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.

Top Review

I started doing component level repair of electronics with (and without) schematics more than 40 years ago, which activity often involves reverse-engineering of printed circuit boards. Although over the years my technical interests have shifted into particle beam instrumentation, electron microscopy, and focused ion beam technology fields, till this day——and more often than not——PCB repairs have returned multiple multi-million-dollar accelerators, FIB, and SEM instruments back to operation, delivering great satisfaction and some profit.

Many of the methods described by Keng Tiong in great details are similar to the approaches I've developed, but some of the techniques are different, and as effective and useful as efficient and practical. Systematic approach and collection of useful information presented in his books are not only invaluable for a novice approaching PCB-level reverse engineering, but also very interesting reading and hands-on reference for professionals.

Focus on reverse engineering instead of original design provides unique perspective into workings of electronics, and in my opinion books by Keng Tiong (I've got all three of them) are must-read for anybody trying to develop good understanding of electronics——together with writings by Paul Horowitz and Winfield Hill, Phil Hobbs, Jim Williams, Bob Pease, Howard Johnson and Martin Graham, Sam Goldwasser, and other world's top electronics experts.

Valery Ray
Particle Beam Systems Technologist

Friday, December 3, 2021

Visio Alternatives?

I've been asked a number of times by readers whether there's any open source Visio alternatives out there, and I can understand why—a single user license doesn't come cheap even for a Standard version. Of course, there are many so-called free alternatives (not necessary open source, though) that claim to be  equal to or better than Microsoft Visio. Some are cloud-based, online kind of diagramming editors that do not need to be installed, while others offer free download of their most basic products with limitations for you to try before you buy.

At best, if you ask me, these alternatives are nothing more than your usual run-of-the-mill diagramming tools with colorful and attractive templates for drag-and-drop style presentation and illustration purposes only. When it comes to creating serious engineering drawings, their arsenal of drafting tools prove to be rather basic and primitive.

In my years of using Visio, right from the start with version 4.1 Technical from Shapeware, to this present time with Visio 2016, there is never a doubt in my mind that nothing (and I mean NOTHING) out there comes close to the power and usability of this amazing piece of software. How many of these Visio wanna-be spot the following features:

        1. Multiple-page support per drawing file
        2. Layering of shapes
        3. Smartshapes and Shapesheet programmability
        4. Bill of Materials report generation

Most Visio alternatives failed on just the first feature alone. And if you have bought my PCB-RE books you would no doubt have firsthand experience of what it's capable of through the many examples that I've demonstrated.

If the full license is too high upfront, you can opt for Microsoft's monthly plans of $5 for a web-based version which is synced to Onedrive, or $15 for an additional desktop install version. This can be tied to your Office 365 subscription without bursting your bank account. In fact, Microsoft offers a free 30-day trial of its latest version. Click on Evaluate Visio to go to the site.

So go ahead, give Visio a try and see if it's the best and only diagramming tool you'll ever need.

Thursday, November 25, 2021

A Word of Thanks

Thanksgiving is a special season. It brings to mind the wonderful people we meet and the beautiful times and memories we had throughout the year. And as we gather with family and friends over a sumptuous feast, we can't help but be thankful, that despite the pandemic that has ravaged for the past two years, two things still remain close and precious to our hearts——family and friendships.

While Thanksgiving Day is not a national holiday in my country, I want to take this opportunity to thank all my readers——those who have supported my works and left glowing reviews to spur me on in this journey which I started six years ago. Your honest purchase of my books has made it possible for me to continue writing and giving to charities, however meager by comparison to other renown authors. Still, it's the thought that counts, isn't it?

It is my hope that the knowledge and experience I put into print will benefit the electronics community for many years to come. As each generation of engineers embark on this challenging yet rewarding adventure of doing PCB-RE, may they hear the faint echo of this obscure writer cheering them onwards to master this niche and coveted skillset, long after he is gone.

Happy Thanksgiving Day, my readers! Stay safe and well throughout this festive seasons...

