Wednesday, February 03, 2010


When PCs were first designed, little thought was given to the likelihood that their owners would need to open them up, to change boards or jumper wires. The first PCs were hard to open, sometimes requiring uncommon screwdrivers. But as PC sales increased, vendors got smart about case design. Within a few years, there were cases that could be opened with nothing more unusual than a quarter, or with clever fingers alone.

Right now, I'm working with a PC that requires me to unscrew fourteen screws to remove its cover. Fourteen! I wish I could talk to the person who designed this case. The way I see it, surely thirteen screws would have been enough. Don't you agree?


Martin Langeland said...

Of course there was also a design concern in the early days to prevent user dabbling that might easily destroy an expensive bit of equipment. (Think un-grounded fingers playing the Emperor on the mother board) As production costs came down and general knowledge increased, the bean counter's plea to use an 'off-the-shelf' fastener gained weight.
Like the Red Queen, we have all we can do to run fast enough to stay in the same place.

The Precision Blogger said...

I do not think that your comment applies to the PC. IBM released a full spec of the early PC to make it easier for addon companies. The way to prevent user dabbling is to put a seal on the box saying that opening the box breaks the warrantee. My early PC had no such seal, and I opened it before I used it, to install the only available color adapter (which was not made by IBM).
- PB