The long chain

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While admiring one of our PCB for its symmetrical beauty I unexpectedly found myself in awe of its collection of technological miracles bristling off its shiny green surface: resistors, capacitors, diodes, transistors, integrated circuits, connectors, LEDs, current sensors, and test points.

I began to imagine what it took to manufacture each part. That led to a frightening trail with so many detours and junctions it made my head spin. And then, in a moment of madness, I tried to picture the long history behind each part: the ancient wire wound resistors, oil caps: the work of physicists John Bardeen, Walter Brattain, and William Shockley, and before that Lee Deforrest, and then as far back as Michael Faraday. Good grief.

How many hundreds of thousands—perhaps millions—of people it takes and has taken to make these parts available to us as easily as buying a 6-pack of beer?

The mind boggles.

I had begun my thoughts with a rather smug view of that circuit board, of the great and inventive ways in which we clever engineers arrange and rearrange bits and pieces to make music ever better.

I ended my thoughts humbled by the sheer magnitude of the long chain to make what we often take for granted possible.

Thank you to our suppliers.