Here is a fast way to make IC part numbers easy to read (follow this link, then click on “Dicas práticas em eletrônica“). Thank you Luciano Sturaro!!
This is translated to English with larger graphics in the Stack Exchange Q&A below. However it’s this easy:
- Clean the IC surface with alcohol and let it dry
- Rub chalk on it
- Gently wipe the IC surface
Update: Reality Bites
Of the few dozens of different chips I’ve tried this chalk trick on in the past few days I’ve found that maybe 15% are nearly immune to it.