electronic history

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by mozikluv, Apr 19, 2004.

  1. mozikluv

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 22, 2004
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    hi everybody,

    here are some historical background about electronics:

    1. the term "operational amplifier" appeared on a paper wrote by Ragazzini way back in 1947!!!!

    2. the familiar triangular symbol for circuit operation was introduced way back in 1952 by GeorgeA. Philbrook Researches Inc.

    3. believe it or not - the price of an op-amp like P2 way way back was $227.00

    4. the concept of "negative feedback" was invented by Harold S. Black who was then working with Bell Laboratories in 1927

    5. the famous Wein bridge network oscillator was conceive by Max Wein in 1891.

    6. the man Lee DeForest created the the triode valve way back in 1906.



    next time around i will chat about who made the first computer. the americans or the japanese.
     
  2. Dave

    Retired Moderator

    Nov 17, 2003
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    Ooooo, controversial! I'd like to make a claim for the following item as the first real computer:

    The Manchester Mark 1

    It was essetially the first real computer as it was the first computer to contain a compiler, and it was the first computer that was able to store a short program (1024 bytes!) and data.

    The above link is a superb back story to a superb achievement that was critically important to the onset of the computer as we know it. There are some brilliant pictures of the "Baby" as they called it at Manchester University (of which I am a proud student of, well UMIST!). If you ever get the chance to come to Manchester there is a replica of tis beast in the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry (which incidently is built on the location of the World's first railway line and station) where you can see the size if this 1K memory computer! Wow how things have come on! :D

    Other than that the first computer was the Abacus! :p
     
  3. impetey

    Member

    Jan 10, 2004
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    Let's say Alan Turing as the original inventor of what we would deem a modern computer and be done with the debate. I invite you all to visit the website and not get too hung in semantics about what a computer "is",...(abacus???) not even in the running,... if you follow the definition delineated at the web-site indicated http://www.turing.org.uk/turing/scrapbook/...k/computer.html
    "invented" feedback!?! that's like inventing "flight" . It was always there just waiting to be DISCOVERED... next time you are so overcome with human hubris at inventing something nature has dangled in front of us since unwritten time...tell it to the birds.
     
  4. mozikluv

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    Jan 22, 2004
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    hi

     
  5. Dave

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    Nov 17, 2003
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    Alan Turing was indeed integral in the design and development of the Manchester computer, and if I remember correctly the Ferranti Computer which was born of the womb of the Manchester project.

    Abacus was actually tongue-in-cheek ;) :D

    I think there is a minunderstanding of the statement "inventing feedback". I think it is more inventing the concept of feedback within the realms of electronics, this is very different from inventing feedback which as you correctly state is a natural phenomena. With all due respects all inventions are based on developing a concept within understood natural parameters.
     
  6. mozikluv

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    Jan 22, 2004
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    hi dave,

    i agree with the term "concept" coz it was really there just waiting to be discovered.

    was never that good in English during my school days. :)
     
  7. Dave

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    Nov 17, 2003
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    Some interesting information on the Operational Amplifier can be found here on All About Circuits. I'm refering to only the top half of the page.
     
  8. Battousai

    Senior Member

    Nov 14, 2003
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    Interesting info guys...

    To be honest with you guys I don't know too much about electronic history, just stuff that a lot of my professors told me:

    I'm sure many of you have heard of Bob Widlar, an old analog circuits designer. He designed circuits like the widlar current source, widlar bandgap, etc. I think he also made the 741. Anyway one of my professors told me that he would go down to Mazalon, Mexico and drink all day and think up circuits. Then he would come back and show people all the circuits he designed during those periods...

    Another designer I don't know too much about is Barry Gilbert. He did a lot of stuff in bipolar like multipliers and other nonlinear analog circuits. I think he's still alive today and still working on designing circuits...

    I know you all must have heard the name Boltzmann sometime. This guy did a lot of work in thermodynamics and thermal statistics. I don't remember the exact "idea," but one of the many things Boltzmann came up with was this one great idea- I can't remember it right now. But anyway he tried to explain the idea to other scientists and they laughed at him because his idea was sounded so far fetched. Eventually Boltzmann became depressed and killed himself. Years later one of his students was studying the same stuff Boltzmann had been studying and realized Boltzmann was right about his "idea." He went and again tried to explain to the other scientists and they laughed and the student too went and killed himself!!! I know this isn't about electronic history, but it's still sad and kind of interesting.
     
  9. haditya

    Senior Member

    Jan 19, 2004
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    Since we talking of how good ideas are shot down in the scientific community, i thought that i must post this website here... on some of the best technological achievements of man and how they were criticized at the time they were being researched upon.