Monday, November 22, 2021

By George!

Happened to catch a re-telecast of Ocean's Thirteen on TV late last night. The plot was interesting and the cast of characters quite entertaining. But those who watched Steven Soderbergh's Ocean trilogy must admit that lead actor George Clooney who played Danny Ocean displayed a personal charm that had audiences captivated throughout the show, notwithstanding appearances by heavyweights like Al Pacino, Brad Pitt and Matt Damon.

The attempt to pull a heist over The Bank, Al Pacino's greatest and most advanced casino, run by an AI central control and surveillance system codenamed Greco, which even The Malloy Brothers believed was unbroachable, spun out a series of strategies that ultimately saw the team made off with half a billion in winnings and a quarter billion in diamonds.

A movie is just that—pure entertainment—if there is no takeaway after viewing and reviews. Strategies aside, I believe the success of a team is dependent on the participation of every player. More importantly, though, the charisma of a leader is the glue that gels the team and at the same time gives leeway for team members to be at their best in the roles and tasks assigned.

Do you have what it takes to be an Ocean, or the top players that swim in it? 

Saturday, November 20, 2021

The Author-Reader Dichotomy

Not every book author takes pain in giving their readers the best reading and visual experience when it comes to the content and illustrations found in their books, especially those of the engineering genre. The reason is simple: it requires time and effort and to some extent, the ability of the writer to not only translate their thoughts into words but their ideas into drawings.

Among those who do, fewer still are willing to go the extra mile to produce the diagrams themselves. The easiest way is to make do with what's already available, or engage someone good at drawing to do the hard work for them. Finding consistency in the style of illustration in an engineering book is therefore even rarer.

Being an indie author and one who loves producing technical illustrations, I take pride in the books that I authored. There are times when I would spend hours drafting a diagram for a topic in discussion, only to discard or shelve it when the content underwent changes during the process of proofreading. One example is the 72-pin SIMM below:

It would seem like a waste not to include it after all the hard work and time invested, but that's just me. Being a perfectionist, I expect nothing less than the best from myself and for my readers. I believe if a reader is willing to support me through honest purchase of my books, he or she should receive value for investing his or her hard-earned money on my works.

Of course, not everyone share this sentiment or conviction. Some have no qualms stealing free copies from authors who make conscientious efforts to share their knowledge. Others go even further to rip-off the small earnings of these authors who spent months to a year writing their books, by offering pirated copies online in return for a fraction of the book price. It cost these pirates nothing (except their dignity and integrity) but it results in loss of income for the authors and ultimately the engineering communities, because without a sustainable income they had to quit writing and whatever valuable insights and experience will not get passed on.

There is no real winner in the long haul. Just some temporary gains for the unscrupulous loafers who live off the hard works of authors. So think about it before you mindlessly download the next free copy of ebook from those dark webs.

Thursday, November 11, 2021

What Goes Up Must Come Down

That's as far as gravity is concerned, though there are those who argue it is the density of an object and not the gravitational force of the earth that is at work. I'm not a physicist but an engineer, so I'll just focus on what I know best——pull-up and pull-down resistors.

When you think about it, digital circuits aren't that 'digital' to begin with once you peel off the facade that confined their operational limits to the binary universe. Since its inception until today, the term 'digital' is not just about TTL or CMOS anymore. The insatiable appetite for the never ending quest of higher operating speeds has resulted in a kind of 'digital' metaverse, one in which different operating voltages exist side-by-side and interacting with each other via translators in the form of digital 'stargates'.

If ever MCU Studio decides to come out with a new series (X-Men and Avengers are really showing their age), perhaps they might want to consider Meta-Warriors or something to that effect. Just a suggestion.

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Which Hierarchy?

Certainly not Maslow's 'hierarchy of needs'. When it comes to schematic diagrams, the term hierarchy means more than just a top-down structure:

Depending on the circuit design, a simple or complex hierarchy may be implemented to bring out the best representation possible. Still, it takes practice and experience to manage this kind of structure. Thankfully, most of us don't have to produce such designs. Deciphering them is another matter altogether.

