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PCB Trivia

Circuit Board Trivia

Here you will find pop cultural references to the printed circuit board.

 

WALL-E’s Blue PC Board In the 2008 Pixar film “WALL-E”, Eve scrambles to replace our hero’s circuit board. She tries numerous PCBs with green soldermask before finally coming across a blue PC board compatible with WALL-E. What is the significance of this blue soldermasked PCB?(see below for answer)

ANSWER:  WALL-E is a Mac

In response to a few skeptical responses, we decided to justify the conclusion that WALL-E is a Mac (to say nothing of the fact that Jobs founded both Apple and Pixar).

STEVE JOBS: AESTHETICS OF A PCB
From Walter Isaacson’s Biography “Steve Jobs”
“From his father Jobs had learned that a hallmark of passionate craftsmanship is making sure that even the aspects that will remain hidden are done beautifully. One of the most extreme—and telling—implementations of that philosophy came when he scrutinized the printed circuit board that would hold the chips and other components deep inside the Macintosh. No consumer would ever see it, but Jobs began critiquing it on aesthetic grounds. “That part’s really pretty,” he said. “But look at the memory chips. That’s ugly. The lines are too close together.”

One of the new engineers interrupted and asked why it mattered. “The only thing that’s important is how well it works. Nobody is going to see the PC board.” Jobs reacted typically. “I want it to be as beautiful as possible, even if it’s inside the box. A great carpenter isn’t going to use lousy wood for the back of a cabinet, even though nobody’s going to see it.” In an interview a few years later, after the Macintosh came out, Jobs again reiterated that lesson from his father: “When you’re a carpenter making a beautiful chest of drawers, you’re not going to use a piece of plywood on the back, even though it faces the wall and nobody will ever see it. You’ll know it’s there, so you’re going to use a beautiful piece of wood on the back. For you to sleep well at night, the aesthetic, the quality, has to be carried all the way through.”