Seeking disruptive tech

Jon Elson jonathanelson at
Wed Dec 10 16:25:03 CST 2014

On 12/10/2014 03:29 PM, Roy Hirst wrote:
> I just realized I am the same age as the transistor (though it in fact 
> got smaller as it got older, and I did not).
> Does anyone know please of a forum (this one?) with interest in 
> disruptive technology, i.e. components or processes that quickly 
> changed the gameplan?
> Obviously at some tipping point ICs became cheaper and easier than 
> analog components, in 1945 V2 weapon guidance has mechanical gyros, 
> but 15 years later a Minuteman uses quad nand gate ICs.
Nope, the Minuteman (Autonetics D17) computer continued to use discrete
transistors and a fixed-head disk as the main memory for QUITE a number
of years.
> Behind DEC's PDP-1, funky light brown paint and all, is presumably 
> some contemporary innovation in packaging or fab process?  I never had 
> a relationship with a PDP-1, but I could generate similar nostalgia 
> for the first commercial use of VHDL, for instance.
The PDP-1 was a discrete transistor computer, also.


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