Saturday, October 30, 2021

Your Preference Reveal Your Personality

Ever been asked which type of personality you belong to? Are you the rational (left-brain) or emotional (right-brain), the engineering or artistic type? When it comes to deciding what kind of component symbols to use in schematic diagram, it seems we're faced with the same dilemma.

Not to worry though. I'm sure you already know your preference when it comes to reading or drawing electronic circuits. But in case you're still undecided, this forthcoming book will give you a better idea of your engineering inclinations.

There is really no right or wrong, good or bad when it comes to choosing symbols, ANSI or IEEE. After all, deciphering schematics won't be fun without all the flavors and quirks out there, isn't it?

Have a good weekend and try not to lose sleep over it. (grin!)

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Anatomy of a Writer's Dream

For those familiar with the concept of a schematic diagram, there is no need to elaborate further what constitute the elements that made up an electrical or electronic circuit. But for those who want a formal understanding on the anatomy, this is the book to anticipate.

I can't promise you how soon this book will hit the shelve, though. The year end is a busy period for me with much commitments to attend to. Hopefully, I can squeeze out some time to craft a few more pages. As of now, it is about 20% complete.

Like I said before, I take my work very seriously to give my readers an enjoyable reading experience. That means putting the extra effort and time into creating illustrations using Microsoft Visio to give an overall consistency and appeal. It is hard work, so I appreciate those who get my books through honest purchase and leave encouraging comments on Amazon to spur me on.

Next year will be the seventh year into my writing career. It will also be a make or break watershed year for me. My wife and I have been in discussion several times over, whether this move I made six years ago has been worth it, and whether it will be sustainable in the long run. All I can say is the royalties I earned is meagre and heavily supplemented by my wife's income as an admin staff. She is willing to support my dream and passion as an author, and believes in leaving a legacy that will benefit aspiring engineers in the future. For that, I am indebted and grateful to her.

I believe also in giving back to society which is why I continue to contribute a part of my book earnings to charities. It gives my writing a sense of mission and fulfillment, though at the back of my mind, I wish I could afford my wife who stick with me during this trying period a better quality of life. For now, she is content with the simple status as an author's wife. Perhaps next year when I complete my sixth engineering book, I may call it a day and do something else that will provide a steady income and give her a brighter future to look forward to.

So, yeah. I will probably look back with fondness that I've lived my dream for a while, albeit with a tint of sadness that it did not turn out the way I've hoped. Nonetheless, part of my engineering legacy will definitely live on in print. It should be consolation enough for the seven years I will have invested.

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Heatsink for M.2 SSD

It is common knowledge that M.2 NVMe SSDs are prone to overheating which can lead to thermal throttling and result in performance degradation. Installing a heatsink brings improvement in temperature and even more so with sufficient air flow. So, I decided on a passive aluminum type 2280 form factor with  top and bottom thermal pads for better heat dissipation.

The red color finish adds a nice touch to the otherwise black and formidable appearance of the ASRock motherboard. Installation was quick and simple, and it cost me only three bucks. Hopefully, this new PC will last as long as my old faithful.

Now back to my writing.

Friday, October 15, 2021

New Desktop

Finally, after 13 years of service and a few interim upgrades, it's time to replace my old faithful E8400 core 2 dual desktop which is showing signs of aging. This time, instead of assembling from scratch, I decided to just order from an online shopping platform. After some comparisons and reading the reviews, this is my choice:

It is an AMD Ryzen 3 3200G CPU running on an ASRock A320M-HDV R4.0 motherboard with 8GB of DDR4 3200MHz memory, housed in a Tecware Nova M mini ATX tower casing with three fans. It came with a 250GB SSD and Windows 10 pre-installed. Price: Sgd 582.

Since the motherboard has a M.2 interface, I was tempted to add an NVMe SSD to give me the extra bit of data storage. Price: Sgd 50.

