Much the same circuit board development time line for me. I somehow seem to be stuck in the Veroboard trap, I use Tiny Cad to capture the circuits and VeeCad to layout the Veroboard circuit, saves a lot of heart ache from putting a link or hole in the wrong place.
Now I am getting forced to use SMD footprints I have got my head around Eagle but not yet Design Spark, I like Cad drawing system that give a 3D view of the components and circuit, but free versions seem hard to find, or ones not with some user limit. My pension makes me a miser, just as I was when I had only pocket money.
Good Article forgot how the Dalo pens inked up my fingers.
@Crusty1 thanks....re SMD I did something with them not too long ago and successfully used my Niche PCB designer for it. There might be something on that in the not too distant future. You're certainly more adventurous than me with new stuff! I'm not yet on pension but have a wife and a mortgage....'nuff said....
At the level I am working at in retirement I think I am going to get my first PCB fabed using Fritzing, Just seen the link here on ee-times. I like the intuitive bread boarding approach and they have a 6502 processor outline already so the shield I want to build for the Papilio One to emulate the UK101 looks a distinct possibility.
May be max would like an article on starting out with Fritzing?
@Crusty...."Funny thing the link was in one of your posts." Yeah right, I'm getting old.....if you'd said reprap I would have cottoned on.... :-) I kinda skimmed thu the article at the time, thinking I would get back to it. Good thing you have a longer attention span!
Our progression through PCB layout tools sounds quite similar as I described in Max's How it Was series. However I never tried making my own PCBs until after university and then only once.
When you said that Rhodesia was not the centre of the electronics universe, you were understating by a long shot. In 1967/8 my electronics course was mainly valves (tubes to the the bilingually challenged) and you certainly didn't need PCBs for those. I know that I have a few years on you and I was in Bulawayo and not Salisbury, but my teachers were never of the goto variety. They were more of the talk softly (and by that I mean little content) and carry a BIG stick variety. My physics teacher even suggested that I was no good at electronics and that I should give it up. 45 years later I reflect and think maybe he was right!
The Other Tesla David Blaza5 comments I find myself going to Kickstarter and Indiegogo on a regular basis these days because they have become real innovation marketplaces. As far as I'm concerned, this is where a lot of cool ...