Over the last three decades, the microprocessor has dramatically changed life in the developed world. This very site wouldn't be possible with out them. When I was in high school in the early 1980s and taking auto mechanics class, I learned to balance the Zenith carburetors on a Triumph TR7 with a screwdriver and hunk of garden hose. At that time car enthusiasts whined about the good old days of the sixties when cars made real power. Of course, they neglected to mention those other wonderful traits like vapor lock, engines that would barely idle, all the pollution coming out of the exhaust and, my personal favorite, four wheel drum brakes.

These days engines make more power than ever, while emitting cleaner exhaust and using less fuel. They idle rock steady, and never stall unless something is broken. You can't usually fix them in your driveway anymore, but fortunately you usually don't have to either. Over at TechNewsWorld there's an article about how automotive repair has changed over the last three decades thanks to silicon. When I was learning a good mechanic could listen, watch and feel and usually figure out what the problem was. These days you can barely even get started without an electronic diagnostic tool. Sometimes I miss the old days, but then I drive something like a Shelby GT500, that idles easily at 600 rpm, gives you a nasty punch in the back when you step on the gas, meets all emissions standards and get over 20 mpg on the highway. No sixties era car could do that and crank out 500 SAE net hp! The future will only get better with some of the cars you'll see coming soon starting at the Detroit Auto Show.

[Source: TechNewsWorld]

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