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Hands up if you ever had one of these bad boys. The Radio Shack Science Fair 100-in-One (1973)

I was super super lucky, my dad managed to bring this from America

rcgrabbag.com/archives/radio-s

aaaand my big brothers MAY have rigged up the 'high voltage shock' circuit and told me it was the Lie Detector circuit and to hold the ends of the wires

Good times, good times. Very educational.

note the SPACE AGE INTEGRATED CIRCUIT with a whole ONE transistor on it.

That was a LOT in 1973!!!

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By 19?? (even the Internet doesn't seem to have a date for the 150-in-1) things had gotten a little better:

* the IC was a real digital thingy, some kind of oscillator
* an 8-segment LED! (the 8th is the dot)
* 3 transistors!
* a ferrite core antenna for making probably illegal radio interference!

Yeah, this thing is probably responsible for my love of programming.

flickr.com/photos/samwibatt/77

... actually that poor little IC is only two transistors so I guess it was an analog oscillator circuit?

Despite loving this thing, I never quite grasped analog electronics. Too many things happening at once. Vaguely understood the 'water pressure' analogy, but squishy circuits like bridges and oscillators just threw me. Digital electronics, that made SENSE.

But I always felt that programming SHOULD be like an electronic circuit, fundamentally parallel.

@natecull I sure did. They were rebadged as Tandy instead of Radioshack here.

@natecull analog electronics are black magic. Tried to study that in school, but anything beyond light bulbs I couldn't figure out.

@tuturto @natecull If you want to try to learn it now, everycircuit is an amazing app/website

@tuturto @natecull You'd still benefit from an explanatory text or ref, but the app makes a lot of the normally invisible stuff going on visible.

@tuturto @natecull my grandfather was engineer for WNBC TV so I once read how analog color TV worked. Where’s the crossed eyed emoji?

And I can myself an “engineer” lol. Those guys 50 years ago where crazy geniuses.

@Codhisattva @tuturto iirc, the big trick with colour TV wasn't just getting it working, but getting it working in a backwards-compatible way for all the folks who still had black-and-white TVs.

@natecull @tuturto b&w support wasn’t optional either. There had to be a common, single carrier wave.

@tuturto @natecull I can sorta understand them, different kinds of filters and such, but I can see why so many things have gone digital even when that’s technically more complicated

@tuturto Op amps are among the simplest analog integrated circuits and it still takes calculus to use them. youtu.be/_o4ScgRZtNI

@Cdespinosa @tuturto not really, you can figure them out at a low level with just some tricky algebra, but the key is to just forget about feedback and use sample circuits of inverting/non-inverting amplifiers :P

@natecull I had one of these too, it was pretty cool! I had mine in 1982 or 83

@natecull I had a similar one, with several IC's and a plastic control panel in front from Tandy in the 1980’s in .be

Also never got comfortable with analog circuits...

@natecull WOAH. Thanks for posting that picture. I hadn't thought of that thing in forever.

I loved mine to death -- I recall roasting one of the transistors because I was way too young to understand where the current limiting resistor goes. Oops.

(The IC is just a basic amplifier in a SIP/SIL package.)

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