exhibition booths to potential customers looking for a solution to their obsolescence problem, or who are thinking of buying PCB-RE product software or else engaging such services.

The above three points are real-life examples from companies who have ordered from me personally at special rates, instead of ordering online at the retail pricing. But whatever the reasons, I'm grateful for these companies who supported me in honest purchase of my books, and I wish them well in their businesses and future ventures.