All in all, I spent a total of Sgd 632 (about 2 months of what I earned from my books) which is quite a good deal. The new PC is fast and incredibly quiet unlike the sound of CPU fan from the old PC which can be annoying at times. Best of all, it has TPM 2.0 which supports Windows 11, though I will not be upgrading to the new OS anytime soon until Microsoft fixes all the bugs and release a stable edition.

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

The Many Faces of Circuit Diagrams

I'm not sure how things were when you started learning to read circuit diagrams. As far as I'm concerned, I only learned about the term 'schematic' much latter when I fiddled with EDA tools in the early days of my employment. So in reality, I always refer to electrical drawings as circuit diagrams. Of course, many electronic engineers begin their journey as a hobbyist building simple to sophisticated projects, usually from kits sold in electronics shops, to those found in electronics magazines.

I had my fair shares of fun and frustrations in building those electronic kits and projects. But it was through all the hard knocks that I learned how to decipher circuit diagrams. You might not believe or even seen one of these symbol templates that engineers used to draw circuits before the advent of EDA software.

I do miss the good old days but given a choice, I'd rather not go back to drawing circuits by hand. Electronics engineers never have it so good in this twenty-first century.

Thursday, October 7, 2021

The Art of Learning

Albert Einstein once said, "Any fool can know; the point is to understand." There are those who learn by reading, and there are those who learn by doing. Every person has a different way of learning and degree of understanding what he or she has learned. Of course, teachers play an important role in cultivating the interest of learning in their students, but how a teacher teaches a subject will determine to some measure how a student learn with understanding.

That's why it's essential for any aspiring book author to lay out a clear objective when setting out to write on a specific subject. This should be stated upfront to let the readers know what to expect and what the book aims to achieve. While a book can be informative in content and engaging in style, it is the reader's mindset that will ultimately decide how much he or she will gain from reading. Learning and teaching go hand in hand, so we can't talk about the art of learning without including the art of teaching, and more:

The art of teaching is patience and clarity; the art of learning is listening and asking the right questions; and the art of understanding what you learn is knowing how to relate the facts to experience.

Now you know, but do you understand?

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

New Book Cooking

Can you make out the following words?

This is the title to the next book that I am currently working on. I have intentionally chosen a rather cryptic font for the chapter titles to reinforce the idea of its content. Not to worry, the rest of the text will be normal and readable.

Somehow, it brought to mind the recent Marvel blockbuster, Shang-Chi, which critics initially deemed to be a failure due to the anti-Sino sentiments which past Hollywood movies tend to portray. But Chinese kung-fu has a kind of attraction that is irresistible, and now coupled with cinematic effects makes it all the more appealing to the viewers of this ancient martial art form. It reminds me of the Hong Kong comic series Dragon-Tiger Gate that I grew up reading, which brought back a sense of nostalgia:

Hopefully, when this new book is released (not any time soon), readers will catch a glimpse of its aura in my writings. As I always believe, engineering books should not be dry or boring; rather, they should be engaging in a way to fire the passion and imagination of the readers, so that the learning journey is both enjoyable and enriching.

For those who have read my books, I welcome your comments and thoughts.

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

What Makes A Great Engineer?

Not everyone is born with a high IQ, and those who do may not possess a good EQ to augment their inborn advantage. That's why geniuses like Leonardo Da Vinci and Nikola Tesla are such rare breed who were born ahead of their times.

What distinguishes a great engineer from a good engineer is not how much knowledge he gained in the classroom, but how much experience he acquired in the course of his career. Not that he never fail or suffer setbacks but rather, he never calls it quit in the face of difficulties. It's the courage to confront and overcome a problem that sets him apart from the rest of the pack. If I may put it aptly:

Great engineers are crafted in the baptism of fire. Those who opt for the easy way out either sabotaged their latent potentials or do not have what it takes to be one.

Do you have what it takes to be a great engineer?

