By user12625760 on Dec 16, 2007
After reading in The Register that today would be the Sixtieth birthday of the Transistor, sharing my dad's birthday, I asked the family if they could guess what was invented this day. I gave three clues:
It is probably one of the top ten most important inventions of all time1
It was invented in the 20th Century
We have millions of them in the house.
It was the third clue that made me write this. People are often saying that in the future we will have computers everywhere and I often find my self wondering if this is really true. However if 60 years ago, or even 30 years ago you had said that homes in the UK in 2007 would contain millions of transistors would you have thought that was as preposterous? I think I would.
1 I made this up on the spot but it can't be far off. My starting top ten would be: The wheel, the bicycle, the printing press, Railways, the light bulb, the telephone, the flushing toilet, the transistor, the aeroplane and radio. I think I could be persuaded that the computer should be on the list but it can't be higher than the transistor since it needs the transistor to be practical. In the same way you can't have the bicycle without having the wheel.