–  My Take  –

If your just a little curious about your cell phone or Tablet PC etc, then this video is for you.  It all began back in 1951 when the first transistor came off the production line at Western Electric.

Discovered at Bell labs in 1947.  Much like the telephone, the automobile and electricity, the transistor is a ‘game changer’ in how all people live.  It is the foundation of all the ‘high tech’ that exists today.

In 1947, John Bardeen and Walter Brattain at AT&T’s Bell Labs in the United States observed that when electrical contacts were applied to a crystal of germanium, the output power was larger than the input. Solid State Physics Group leader William Shockley saw the potential in this, and over the next few months worked to greatly expand the knowledge of semiconductors.


The term transistor was coined by John R. Pierce. According to physicist/historian Robert Arns, legal papers from the Bell Labs patent show that William Shockley and Gerald Pearson had built operational versions from Lilienfeld’s patents, yet they never referenced this work in any of their later research papers or historical articles.

The name transistor is a portmanteau of the term “transfer resistor”.

Here’s the Original Post:

William Shatner explains what microprocessors are and do… from way back in 1976

By Vlad Savov  posted Mar 15th 2011

For a man that spent the best part of his acting career representing a savvy dude from the future, William Shatner looks pretty well at home in the past as well. This video, dusted off from AT&T’s Tech Channel archives, shows Shatner dressed in a casual tan ensemble and dropping some knowledge on the subject of microprocessors. Aside from the retro visuals and presentation, what’s great about the vid is that the seemingly lavish claims about where computers could take us — and their own move toward increasing importance, utility and ubiquity — actually seem pretty tame in light of what we know today. Beam yourself past the break to see this golden nugget from the Bell Labs archives.

Go Back to 1976 and watch William Shatner in this great AT&T video

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