Home Chapter 5 Transistors

As literal and literate culture thus slowly emerged from the oral and material culture and this cultural memory became ever more closely identified with the library a curios process of reification and sacralization of the library developed .It was. . . taken to be a super-human memory which transcends individual men, which covers over them, and to which they must aspire
~ Vilem Flusser

Transistors are semiconductor devices with three leads instead of two and they allow a small current to control a much larger current. By adding a second junction to a diode, you end up with a three-layer transistor device called either NPN (not-positive, positive and not-positive layers) or PNP which has two not positive layers of silicon sandwiching a positive layer of silicon. I call this a silicon sandwich, with NPN having a p-type silicon layer sandwiched between two n-type silicon layers, and vice versa for the PNP. In the NPN transistor the middle layer acts as a gate or faucet, to allow a current to pass, when voltages are applied to the middle layer. This means that transistors can be used as digital logic switches and as amplifiers.


 Transistors of various sizes and packages

 It is important to acknowledge that the transistor welcomed the information-age, as we know it. With transistors portable radios like the Sony TR-55 and the Regency TR1 suddenly became available for the masses, which then had easy and portable access to information and entertainment. The transistor radio certainly fueled the rock and roll music revolution. You can imagine a teen finally free of the constraints of the family musical tastes and tuned into emotionally charged rock and roll.


Sony Transistor Radio