Anthony J. Pennings, PhD

WRITINGS ON DIGITAL STRATEGIES, ICT ECONOMICS, AND GLOBAL COMMUNICATIONS

The MAD Origins of the Computer Age

It was the “missile gap” that would impregnate Silicon Valley with the purpose and capital to grow to its famed stature as the center of computer innovation in the world. During the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, when Robert S. McNamara was Secretary of Defense, the US undertook an enormous military buildup, with the intercontinental missile […]

Why AT&T Invented and Shared the Transistor that Started the Digital Revolution

Share Tweet The invention of the transistor in 1947 provided an extraordinary capability to control an electrical current. It was initially used for amplifying electromagnetic frequencies and then for switching the 1s and 0s needed for digital computing. An unlikely scenario unfolded in the 1950s when AT&T’s fear of government anti-trust action and regulation sparked […]

How IT Came to Rule the World, 2.8: Apple, Silicon Valley and the Counter-Cultural Impulse

While Woz earned his title as the “Mozart of digital design” through his design of the Apple II, Jobs helped conceive the computer as a democratizing tool with the motto-“One person–one computer”. The microcomputer was sold as a tool that would balance the unequal relationship between institutions and the individual. It would empower the individual and allow their inner artist to emerge. The Apple II Computer went on to become the darling of the counter-cultural crowd and would remain a symbol of resistance against the corporate forces of IBM and later the predatory practices of Microsoft.

how IT came to rule the world, 1.8: Bell Labs and the Transistor

Three licensees in particular, Motorola, Texas Instruments and Fairchild took advantage of AT&T’s transistor technology.

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  • About Me

    Professor and Associate Chair at State University of New York (SUNY) Korea. Recently taught at Hannam University in Daejeon, South Korea. Moved to Austin, Texas in August 2012 to join the Digital Media Management program at St. Edwards University. Spent the previous decade on the faculty at New York University teaching and researching information systems, media economics, and strategic communications.

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    anthony.pennings@gmail.com
    anthony.pennings@sunykorea.ac.kr

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    The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of my employers, past or present.