The internet is such a wonderful thing, sometimes we take for granted the way it has changed every aspect of our lives. I was thinking, though, without the internet it would be really hard to own and maintain pinball machines. Forums like RGP and Pinside are invaluable in their role of bringing pinball enthusiasts together to share knowledge, ask questions, and troubleshoot. But even beyond that, Google combines their powers to let you dig for the specific topic you need, on every indexed pinball forum or website in existence. Kids, life wasn't always like this...
Whenever a problem comes up on one of our machines, we just Google it. And there is almost always a result that either walks through solving that exact problem, or is close enough. Frequently with detailed pictures. Pinball owners love taking detailed pictures, thank goodness. Say, for example, you just can't remember which side up a particular ROM chip goes, or some other board detail. You can almost always find images someone has taken of your exact machine's boards.
This may all be self-evident, but I'm just saying, before the internet, before Google, it would be much harder to share maintenance knowledge of this kind. It would all be in silos in the form of seasoned pinball operators and electrical engineers. You'd have to know somebody. It's good to stop every once in a while and think about that. This goes for every detail-oriented hobby, really.
It also makes navigating my way across New England to pick up pinball machines infinitely easier. Actually acquiring the machine is also key to pinball ownership.