I think of a well laid-out breadboard or printed circuit board a little like a piece of art.
A few days ago, I posted a comment to Adam Carlson's column Top 8 Tools For Building a Personal Prototyping Laboratory. In my comment, I included a small image of one of my breadboard projects, and both Adam and David Ashton were kind enough to comment on the neatness of my work:
A genuine Max Maxfield breadboard-based prototype.
(Click here to see a larger, more detailed image.)
In fact, I was just chatting on the phone with Rich Quinnell -- the editor in chief of the new Internet of Things website at IoTworld.com -- who said that one of his high school teachers had once told him: "Originality and neatness count."
Now, I'm just a tad obsessive-compulsive about this sort of thing. A neatly laid-out breadboard project makes me feel happy inside. By comparison, I find a "rat's nest" wiring implementation to be a little disquieting, not to mention that it can be a pain in the rear end when it comes to debugging any problems.
Personally, I think of a well laid-out breadboard or printed circuit board (PCB) a little like a piece of art. In fact, the prototype shown above now graces the top of the bookshelves in my office.
But wait, there's more... When I'm building a circuit, if I have a selection of capacitors (for example) of the required type and the same value but of different shapes, sizes, and colors, then I will select the one that best matches, complements, or contrasts the other components on the board. Am I the only one who does this, or is this common practice?
How about you? Do you have any pictures of breadboards or PCBs or wiring harnesses or whatever that you'd like to share? Maybe you are proud of their artistic merit or neatness -- or maybe you are gratified by their "avant-garde" approach and free-spirited look and feel. If so, please post pictures or links in the comments below, and/or email larger versions to me at firstname.lastname@example.org for possible inclusion in a follow-up column.