[vcf-midatlantic] The Transistor......Re: Evan @ IFIP

Dan Roganti ragooman at gmail.com
Fri May 27 10:00:39 EDT 2016

On Fri, May 27, 2016 at 9:32 AM, Chris Fala via vcf-midatlantic <
vcf-midatlantic at lists.vintagecomputerfederation.org> wrote:

> On Fri, May 27, 2016 at 8:38 AM, Dan Roganti via vcf-midatlantic <
> vcf-midatlantic at lists.vintagecomputerfederation.org> wrote:
> > On Thu, May 26, 2016 at 9:45 PM, Evan Koblentz via vcf-midatlantic <
> > vcf-midatlantic at lists.vintagecomputerfederation.org> wrote:
> >
> > > They took us on a private tour of the old Bell Labs (now it's Nokia,
> > which
> > > bought Alcatel-Lucent) in Murray Hill NJ today. We spent a couple of
> > hours
> > > there. Photos were not allowed. Among many highlights, we saw the room
> > > where they perfected (not "invented") the transistor
> > >
> >
> >
> > ​I bet you didn't say that _while_ you were visiting there :)
> > And I would hardly call it perfected.
> > As most academics often overlook the technical aspects.
> > Where the 1925 FET is a voltage operated device
> > whereas the Bell Labs Transistor is a current operated device.
> > Two completely different animals
> > ​Also, you how many of the innovations occurred in the past
> > A lot of it was based on popularity, just look at Edison/Telsa
> > And the 1925 FET was hardly on anyone's "radar"
> > otherwise why did they spend the next 30yrs with vacuum tube computers
> > iso of researching and developing that new innovation further.
> > But it also had mostly to do with making the planar process practical
> > enough to mass produce.
> > Dan
> >
> Since we are "arguing" :-) the importance of "firsts", how much credit
> should Robert Noyce get for the "invention" of the IC vs. work done at TI?
> (Most of my knowledge is based on a PBS documentary, so don't judge me too
> harshly.)
> And Dan, thanks for enlightening me, I never heard that the FET was
> invented that long ago. Glad I am here for a good education!

​ I think one analogy relevant to modern times would be the electric car
20yrs ago, Consumer electric cars were built,
Not counting the one from 100+yrs ago - that's even a more dire analogy
They were not as effective yet​ as today's version of course
Yet, they disappeared without any further R&D work
Effectively canceling 20yrs of technology
That doesn't happen without some external influence
Just look at the production of vacuum tubes.
The tube elements relied on metals which was a boon to the mining industry
Less R&D required as opposed to the 1925 FET
So companies opt for the cheap alternative
Imagine if we had semiconductor computers prior to WWII

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