Calculators are clearly a step in the progression. Also, clearly not the beginning. To
pick any one even and say that was the beginning is absurd. There are to many steps
involved. The need to do mathematical calculations was clearly a driving force but that
goes back before Babbage.
From: cctalk <cctalk-bounces at classiccmp.org> on behalf of Noel Chiappa via cctalk
<cctalk at classiccmp.org>
Sent: Monday, March 11, 2019 7:09 AM
To: cctalk at classiccmp.org
Cc: jnc at mercury.lcs.mit.edu
Subject: Re: Pioneers of computing
From: Brent Hilpert
>> Back in 1965 Jack Kilby, Jerry Merryman and
James Van Tassel at texas
>> Instruments created an integrated circuit designed to replace the
>> calulator. Historians, though not all, credit this development as the
>> beginning of the electronic-computing revolution that was truly underway
>> by the mid-70s.
> Scotty, more power to the Reality Distortion
It's not an out-to-lunch suggestion.
The digital pocket calculator was the first mass-market digital electronic
device to be put in the hands of the consumer.
It's not clear which element of the original post that Al was referring to; I
saw several things I might disagree with:
- Unless you look at the date carefully, the notion that TI's work developing
chips was intended to replace the calculator.
- The notion that it was calculators that drove the development of micros;
Intel had actually started work on a micro for Datapoint, which was
eventually released as the 8008, _before_ they started on the 4004 for
I'd have to think long and hard before I rendered a judgement on how
important digital pocket calculators were to where we are today.
My initial reaction is to say 'not very', though - early personal computers,
centered on Silicon Valley, were mostly driven by having, well, a personal
computer. It's not clear that widespread ownership of personal calculators
did anything to drive that.