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

A Blast from the Past

How time flies! It's been 35 years since my first overseas training at Grumman Aerospace Corporation (GAC) in Long Island, New York. I was part of the pioneer team responsible for bay repair of the now decommissioned E-2C early-warning surveillance aircraft. During the six month stint there, I was introduced to the concept of automated test equipment (ATE), learning how to operate and maintain two sophisticated test equipment designed by GAC (now Northrop-Grumman) to service the avionics of four E-2Cs purchased by the RSAF.

Posting for photo shoot with the CAT-IIID with the ATE team's instructors, Kevin Campbell (left) and Frank Lockwood, Jr. Wonder if they're still around...

And here is the coveted certificate:

Well, I didn't display it at my work desk in my previous company of 25 years, and now that I'm into full-time writing, it is locked away in a cabinet along with the rest of my other ATE certifications. I had dreamed of putting my knowledge on these machine marvels into four volumes, but now it seems that will only remain a dream and I will take all that I've learned to my grave...

Monday, September 13, 2021

Layout Diagram (Fast Track)

Microsoft Visio is such a piece of versatile 2D drafting tool it's not difficult to create complex illustrations and diagrams using simple geometric shapes. Take for example the Gigabyte GeForce 8600GT graphics card featured in Manual PCB-RE: The Essentials:

At one glance, it seems impossible but if you were to go through Chapter 5 of the book, you will be given a fast track into how such a complicated PCB layout diagram can be created. Well not effortlessly but certainly not difficult either.

But if you are the type that needs to be held by the hand and taught step-by-step, then I would suggest getting The Art of PCB Reverse Engineering, where you will literally go through a detailed exercise in creating a SCSI host adapter card, complete with the mechanical fittings.

Don't take my word for it; you've got to really hands on to believe it. Click on the titles of the books to go to Amazon and start drawing some amazing stuff with Microsoft Visio!

Sunday, September 12, 2021

The Chameleon

What has a chameleon got to go with PCB-RE? Observant readers will notice that a colorful chameleon is featured on the bottom right side of my fourth book, Manual PCB-RE: The Essentials:

The chameleon is an interesting species of the reptilian family. Besides its ability to change skin color to match the surrounding environment, it has a pair of pinhole–sized eyes that can pivot and focus independently, allowing it to observe two different objects simultaneously with a 360-degree arc of vision around its body. It also possesses a sticky long tongue over twice its body length that enables it to catch its prey at a distance with precision and speed.

Similarly, a PCB-RE engineer must possess the ability to adapt to different types of PCB technology, with eyes for expansive and miniscule details, as well as the resourcefulness to grow beyond present limits with each project undertaking. In other words——be like the Chameleon!

This fourth and final book on PCB-RE gives you all the essentials on how to master the manual method of PCB reverse engineering. Using a Gigabyte GeForce 8600GT as a teaching aid, readers are introduced to several technologies involved in the design of today's graphics card, from the PCI-e bus, PWM controller chips, RGB-DVI video interfaces, dual data rate (DDR2) memories, to Nvidia's  illusive G84 series GPU and proprietary SLI bus, as well as HDCP ROM and GPU BIOS Flash——all within one single book!

So if you want a fast-lane, no-frills introduction to these interesting topics (besides picking up one of the ultimate methodology I developed over 15 years of doing PCB-RE), then grab a copy of the book by clicking on the front cover above to order. Joe Grand's endorsement is your surest guarantee!

Thursday, September 9, 2021

Princess Engineer

People have a notion that engineering is a guys' thing, so whenever a young woman takes up this trade, whether it's electronics, mechanical, power, civil, etc., it seems to raise an eyebrow with an 'are you serious?' kind of expression. Truth is, in my thirty over years as an electronics engineer, I have seen many women working on test benches than I could care to count, from my air force days to the last company that I worked in.

So what is it about engineering that attracts women, apart from the fact that some people are the handy type who like to work or create things with their hands? I remember there was one time while I was dismantling an airborne electronic module with many screws, carefully laying out the parts and bolts on a work bench, when a lady programmer who was quietly watching me remarked, "I just love to watch men at work taking things apart. It's just so... man!"

