Posts Tagged ‘University College London’

The world ash tree of the computer hardware industry… crystalline silicon from 1854.

Thursday, October 31st, 2013

The element silicon best represents the digital era of the mid 20th century to the present; without its crystalline form, there would be no computers (or this blog). Although it was first prepared in pure amorphous (powder) form around 1823[1] by Berzelius, it was not until 1854 that Henri Sainte-Claire Deville made it in crystalline form, using metallic aluminium to isolate it. He described it [1] as having a “metallic luster”.



  1. "The discovery of the elements. XII. Other elements isolated with the aid of potassium and sodium: Beryllium, boron, silicon, and aluminum", @ACHS, 1932.

Computers 1967-2013: a personal perspective. Part 5. Network bandwidth.

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

In a time of change, we often do not notice that Δ = ∫δ. Here I am thinking of network bandwidth, and my personal experience of it over a 46 year period.