Objectified Circuitry

There is something terrifically satisfying about seeing, with your own eyes, the humble genesis of world-changing creations. The image above is a case in point. What we see pictured here, as I’m sure many of you already know, is the world’s first integrated circuit, created by Jack S. Kilby in the summer of 1958. That this creation, with its bubbled wax and carefully twined wire, is the work of human hands is unmistakable. The seemingly messy, cobbled-together, simplicity of it is heartening somehow when one compares it to the microchips of present day, which a human hand is not meant to touch and could only hope to damage with its meaty, imprecise groping. This is a technology which though reality-shaping has, in large part, been complexified right out of direct human contact.



Beautiful post.
Magic indeed… and to think that this emerging complexity will not stop now.
Ordered chaos. Unfathomable depth. Unlimited potential.
For human use, but out of scale.

posted on 06.08 at 03:34 AMlorbus


Some of the images above are not photos of chips but blueprints. From the intro:

Because an IC may consist of as many as fifteen layers, each laid down in coordinated stages, the computer must turn out a blueprint for each stage. These blueprints (which don’t really resemble blueprints, but are actually finely detailed color drawings) may range from four to five hundred times the actual size of the chip and enable engineers to check for errors. Some computers are even programmed to do their own checking.

posted on 06.08 at 02:40 PM.


I didn’t know digital to analog converters were quite that old. For most of us, the thing a DAC does is turn sound into bits and bits into sound. DACs are why we have CD’s and mp3’s. And, though you might think DAC’s would all sound the same, they don’t. Serious recording musicians don’t just want Neumann microphones, they want really good DAC’s to plug them into. I have an Echo Audio box with 24 bit 96 kiloherts converters that I got for $200 some years ago, and it sounds really, really good. But if I could afford it I’d get an RME Firefall interface, which costs about $1500 and is universally agreed to be worth every cent. Those who do computer music recording say it doesn’t really what computer you use, because it’s just crunching numbers. But the mics, the DACs and the monitors actually touch the sound.

posted on 06.12 at 06:02 AM.


It’s times like these I wish I were smarter. I find it astonishing that someone just thought of that. They just thought “Hey, I’m going to build this circuit because I can.” I’m sure there was more thought than that to it, but I find inventors and scientists fascinating (not to say they’re exclusive).

posted on 06.19 at 12:53 AMSterling

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