Well, I don't know if I can say the same if I were to watch a woman does the same thing, though. "Err... you know, watching you taking things apart is such a... beautiful thing!" Better not risk myself getting whammed on the head with a size 32 spanner!

Anyway, if you're a lady engineer who happens to read this post, I would love to hear your take on this. Who knows, it may just inspire me to write a book (grin!)

Sunday, September 5, 2021

PCB-RE in Forensic Investigation

Chip-Off forensics using JTAG in data recovery is an increasingly essential and important aspect of investigative work to support judicial evidence in a post-modern, fast-changing landscape of mobile-invasive lifestyle. This topic is featured in PCB-RE: Tools & Techniques by one of the leading renown instructor in this 'dark art', Bob Elder, who is also the CEO in-charge of operations for Teel Technologies, Canada.

Participants who enrolled for the Embedded Hardware Acquisition & Analysis Training are given a special bonus: The Art of PCB Reverse Engineering and PCB-RE: Tools & Techniques. Readers interested to find out more about the courses can go to this LINK.

Of course, you can order a copy of my sequel book to catch a glimpse of what Chip-off forensics is all about from the man himself who contributed that chapter. Just click on the book titles above to preview and place your order.

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Interest and Query

Since announcing my fourth book, Manual PCB-RE: The Essentials on various social media platforms, there has been quite some interests generated over the series of PCB-RE books I've written. An engineer by the name Pedro Ribeiro emailed me:

Your books look amazing, but I wanted to ask your advice for which one should I get first.

I'm a software reverse engineer and ethical hacker and I'm specializing in attacking embedded systems. One of the first steps in attacking these systems is to identify serial or JTAG connections in order to obtain root access to them. However sometimes the JTAG/serial lines are cut after the device leaves the factory and need to be shorted, restored, a resistor needs to be added etc.

As you can see this is the kind of issue I face frequently which doesn't require a very deep understanding of PCB reverse engineering.

For this simple use case, which of your books do you recommend to get started? 

I'm sure other people would benefit if you put an explanation of what each book is and what is the intended audience in your blog! It's a bit confusing to try to understand what are the differences between each of the books.

Thanks in advance!

My reply:

Nice to hear from you and I’m happy to answer your query. 
I did a short write-up on the first three books in my blog. You can find it at this link.

The Art of PCB Reverse Engineering is for beginners who wants to learn how to document their manual approach in doing PCB-RE. There are two editions of the book, a full-color and a black-and-white.

PCB-RE: Tools & Techniques is for those who want a more complete treatment of the PCB-RE subject. It features contributing engineers who shared their experiences using different equipment and methodologies.

PCB-RE: Real-World Examples is for those who want to learn how engineers apply PCB-RE in real life scenarios. There is a chapter by Juan Carlos Jiménez on firmware hacking which should be useful to you.
Based on your interest and work, this is the book to get.

Manual PCB-RE: The Essentials is a more in-depth look at the manual method using a commercial PCB. This is for those who wants a no-frills guide to doing real-world manual PCB-RE.

Hope the above information helps.

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Joe Grand's Foreword

After three months of waiting, Joe Grand's Foreword to my book, Manual PCB-RE: The Essentials is finally done and incorporated. Here's the announcement from the 'kingpin' himself in his Grand Idea Studio website:

They say you shouldn't judge a book by its cover. But I'm sure you can be confident about the content of a book by the kind of person who endorsed it!

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Good Grief...!!!

There are novice engineers out there who have such unrealistic perceptions about PCB-RE and hardware design it really makes one wonder if they got their fundamentals right about electronics. Just yesterday, I received an email from someone (I won't put his name to save him the embarrassment) asking about reverse engineering and copyright infringement. A sleuth of exchanges ensued until I realize it's going nowhere and have to put a stop to it:

X: Is it possible to reverse engineer circuit boards to avoid patent infringement? For example to produce a device that does the same thing but is structured differently? Is it easy? For example is there a computer program that can rework a circuit board? 

