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Jobs house burglarized

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old account Frank Eory
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re: Jobs house burglarized
old account Frank Eory   8/22/2012 8:45:54 PM
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Nice blog Brian. Indeed, there are some rare historical treasures in that square mile. It may be difficult to preserve such treasures in a residential area, but thanks for your words that help spread the memory.

David Ashton
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re: Jobs house burglarized
David Ashton   8/22/2012 8:50:30 PM
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"...gave birth to the invention of the three-element radio vacuum tube 100 years ago this year." That, in my opinion, is something worth celebrating. The triode marked the beginning of electronics as we know it. How about an EETimes campaign to get this event properly recognised, Brian?

Brian Fuller2
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re: Jobs house burglarized
Brian Fuller2   8/22/2012 10:03:29 PM
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David, great minds think alike. This post actually started out as a celebration of the century-mark of the De Forest work, focusing on the fact that this amazing place has a crappy little historical marker buried in the flowers outside. I'd like somehow to tie it to you guys... maybe a degrees-of-separation thing... what you're working on today is related to this which was related to that which was a direct descendant of the tube. Thoughts?

David Ashton
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re: Jobs house burglarized
David Ashton   8/22/2012 11:26:32 PM
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HI Brian. A year so so ago I put together a presentation on the history of electronics for a course I was doing. I had the triode as being invented in 1907. However the wording on the plaque gives 1911-13 as the years when it was put to practical use in amps and oscillators. One of my slides made the point that the ICs of today contain a billion or more transistors in a small fraction of the size of a tube. And these days there would be engineers who use these things who don't even know about tubes. We've come a long way....

Bert22306
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re: Jobs house burglarized
Bert22306   8/23/2012 1:23:47 AM
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I'm with you entirely on the importance of the triode. And as you no doubt know, but some in the US might not, it is aptly named "valve," in English and other languages. Because that's exactly what it is and why it was so transformational. I wasn't aware that the electronic tube was also invented there. I think that predates any reference to "silicon," as in "Silicon Valley," eh?

Traces
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re: Jobs house burglarized
Traces   8/23/2012 3:37:11 PM
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Lee De Forest? Inventor of the triode? Lee DeForest was, at best, a confidence man, and was proved the fool in court by Armstrong when LD couldn't explain in any fashion how the triode worked. LD patented many configurations of wires in tubes (including some with the grid outside the plate!) without any idea whatsoever how they worked. Engineering has no business venerating such a guy.

cdhmanning
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re: Jobs house burglarized
cdhmanning   8/23/2012 7:17:30 PM
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I have not looked into this specific case in any detail, but at the time very few people understood the physics behind many things that "just worked". The patents covering the crystal set (late 1800s if I remember correctly), talked about microscopic sparks because they didn't understand the quantum mechanics behind semi-conduction.

Luis Sanchez
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re: Jobs house burglarized
Luis Sanchez   8/23/2012 8:59:26 PM
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Indeed nice blog. Is there something special in that square mile? There has been a lot of innovation in that place. Electronics has been a kid which has grown very very fast. But we’re reaching perhaps the limit (Moore’s). so perhaps the electronics development curve will reach a saturation point. Will innovation ever reach a saturation point? Have we’ve come out with the perfect tool (research) to never leave the innovation wagon or, will we reach the limit in which, there’s nothing more to discover… nothing more to invent?

EMCgenius
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re: Jobs house burglarized
EMCgenius   8/23/2012 9:12:44 PM
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No doubt Shallow Alto will continue to see the birth of many new ideas, but there is no magic in the neighborhood per se. The proximity to an excellent university (Stanford) is far more the source of inspiration that makes Silicon Valley what it is.

David Ashton
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re: Jobs house burglarized
David Ashton   8/24/2012 1:32:46 AM
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@Traces...LdF had a PhD apparently, so he could not have been stupid. And he won the court case against Armstrong (though it seems the technical community sided with Armstrong). It is not disputed that de Forrest "invented" the triode (he called it an Audion) though he did not fully understand how it worked, and Armstrong later did. But how many "inventions" have been only basically used by the inventor and later developed by others? Edison initially used DC for electricity transmission, others later proved that AC was better. Jack Kilby's first germanium IC was really crude, Robert Noyce and others refined it using silicon at Fairchild. Very few inventors started right from scratch, and most of them had their inventions developed and refined by others. But they laid major milestones along the way and it does them a disservice to detract from that.

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