Plywood from China

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Alan Petrillo wrote:

And as far as consumer electronics (which is the industry that has been "lost"--the US still makes radars and whatnot just fine) the US consumer electronics industry shot itself in the foot by not jumping on the solid state bandwagon when transistors first came out. I don't blame that Japanese for that at all--they were working hard at coming up with innovative new products while the US consumer electronics industry was stagnating.
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On Mon, 15 Jun 2009 07:05:14 -0400, "J. Clarke"
<snip>

<snip>
hahaha... I got a laugh out of this.
Its not that the US industry was caught flat footed. The US was innovating... Doing everything to fight the transistor.
First there was the Compactron tube. Remember those... It jammed the functionality of multiple tubes into one envelope and cost a fortune to replace.
Then there was a whole slew of 1 volt filament tubes that enabled the US industry to make "portable" radios that ran off a bunch of D cells and a 45v B battery.
And finally there was the "Nuvistor". It's name even sounds like Transistor. It was a teeny little tube designed specifically to fight against the transistor. It looked just like a transistor too.
So yep, we killed ourselves. But it's not that we weren't innovating. It's just that we were innovating the wrong things.
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dicko wrote:

Except at the beginning:
http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/physics/laureates/1956/index.html
--
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Swingman wrote:

I think the previous wasn't particularly accurate assessment of the overall state of affairs. Philco had the Transac S-2000 series computer out which included them new-fangled solid state devices quite early (1958). They had hybrid models of the series even earlier (showing my age, I used them... :) ).
<http://www.computerhistory.org/collections/accession/102646276
The application in consumer products was a different story as the economics weren't the same.
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"dpb" wrote:

I don't know whether you wish to consider the automotive alternator a consumer product or not, but like the automotive radio, we can thank Motorola for its existance..
For the alternator to be practical, a 3 phase rectifier bridge was required.
Prior to the solid state rectifier, germanium was used, which was a problem.
There simply is enough germanium to satisfy automotive production for a year, thus pricing restricted it's use to police and emergency vehicles.
When the solid state 25A, push in diode became available, it sold for $100 + $1/PIV and you needed 100PIV.
Thus a solid state diode was $200 ea or $1,200/bridge.
Needless to say, those early diodes were guarded with great care by engineering.
With that as the background, in walks Motorola to the big 3 with a proposition:
You guarantee Motorola 10,000,000 units/year, we will build a plant and sell diodes to you for $0.25 EACH.
Thus the automotive alternator became a reality.
Lew
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Lew Hodgett wrote:

Motorola sold their semiconductor division several years ago. It's called Freescale Semiconductor.
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"Doug Winterburn" wrote:

This was the 1955-1960 time period.
As usual, you can depend on Motorola to fuck up a wet dream.
Lew
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On Mon, 15 Jun 2009 23:24:26 GMT, "Lew Hodgett"

And all the Freescale stuff is made in Thailand and China.
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On Mon, 15 Jun 2009 16:17:33 -0700, Doug Winterburn

Motorola sold off everything they were good at to concentrate on the highly competetive cellular phone market - one of their weakest product lines.
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Just like GEC/Marconi in the UK.
All that's left now is a little outfit called Telent and the other remaining bits are part of Ericsson.
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On Mon, 15 Jun 2009 16:04:59 -0500, dpb wrote:

IIRC, the Univac SS-80/90 came out about the same time. Remember excess 5 alphanumerics?
--
Intelligence is an experiment that failed - G. B. Shaw

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Larry Blanchard wrote:

What do Univac computers have to do with consumer electronics?
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J. Clarke wrote:

They were the personal computers of the day, viz. your job took up the entire machine. :-)     mr. Burroughs E101     jo4hn
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On Tue, 16 Jun 2009 17:35:38 +0100, J. Clarke wrote

I predict that in the near future every home will have one, and housewives wearing silver-foil jump-suits will use them for the household accounts or while away their leisure time playing chess with them or storing recipes in the memory tanks which can easiy be refilled and upgraded by having mercury delivered to the door just as today we have milk... They will even be able to play a selection of melodies on the household piano by means of an attachment which fits over the keys and faithfully replays compositions stored in the memory tanks. Now every home will be able to have music!
The control bank will fit neatly in beside the wireless telegraphy televisual receiving apparatus and the radium-ray steak cooker so housewives can easily pause for the hour when it is time for the picture information broadcast which will, it is envisaged, come into their homes every single day to deliver government news and messages from friends and family - except Sunday, of course, when the flow of electricity will be stopped as a mark of respect.
What excitement tomorrow promises, thanks to the miracle of the electron and the vision of us here at the Omnivac Corporation of America!
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Bored Borg wrote:

Sweet. Maybe I was wrong in assuming that computers were a passing fad and would disappear in a few years...
    mahalo,     jo4hn
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jo4hn wrote:

I've said it before and I'll say it again, "Computers, bah, humbug, just a fad, never gonna catch on."
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It did. Millions of Transistor Radios.

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Uhmmm.... you got it wrong. We did the innovation in electronics and new products. Japan innovated in production and marketing.
nb
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And copying - at least in the early days.
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There used to be a saying in Britain that went something like "the British invent it, the Americans manufacture it and the Japanese copy it and sell it for sixpence"
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