Technology

The Microchip is Old

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chipped

Feast your eyes on this ugly monster: the first integrated circuit. Then check out Wired's slide show on the history of the microchip in honor of its 50th anniversary, which is today. We've come a long way baby:

While that device started out as nothing more than a single transistor with a smattering of other components on a thin slice of germanium, its silicon progeny now contain hundreds of transistors in a space the size of a single red blood cell.

NEXT: Cheye Calvo Speaks

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  1. What does this have to do with Palin? I just don’t see the connection?

  2. Makes you wonder why all those racists were so against integration.

  3. What does this have to do with Palin? I just don’t see the connection?

    Clearly, KMW is implying that Palin is a product of Cyberdine Systems. Or is a Cylon. We have so many robots to choose from.

  4. She’s got to be a Cylon. That whole visions about Kobol thing proves it, in my book.

  5. Sarah, what is your view on the first integrated circuit?
    Should it have been fully integrated?
    What about a circuit’s right to choose?

  6. Maybe Skynet sent her back to kill John Connor McCain? Then she’ll be president (executive experience!). Would a Terminator be a worse president than our current two contenders?

  7. From the Wired link –

    Though the invention of the transistor more than a decade earlier at Bell Labs had rendered vacuum tubes obsolete …

    This old radar technician vehemently disagrees. Most vacuum tubes are obsolete. They still have a home in high power RF applications. Google klystron, magnetron and TWT for more info.

    That quibble out of the way, thanks for bringing up an important birthday, Katherine.

  8. Imagine what they’ll do in the next fifty years!

    I can’t imagine a world w/out home computers.

  9. Makes you wonder why all those racists were so against integration.

    Exactly. And if integrated circuits and schools are good, the next step is to embrace human/cylon integration.

    We have so many robots to choose from.

    Um, that is not the preferred term for cylons. Better than ‘toasters’ but still not PC. Back to sensitivity training for you.

  10. Money-saving, profit-making tip for Reason: in the future, just frame pages like this:

    gadgets.boingboing.net/2008/09/12/happy-birthday-micro.html

    Ayn would have wanted it that way.

  11. Feast your eyes on this ugly monster: the first integrated circuit

    Fwiw, you’ll probably start sagging too, when you’re fifty.

  12. And if integrated circuits and schools are good, the next step is to embrace human/cylon integration

    This message has been approved by Gaius Baltar.

    Um, that is not the preferred term for cylons. Better than ‘toasters’ but still not PC. Back to sensitivity training for you.

    Whoops, sorry to offend you, Canadian skinjob 😉

  13. I remember as a kid over thirty years ago getting a Radio Shack electronics kit. Beside the usual resistors, capacitors and whatnots, it had a <drumroll please…> integrated circuit! It was about a half-inch wide, with at most half a dozen components in it. I was excited by it at the time, but looking back it was cheesy, because we already had better “ICs” by that time. A couple of op-amps wouldn’t have been any more expensive and been slightly more educational.

  14. Canadian skinjob

    In some circles, ‘skinjob’ might be less insulting than ‘Canadian.’ I suggest an Olympic hockey game in Vancouver 2010 to try out this theory.

  15. I can’t imagine a world w/out home computers.

    I can. It sucked.

  16. J sub D

    .. add thyratron to your list .. also, there is a large underground of audio purists who feel that nothing reproduces sound like vacuum tube amplifiers .. a fellow at work (klystron engineer) has a bumper sticker on his door, “Use a transistor, go to jail” ..

    .. btw, been meaning to ask .. as a EE I see your non de plume as “current density” .. am I close??

  17. I can. It sucked.

    That’s funny. There was a time when I thought shooting BB guns, bike ride, damning up creeks (what we called “the creek”, I later learned was called “drainage ditch #5” on the county map) to make them deep enough for our rafts, and fishing were fun things to do. Then ma and pa bought a Ti-99/4A and we were rockin with 16 colors and 3 MILLION HERTZ of raw processing power. (I still spent more time trespassing than computing after that, but typing in BASIC programs from Byte magazine was a close second)

    And today, kids get diabetes because of fast food. Yeah, that’s it…

  18. “underground of audio purists who feel that”

    I notice your careful wording there, because, well, you know.

  19. .. btw, been meaning to ask .. as a EE I see your non de plume as “current density” .. am I close??

    My first two initials. It sorta got hung on me for the way I put my chop on routing slips a long time ago. John, JD, John D., and John David were all taken before I came here.

  20. I remember around 1990, getting our first computer at work that had a *gasp* hard drive, instead of two 360K 5 1/4 inch floppy ports. The tech said of the *gasp* 20 mb drive, “You’ll never have to worry about filling up all this storage space”. LOL

  21. @bigbigslacker:

    I second that emotion.

  22. Remember the futurists predicting that humans would someday ?evolve? into amorphous blobs with little stubby “T-Rex” arms. Juvenile obesity/diabetes/asthma/etc. is the first step in the process. Thanks, X-box!

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