I just learned that soldering irons these days run operating systems and can crash.

I sucked so hard at soldering until I got one of those lol - which sounds a little like a copout except that most of my system is now wired with cables I made myself and would absolutely not be if I'd had to use an analog iron.

@kylebronsdon What does it do that's different? Isn't it just a hot metal stick?

It is just a hot stick BUT it's a hot stick with the brains to know when it's getting cold - and I presume at what rate, maybe? - and get hotter! And vice versa, so you can just focus on keeping the tip on the work and feeding the solder, and it almost eliminates the risk of brittle joints or frying a component.

@kylebronsdon @gabek I've actually been seriously considering getting the 'Pinecil' because it's RISC-V and I think that's kind of hilarious.

@kithop @kylebronsdon I swear when I was a kid my dad had a soldering iron that was a piece of metal with two leads that went directly into the wall.

@gabek @kylebronsdon My dad's prized one is fancy, more like a giant gun-shaped thing with a tiny incandescent light bulb that turned on underneath the tip (which looked like just a Y-shaped piece of metal jutting out). Basically like an oversized glue gun from the 70s.

I grew up with one in the house too, I just inherited one of those from my father-in-law! Those are for big, fat joints like a breaker box or something, they'd practically vaporize integrated circuits. Here's the one I got:

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