Modern Printed Circuits
Giorgos Lazaridis Founder, PCBHeaven.com
How did you get into engineering? My passion as a child was to break my toys apart and find the “magic” hidden inside. My grandfather noticed this and began buying things for me from the local bazaars and junkyards like old radios, pick-ups, TVs, mechanical parts and other gizmos of the 80’s. I had my own junk-room (literally) in which I spent most of my childhood breaking and dismantling things apart, salvaging motors lamps and switches. At the age of 7 I made my very first electronic project. It was a needle detector for my grandmother. I used a wooden round stick some wire and the flash light from my father’s camera. My father understood how much I loved electronics and technology. He was a ship technician traveling around the globe with merchant ships. Since then, every year I received a new tech gadget from him as a present—my first Atari 2600 game console, my first Pocket Scientific Computer PC-6, and my first PC a Hyundai XT Super 16 TE. This PC was my ticket into the programming world. I began with GWBASIC and 8086 Assembly. I wrote many BASIC programs and I also joined a hacking team as a virus programmer. I never distributed any viruses though, I only wrote them for educational purposes. It was some kind of trend back then. Hacking was an unknown word in Greece in the early 90’s. Until the age of 14, my knowledge and experience around electronics was limited in assembling commercial kits. Around that age, I got my first chip-related book—the SGS-Thomson High Speed CMOS manual. I then began to discover what’s inside these chips, how they work, and how to
make my own digital projects. It took me another 10 years to discover the microcontrollers and more specifically the PIC16F84. I discovered that this was the key to combine my two passions, electronics and assembly programming. By that time, Internet had well entered our lives, and this gave a good boost to my knowledge. Tell us about your website pcbheaven.com. I decided to start this site for two reasons; first to improve my skills and knowledge, and second to gain experience. Back then, I had already discovered the power of teaching and sharing knowledge. In order for one to become a good teacher, they first must have a complete understanding of the subject. Moreover, the relationship between the teacher and student is bidirectional and ever changing. There are tons of new subjects that the teacher discovers because of a question from the student. Discovering the uniqueness of each one’s mind is the ticket to intelligence. Also, as a general principle I believe that knowledge must be freely distributed and I already had quite some knowledge to share. I uploaded the first release of my site in May 2008.
What do you do when you’re not working on your website? I work as a circuit designer and a CNC technician. I play the guitar in my free time and listen to music. I love science and more specifically physics and astronomy. Every now and then I read ancient Greek philosophy, language, and geometry just to stay in good shape. I also love solving riddles and puzzles.
What are your favorite hardware and software tools? The oscilloscope is my number #1 tool on my workbench. I use it daily for each and every circuit. As for the software, it’s always fun to work with the Autodesk Inventor 3D for designing mechanical parts.