100 best gadgets ever - the silicon age
Not that long ago computers were made from vacuum tubes, resistors, capacitors and goat dung and were so big they had their own weather systems. In an alternate universe, humanity continued down that path and your alter-ego is reading this on a mobile phone the size of a kettle.
Fortunately, a few clever people invented the integrated circuit and then the silicon microprocessor. In a single generation, computers went from being the tools of science and industry to the playthings of the proto-geek, finding their way into all kinds of tech and making possible many of the entries in this feature.
In short, The Silicon Age is where things start getting interesting. So settle down and see what's made our shortlist. And if you're reading this in an alternate universe, you might want to put down your kettle-sized phone for a rest halfway through.
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