[SI-LIST] Re: PCB Reverse Engineering

JaMi;

Of Course this means War....... You either like to hear yourself talking or
you have too much time in your  hand and write lengthy email to justify
the cause.

First ....You are not in position to tell me If I can express my opinion or
not.
You did not read my note correctly so let me remind you. I never said,
these things
do not happen and I never said there are no need for Legacy, etc etc
document
tracing or "reverse engineering" so don't put word in my mouth.  I simply
said
why this is getting posted in Si List. If one has product that has lasted
25 years and
one did not second source it, who is fault is that? Here is another one for
you...
If one climbs in a stone and fall for the first time, you can say it was
mistake and one
should learn from it but and that is a big but, ........if you climb on the
same stone and fall
 again then one deserves a broken neck because one did not learn from the
first fall.
I also mentioned  in my note that do it by following the legal process. You
took it
very personally. Be as it may....Don't point your good work at me! The
problem is
while the advise maybe given in such a group talk for justifiable cause, an
ill
moral person may take an advantage. It was just a precaution warning. I
frankly
don't give a flying ........if you read my email or you concern with it but
don't and I mean
do not ever tell me that I can not express my opinion............

Regards;

Don Pakbaz




                                                                           
             "JaMi Smith"                                                  
             <jamismith@sbcglo                                             
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             eelists.org               "JaMi Smith"                        
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                                                                   Subject 
             05/22/2006 05:59          [SI-LIST] Re: PCB Reverse           
             PM                        Engineering                         
                                                                           
                                                                           
             Please respond to                                             
             jamismith@sbcglob                                             
                  al.net                                                   
                                                                           
                                                                           




Don,

In this particular instance, my friend hand taped the original artwork for
his little product, as I said, over 25 years ago.

He and his wife assembled and sold less than a thousand units each year, a
hundred or two at a time, as the OEM, to some other big names in the
particular industry who would retail the product under their own various
brands.

He never anticipated the product would have such a long life, and just kept
reordering boards as he needed them, until one day he gave the board house
a
call and they weren't there any more. He ultimately tracked the people
down,
but all they could do was offer him a set of negatives.

Whether you believe it or not, or whether you buy the arguement or not, is
of little concern or consequence.

The fact is that these things do happen.

I have been hired in the past by a legitimate multi-million Company, to
attempt to recover artwork from gerbers, where the Company had originally
had a layout for one of their products done for them by a consultant.
Problem was that they wanted to make changes to the design, and while they
did have the gerbers, they did not have the original design files (or so
they thought), and they couldn't locate the consultant who had done the
original work. They sent me everything that they had so that I could look
at
the existing files and give them a quote to regenerate a new design file
from the gerbers and make the new changes for them and then deliver all of
the new files back to them. Fortunately, I actually did find a Protel 99 SE
design file amongst what they sent me, and was able use it and make the
changes that they wanted and make one very happy customer.

I suppose you don't think that that was legitimate either.

Well, unfortunately, we got a lot of people out here in this industry that
are doing pretty sloppy work to begin with, and never properly documenting
things that they do, so it is not the least bit supprising to me why a few
of these guys go missing when it comes time to get them to follow up on
some
mess they have made.

What about Legacy Products, especially those that may have been made by
manual drafting means, do you consider those legitimate?

This is quite a common occurance in industry these days, and it doesn't
just
happen with things that were done "manually", since it is quite often that
software products used to make a design within a Company, may be changed,
or
where Companies merge or are bought out by other Companies, many times
either the original software to support a design, or the people who know
how
to use it, simply are no longer available.

The bottom line to your bottom line is simply this: "There is no reason for
you to automatically say that what someone does is in fact a wrong thing."

If you are actually trying to tell me that board houses do not in fact go
belly up from time to time, then you need a good dose of reality.

Problem is these days, not many Companies really want to spend the money or
take the time to properly document things, and occasionally, this leads to
disasters even with in the best of Companies.

Reverse engineering is in fact a legitimate art, and more often than not, a
legitimately necessary art.

Don't be so quick to condem, especially when you are not really in a
position to know what is actually going on, and especially when you are not
a concerned party.

As one final example, I have actually been assigned to a project within a
company, to reverse engineer 3 seperate board sets, all of which had been
heavily modified by the Lead Electrical Engineer on the project, where all
3
board sets were different, and none of them matched the schematics. It was
actually necessary to reverse engineer all of the modifications on each
seperate board set because the Lead Electrical Engineer would not document
his changes. He actually made major changes and modifications and did not
document them in any manner whatsoever. The company was in danger of
loosing
the contract, which was already heavily over-run, if they could not deliver
a workable product by a certain date. The first thing that I had to do was
to physically threaten the Engineer with physical bodily harm if he made
any
changes to anything whatsoever without my being there to observe exactly
what he did and properly document it. When he complained to upper
Management, they just smiled and asked if that meant that things were
finally going to get properly documented. It actually took a while to
reverse engineer things to the point where I was confident that I had
established a baseline from which we could make one final turn of each of
the boards in the set. The contract stipilated that there could be no more
than 8 cuts and jumpers per final delivered board, and the Project Manager
had bet me a Stake and Lobster Dinner for ourselves and our wives. I let
everyone on the project know, especially the Lead Engineer, that if I lost
the bet, that he was going to pay for it. We met the contract requirements,
and I won the bet for dinner. I don't think that that Lead Electrical
Engineer ever was placed in a lead position again with that Company, but
don't tell me that there are not legitimate needs to reverse engineer
things
sometimes, and sometimes even when you are supposedly on the same team on
the same project.

Please do mistake my position on the legitimate need for the art and
ability
of reverse engineering, to mean that I am in favor of reverse engineering
where there is not a legitimate basis for it.

JaMi




> Oh
> by the way I don't buy the argument of  " vendor went belly up" because
you
> should always do second source and risk management. How do we know
> while we advising somebody for so called  "Justifiable Reason" somebody
> else is not taking advantage of information for ill purposes. The bottom
> line is:
>  " There is no right reason to do a wrong thing."
>
>
>
> Regards;
>
> Don Pakbaz
>
> Silicon Solutions Engineering
> IBM Systems & Technology Group
>
>

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