And presented in Dave's unique non-scripted overly enthusiastic style!
Dave goes Back to the Future and talks about how he got started in electronics.
I watched this video and was a bit amazed about how similar my experience has been to your’s, even in this modern day and age. I will admit things have been significantly easier once my family got a good internet connection and I learned how to use it. But, like you, I started out taking things apart and trying to figure out how they work. Mechanical devices were one thing, since you could see how they worked, but electronics always intrigued me since it was this invisible thing. For my birthday, when I was 8 I think, I got a Radioshack (owned by Tandy) electronics learning lab. It introduced basic analog and digital electronics. My father is an electrical engineer as well, so I had access to many books in his personal library, not to mention the internet a few years later. I rememeber reading somewhat advanced books even at that early age, things like microcomputer design with the i8080/8085 and Z-80. I didn’t understand a lot of it of course, but I was able to slowly gain knowledge on these things, periodically re-reading books and understanding more of them bit by bit. I never really had any magazines, but the various kits I got for birthdays, christmas, etc. and my own experiments and projects kept me busy over the years.
I never put too much money towards test equipment, and since I wasn’t trusted to safely use a soldering iron, most of my projects weren’t permanent. I think the only test equipment I had back then was a BK precision 2408 DMM, which I still have today.
Now that I am studying electrical engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign (here in the USA), I am still seeing the same thing you saw 30 years ago (it was about that long ago for you, wasn’t it?). There are people who have absolutely no clue what they’re doing, and they really struggle to learn these things, and then there is me (and perhaps a few others, though I haven’t met any yet), and I just get (or already know) the things we’re being taught.