Seeking disruptive tech

Kyle Owen kylevowen at
Wed Dec 10 18:00:38 CST 2014

On Wed, Dec 10, 2014 at 5:47 PM, Brent Hilpert <hilpert at> wrote:
> All of which kind of emphasizes Roy's point of disruptive technologies. So
> what are some candidates for the most-disruptive? One would be the
> electronic calculator, which utterly devastated the mechanical calculator
> business in just a few years.

And as much as professors tried to keep calculators out of their
classrooms, they eventually gave in. Although I'm sure HP's HP-35 error
didn't help the student's case in 1972.

I also liken this sort of discussion to my own experience, as a kid in 1972
> I would go from fixing a tube radio on Tuesday, to experimenting with 7400
> TTL and 7-segment LED displays on Wednesday.

And now some of us are doing just the same. Just picked up a 1960s TV-7D/U
tube tester to check some of my tubes while I catalog them, but other days
are spent tinkering with PDP-8/Es. Vacuum tubes are certainly coming back,
especially in the audiophile and guitar realms.

I think the biggest game changer will be when high-temperature
superconductors meet with a small Josephson junction design that can yield
quantum computers on people's desks. There likely won't be any single
accomplishment there, but rather a series of them.


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