Subject: Re: Take this analogy and fix it (car repair? _not_)
From: Ian Lance Taylor <>
Date: 7 Jun 1999 10:05:25 -0400

   From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <>
   Date: Mon, 7 Jun 1999 22:28:58 +0900 (JST)

   Source is clearly not relevant to the accuracy of the analogy, since
   it's variable in the analogy.  As far as I know, for modern
   automobiles you go to somebody who has a fancy analyzer that they
   bought from the manufacturer, and technicians trained at some expense
   by the manufacturer.  I doubt they have source.  Most of what
   auto repair people do is to figure out which subassembly the funny
   noise is coming from, then replace the whole thing.  No?

Well, no.  It's getting rather far afield from the analogy, and I'm
not sure just what my position is on this whole discussion, but
certainly my car repair place does much more.  After I rolled my car,
they were able to do stuff like trim the fan blades to fit in their
new, smaller space and do other similar hacks (I know very little
about how cars actually work).

   Oh, yeah.  I just noticed that car manufacturers don't need to
   restrict knowledge about the schematics of their engines _as long as
   the parts are proprietary_ and using non-approved parts voids the
   warranty (doesn't it? did the last time I had a car in warranty in the
   US, many years ago).

Again, my car place will fit in any old part that they believe will do
the job (my car went out of warranty before I bought it, so that is
hardly an issue).  When they need the official parts, they cannibalize
them from dead cars which they collect (for example, they collected my
previous car when the bottom rusted out).

So there certainly are auto repair places which take advantage of a
great deal of publically available knowledge about how cars work.