Several years ago, Armand Van Dormael decided to buy a computer and found that the European electronics companies had given up production. This prompted him to investigate the cause of their demise. To his surprise, he discovered that the More...
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Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Size: 5.75" wide x 8.50" long x 1.25" tall
Several years ago, Armand Van Dormael decided to buy a computer and found that the European electronics companies had given up production. This prompted him to investigate the cause of their demise. To his surprise, he discovered that the program-controlled electromechanical computer, the commercial computer, the transistor, the transistor radio, the microcomputer and the www originated in Europe. Historians have covered every phase and aspect of semiconductor science and computer technology as it developed in the United States. But the pioneering breakthroughs by German and French scientists are practically unknown. The Silicon Revolution tries to fill the gap. The book traces the theoretical foundations of computing, from Leibniz's algorithms to the invention of the transistor and of the microcomputer. Since hardly any literature is available, it refers mainly to published company histories, newspaper and magazine articles.The author came to know Herbert Mataré who, in 1953, developed the first functional transistors for the French government. He moved to the United States, but was careful not to mention his invention. Fifty years later, the NY Times brought his name to public attention. In April 1972, the release of the 8008 microprocessor inaugurated the era of integrated electronics. François Gernelle used the component to build the Micral, the world's first microcomputer. He set up a production company, but was unable to compete. After the War, European governments watched American companies take control of their markets. Convinced that research and development should be fostered through a European industrial policy, huge subsidies were granted to five 'national champions'. The industry became dependent on subsidies, tariffs and other defensive strategies. Unable to compete globally, within a few years it was extinct, leaving the market to American and Asian companies.In 1980, IBM brought together Intel and Microsoft and established the IBM PC standard. Intel supplies the chips and Microsoft the word processing program. Over the years, they established a standard-based quasi-monopoly by running a treadmill of product obsolescence and upgrades. They keep their dominance, while making a graceful transition from one standard to another.