Transistorized Life

My transistorized life began in late 1969 with a self-directed learning experience in the form of an electronics project. Tired of having to spend so much money replacing tubes in my electronics project set every time they burned out, I decided to transistorize for the first time. Borrowing my father's RCA Transistor reference manual, I built a transistorized amplifier. A few years later I carried an RCA battery-powered radio and a 12-string Gibson guitar with me when I hitchhiked for the first time in my life 888.8 miles from home. Within three days I was at my destination and the batteries in the radio were almost dead but I was amazed by the impact that technology had on me as I traveled. It was a comfort to listen to it on the road.


The five transistors inside that radio were measured in fractions of an inch. The latest tech I haul around in my pocket these days has 11.8 billion transistors measured in the 5 nanometer range within its CPU alone. Other devices I currently use on a daily basis also contain billions of transistors. Life without gobs of transistors would seem unimaginable–even intolerable–if I had not lived the first decade and a half without them. I hope to have many billions more of them in my life as I age and become increasingly less mobile and homebound. But if they all disappear or stop working, it won't be the end of the world for me. Life will go on happily.

However, without an explosive increase of transistors in my life, I might never have landed in a career I enjoyed or might never have enjoyed my hobbies as much as I have over the decades since building that little transistorized amplifier. Transistorized tech has enriched my life beyond my wildest expectations first pondered as I listened to the sounds boosted by it.