Me: Reverse engineering circuit boards to learn how a product works for personal knowledge should not infringe on patents. Neither if it’s done to help in daily repair work, for personal use. But if it’s to produce a competitive product, then it’s subject to the other party’s legal jurisdictions. Whether reverse engineering is easy or not depends on the nature of the PCB. Of course, experience and skill play a part. There is no software-only solution to reversing circuit boards. You’ll need a hardware-software combo to do the job, either semi- or fully automated.

X: I want to reengineer products already available in the market. Is it possible to take a PCB and make it different but to do the same thing with different components, by using software that will give a combination of components that do the same thing?

Me: I’m not sure what you mean by ‘using software that will give a combination of components that do the same thing.’ Are you referring to simulation software? Like I say, reengineering existing products has its grey area and is subject to legal jurisdiction from rival companies. You need to tread carefully.

X: Basically taking a rival company. Taking their product, making a PCB schema from their circuit board, plugging it into software, pressing a button and have a new schema that does the same thing except with a different schema. Is that possible?

Me: No.

X: So how do they do it when they take rival products? 

Me: There is no such thing as a magical software that thinks, analyzes and designs an alternative circuit based on an existing one. If there is, all design engineers will be out of job. And it’s impossible anyway, so stop looking for an easy way out. All well-designed products are carefully thought out and implemented using a baseline that undergoes multiple refinements. That’s why it takes a team of hardware and firmware engineers to work together.

Consider this thread close as further discussion on this matter is futile. Thanks!

As good O' Charlie Brown would say, "Good grief...!!!" I rest my case...

Friday, August 6, 2021

Olympics Fever

The Tokyo Olympics 2020 finally went full swing after a one-year delay due to the global pandemic. We're into the second week of this international sports event and the Olympics fever has hit a high pitch as medals are snatched up in the various sports categories.

Only the fastest, strongest and most determined and disciplined sportsmen and sportswomen will attain the highest glory and honor in their fields of expertise and professionalism. It is the same in every engineering field, including PCB-RE, one of the hardest to master yet the most rewarding niche skill any engineer can ever dream of acquiring.

Look no further if you are one of those looking to make a splash in the engineering Olympics pool, or leave a blazing trail on the tracks of the Olympics circuit stadium. Below are all the resources you'll ever need to get you started on the road to glory:


Click on the images to go to the Amazon online bookstore to preview and order your copies. Catch the Olympics fever while it is still burning bright!

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Distraction, Diversion...

In the midst of this worldwide pandemic, where social restrictions can put a toll on everyday life, people are getting stressed up handling work and family pressures at the same time, while working from home. As an author, I too feel the same sentiments and that can lead to writer's block that stamps out inspiration to write on a particular topic. I desperately needed a distraction or some kind of diversion.

Being the artistic type, I figured it would be good to immerse in a little design activity instead of just typing all day long on the keyboard, when my brain could not produce any meaningful narrative at the moment. So after the first attempt followed by a few refinements later, here it is:

I like drawing and designing a lot, which is why Visio is a life-saver and a delight to use. Of course, designing book covers is also one of the favorite part in my present writing endeavor. Hopefully, this book will materialize one day...

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Amazon Ranking

Slightly over two weeks into its release, my fourth PCB-RE book has attained No. 1 New Release status in the Industrial Technology category:

There is really nothing to shout about as the real test is whether it can achieve a good Best Seller Ranking, which it currently is at 293,187 place for all books category. So, though it's nice to know that there is some semblance of success for my hard work, it's still too early to be elated.

My hope is that there will be good support from readers who show appreciation through honest purchase. It will not only be a strong affirmation for all the efforts I put in, but also a boost for the charities which I have in mind to contribute my royalty earnings to.

So grab a copy today and know that you're doing a kind deed in the process.