    Click Here
     
  10. Dave

    Retired Moderator

    Nov 17, 2003
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    Boltzmann does have a significant part to play in the world of electronics - think of Boltzmann's constant and the Boltzmann Distribution which is a very important number and concept with respect to physics of semiconductor devices.
     
  11. impetey

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    Jan 10, 2004
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    Austrian physicist who established the relationship between entropy and the statistical analysis of molecular motion in 1877, founding the branch of physics known as statistical mechanics. Boltzmann's statistical interpretation led him to conclude that entropy -decreasing processes were exceedingly improbable but not absolutely impossible. It also paved the way for the development of quantum mechanics, which is inherently a statistical theory. Boltzmann argued that the equipartition theorem was a fundamental feature of the kinetic theory. He also derived the "H-theorem " and Boltzmann equation in his paper of 1872. The H-theorem expresses the increase in entropy of an irreversible process.

    Because of Boltzmann's dense and difficult style, his work was disseminated only after its exigesis by Ehrenfest in 1911. Boltzmann is buried in the Central Cemetery in Vienna. The equation , where S is entropy, k is Boltzmann's constant, stands for the natural logarithm, and W is the number of possible "states" of a system is written on Boltzmann's tombstone, although Planck was actually the first to write down the equation in this form.
     
  12. johnd

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    May 3, 2004
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    Let's not forget Maxwell. His equations regarding the relationships between electricity and magnetism were really pioneering work. Now I've done it. There is Volta, Hertz... I could go on.

    John D.
     
  13. Dave

    Retired Moderator

    Nov 17, 2003
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    *Shudders* :p

    Seriously, Maxwell's equations are trully pioneering. What amazes me is how such people can have such insight when there is so little before them.
     
  14. beenthere

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    Apr 20, 2004
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    Let's not forget Lee DeForest who took a look at the Edison effect and found out how to control the flow of current in what became the vacuum tube. This made "electronics" possible.

    Interestingly, Edison ignored the rectification of current by a diode tube. He was still pursuing the filament of his light bulb, and was only interested in DC current anyway. Kind of missed the boat, there.

    Hard to see how radio would have progressed without those old thermionic emission valves.
     
  15. Dave

    Retired Moderator

    Nov 17, 2003
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    Well, theres something I didn't know.

    They always say you discover things by accident, but the skill is knowing when your accident is actually quite useful!!
     
  16. atferrari

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 6, 2004
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    Important men in Electronics? Look at my case:

    As a selft-taught hobbyist it took me two years to build from the very scratch, a 40-80 meters band four tubes AM xmtr from a modified CW circuit. (I had no previous experience at all in nothing related with manual activities).

    Then another two years to actually understand how the transistor worked and how to calculate its polarization so as to use them in simple circuits.

    More than one year to learn the basic of digital techniques and two more to really understand what "programming" a micro was.

    The wrong target of trying to learn everything about everything, made my progress slow, hard and difficult.

    Had I taken some courses to learn in a more organized and more economic way (timewise, I mean) I would have obtained more qualified results. But, that's what we have...

    In fact, I contributed nothing to the progress of this activity and produced nothing to feel proud about, but, one thing is true: the few times I can sit at my bench to do something, I feel in paradise and I enjoy it. This is for me, THE HOBBY.

    Nice and refreshing thread. Thanks

    Agustín Tomás (http://cablemodem.fibertel.com.ar/atferrari)
     
  17. beenthere

    Retired Moderator

    Apr 20, 2004
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    Hi All,

    Old Madman Muntz came to mind. He got started in the 1950's in manufacturing tv's. He bought up huge quantities of war surplus parts, and started making the cheapest tv set available.

    These things were wonders to behold inside. There would be gobs of phenolic cased mica capacitors put together to make up larger values. Three and four resistors hung in series/parallel combinations. The word was that he would remove random components and see if the techs could get the receiver to work without it.

    Repair was interesting, too. Some tuning was by lead dress, so disturbing the rats nest in the case would just make it impossible to fix it. But they were cheap!
     
  18. Mjollnir

    Member

    Apr 22, 2004
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    how come no one has mentioned Jack Kilby????
     
  19. Battousai

    Senior Member

    Nov 14, 2003
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    Wow lots of interesting info...

    Dave- you're right, Boltzmann did have a significant contribution to circuits as his thermal statistics are the basis for noise theory.


    Beenthere - I just read about Edison and deForest. The funny thing is Edison actually patented the dang thing just to get another patent!

    Pardon my ignorance, whose Jack Kilby?
     
  20. Mjollnir

    Member

    Apr 22, 2004
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    Jack Kilby = inventor of the integrated circuits!
     
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