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Sunday, April 11, 2010

Retro Sunday!

Before Mr. Kilby working for Texas Instruments gave us the integrated circuit in 1958, hand held computing was a bit difficult. Even with Bell Labs invention of the transistor in 1947, discrete components were bulky.

Prior to that adding numbers required some type of mechanical device reminiscent of Charles Babbage's mechanical computer. The first viable mechanical adding machine to gain widespread use was William Seward Burroughs machine that was patented in 1888.

So, here is a Contex half keyboard model A:

It had a long life, manufactured from 1946 to 1960. This one sits on my desk above my PC to remind me how far we have come.

Need to go more portable? Not a problem!

So yes, there was a time when you stood a very good chance of fixing a computer with a little light machine oil and a light tap with a hammer!

Hope everyone has a great week!


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