Updated: Apr 29, 2020
Did you know that in the 1960's and even 1950's there were advances made in electronics and computing that we have only recently been able to enjoy in the late 1990's to 2019. That's right. Your touchscreen, your stylus pen, your computer graphic editing software, and much more already existed and was being used on a daily basis in places like Bell Labs.
A brief history lesson of Bell Labs
Bell Labs traced its origins back to Alexander Graham Bell, the man responsible for bringing about a whole slew of technologies that we enjoy today. He is being forgotten but is one of the founding fathers of our modern era. I will cover more on his legacy and the importance of his accomplishments even at a young age in a subsequent post.
Bell labs was a POWERHOUSE of brilliant minds and technological pioneers. They were a healthy mix of intelligent, level minded common folk, business people, and geniuses who were working together to explore the capabilities of a digital future.
In order to get a feel for what I am talking about take a look at this video from Bell Labs circa 1968.
Did you see all of the tech that we have only recently really started to use on a wide scale?
This has become possible thanks to the advances in manufacturing smaller and smaller components and refining the materials and design processes as you likely already know.
AT&T Bell Labs was considered a national defense asset during the post WWII era and was funded by both the U.S. government and local telephone customers. Bell Labs was so financially secure it could spend as much money as it wanted purely for research and development, making critical advances that shaped the world technologically into what it is today, minus the cat pictures and memes.
Through this R&D we developed transistors which could amplify current, making modern computing and sound amplification possible.
Other noteworthy developments included fiber optics which allow communication over vast distances at the speed of light, laser technology, and Unix which serves as the backbone of many computing operating systems including Apple's OS.
The achievements that this untethered group of thinkers were able to accomplish have rippled throughout the world. But, all good things must come to an end eventually.
AT&T was so powerful it had a monopoly on the communication industry and was dismantled in the 1980's by the US government which is another bizarre story in and of itself. You can look that up later.
All of its patents and personnel were absorbed into a company called Lucent which collapsed with the approach of Y2k.
AT&T was repurchased in 2005 by one of its branch companies, SBC. SBC took on the AT&T brand and has brought a shade of it back into the corporate spotlight.
Ok, history lesson over!
What this means for you
Whatever small gains in your journey to learn and program robotics, electronics, design materials or cases, etc is never in vain. In fact, alot of pieces of your life puzzle have been gathered and put in place for you to be where you are, doing what you do now.
Take advantage of your situation and freedom and start building something. Alexander Graham Bell started building useful machines as a child, he was supported by his father and inspired to enter the telecommunications field because of his mother who was going deaf.
He worked with minimal materials over the years, exploring, tinkering, enjoying his passion.
That is the attitude that you need to adopt.
You need to be grateful for what you have because your consistency and passion may lead to a world defining powerhouse of technology and innovation. Technologies that can protect and improve lives. Something that can employ others. Something that is to be remembered and won't simply just be swept under the corporate rug.
Be proud of your struggles, how little they may seem.
Articulate your vision of where you want to go and what you imagine yourself doing.
Hold onto and refine that vision as you go.
You may find yourself in an incredible place someday.
If you would like to start learning electronics the easy and quick way be sure to check out my beginner's course where I explain the components, setup and programming in a way that anyone can understand.
These are the only books you need to get started: