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What if the transistor was never developed?

What field of work / hobby would be your next choice be?...   (This would leave all things mechanical open along with electricity, incan bulbs, relays, Generators etc etc)



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Remember the first computers used thermionic valves ( tubes )

Imagine a quad core PC with tubes !  and of course the memory cells would be magnetic rings :-)

All my early stuff I built with valves ( tubes ) and it was only in about 1962 that I ordered a 1 transistor radio kit  ( a crystal set with a OC71 transistor driving an earpiece )

I was so excited waiting for it, and when it arrived, a examined the magical transistor, and broke one leg off !

The supplier believed that was how it arrived, but I had to wait another few days for the replacement.
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I'm sure tubes would have gotten smaller as time passed and manufactring methods improved and they squeezed more into into each one.
Pentodes were already common, op-amp tubes were common, assembly of tube modules were becoming common.
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What if the transistor was never developed?

What field of work / hobby would be your next choice be?...   (This would leave all things mechanical open along with electricity, incan bulbs, relays, Generators etc etc)

Knock on wood, man! Thank God we have the transistor. I can't think of any invention that changed the world so much as the transistor.

Most of my other hobbies do not require electronic devices: playing guitar (both electrical and acoustic) and harmonica, shooting  and photography. Granted, I use a DSLR, but I could just as well be using a mechanical analog camera (like I did when I was a kid).

As for profession, I probably would've become a psychologist, photographer or secret agent.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2013, 02:18:25 pm by AlxDroidDev » Logged

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Quote
secret agent
Can you imagine trying to plant a tube-based bug in an enemy agent's office smiley-cool
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Quote
secret agent
Can you imagine trying to plant a tube-based bug in an enemy agent's office smiley-cool

I'd be working in PSYOPS.
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What is PSYOPS?  If you're not out in the field, you're not a real secret agent smiley-wink
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So was just a matter of time until those started to become integrated into modules.
But then something smaller & less expensive came along, and eventually Moore's law kicked in ...
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I had a WWll  spy radio with tiny glass tubes about 4 times the size of an LED with wires coming out of the glass to solder to I recall.
The radio was about the size of a deck of cards.
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Didn't the transistor come before the valve?
The transistor was bypassed because the manufacturing technology of the time made valves easier to produce.
Then manufacturing processes advanced and the transistor was rediscovered.

I am sure I saw recently some new audio equipment boasting of having valve based amplifiers, where would be the advantage in that?
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Wow that photo takes me back a bit !   thats the valves I was talking about on the left.

Of course when a Russian/Korean ? pilot flew his Mig to the west in he 90's, we were surprised to find the electronics had a new breed of miniature valves/tubes.
The idea being they wouldnt be zapped by the radiation of a nuclear bomb.

As for the job had transistors not been invented,     I would probably have invented them, or become a Gigolo .
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Like liquid crystals, semiconductors have been discovered for over a hundred years and their properties have only have been utilized decades after their discovery, both around the 50's and 60's. I would not call that coincidence especially with physics research in its peak around 60's. If these curious cats didn't find good use of these materials, they would have found good use of other stuff. Computers could have been miniaturized with optical parts instead. Don't bang head against them! The beams will fall out of alignment.
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Speaking of valves(tubes) in 1970 I was working at Tetadyne Semiconductor. We made fetrons, which mimicked the characteristics of different tubes with FETs. The government requested a 12AX7 fetron. We made some samples and they took them away and came back and complained they didn't work. We must have gone through this cycle 6 or 7 times. Finally we told the government we needed to test the circuit and see what they needed. Two of us got Top Secret clearances so we could go see what it was. There was a one block square 7 story building is Seattle Washington housing the Dew Line computer. I'm not sure how many 12AX7's, but lots of them. When we finally got one that worked and sold them all they wanted, we heard that they turned off seven of the eight air conditioners on the building
Jim
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What if the transistor was never developed?

Several years ago a friend and I were discussing this. I drew a picture of an 'integrated valve [tube]' to resemble a toaster, along with a couple of slices of bread toasting nicely. It would be a pity to waste all that heat!
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Hard to imagine now isn't it . 

 We went on a school trip in the 50s and one girl had a portable radio , luxury !

It had a few C cells in a cardboard case for the heaters, and a 90 volt stacked pile battery for the anodes supply :-


I think it lasted an hour or so.
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