Idea Man: A Memoir by the Cofounder of Microsoft is the New York Times bestselling memoir by Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen. Published in 2011 by Portfolio, a Penguin Group imprint, the book recounts how Allen became enamored with computers at an early age, conceived the idea for Microsoft, recruited his friend Bill Gates to join him, launched what would become the world’s most successful software company; the book, reveals the conflicted partnership between Allen and Gates, how — when Allen was recovering from cancer — Gates unsuccessfully conspired to dilute Allen’s 36 percent share of Microsoft. Idea Man explores Allen's business and creative ventures following his 1983 departure from Microsoft, including his involvement in SpaceShipOne, his purchase of the Portland Trailblazers and Seattle Seahawks, his passion for music, his ongoing support for scientific research. Described by critics as candid and incendiary, Idea Man is a true story of ambition and ideas made real; the Guardian: “There's an important lesson here that has subsequently been airbrushed out of the Microsoft legend: Allen's contributions to the partnership were as critical as Gates's.
Without the tools that he developed, his insight into the infrastructure that software development requires, Microsoft's subsequent growth would have been impossible.”Kirkus Reviews:..."surprisingly profound and refreshingly frank."USA Today: “…complete and candid…”The New York Times: “The book reads well.” Penguin Group's article on Idea Man Discussion with Allen on Idea Man at the Computer History Museum Lesley Stahl speaks to Allen about Idea Man on 60 Minutes Paul Allen's adaption from Idea Man featuring in Vanity Fair
Roger Douglas Melen is an electrical engineer recognized for his early contributions to the microcomputer industry, for his technical innovations. Dr. Melen was co-founder of one of the earliest microcomputer companies. At Cromemco he developed color graphics systems that were used in television broadcast, in mission planning systems deployed by the United States Air Force, he developed the first microcomputer systems distributed in China. In addition to his work in microcomputer systems and color graphics, Dr. Melen has made significant technical contributions to the development of CCD image sensors, ultrasonic imaging systems, implantable cochlear devices, image processing technology, vehicular information systems, he has been recognized as one of the most important inventors and innovators in the history of Silicon Valley. As a young man, Roger Melen enjoyed ham radio, operating an amateur radio station from his home in Chico, California under the call sign WB6JXU, he attended Chico State College where he received the BSEE degree in 1968.
His first published invention, an audio filter he called the "Beatnote Basher," appeared in the amateur radio publication 73 Magazine in 1969. Melen attended graduate school at Stanford University, there he continued to design projects for the electronic hobbyist, collaborating with a fellow graduate student, Harry Garland, on a series of inventions published as construction projects in Popular Electronics magazine, he received the MSEE degree from Stanford in 1969, the Ph. D. degree in 1973. Dr. Melen was invited to join the research staff of the Stanford Integrated Circuits Laboratory in 1972, was named Associate Director of the laboratory in 1974. Recognizing that charge-coupled device technology had greater potential than MOS technology in delivering "full video quality imaging" for solid-state image sensors he worked on the development of CCD image sensors for application to the Optacon reading machine for the blind, he applied CCD technology to medical ultrasonic imaging systems, worked on the development of an implantable cochlear device for the profoundly deaf.
He continued to write for Popular Electronics magazine, which resulted in a meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico that would change the course of his career. In 1974 he called the "Cyclops", to Popular Electronics. While visiting the editorial office of Popular Electronics in New York to discuss the Cyclops, Melen saw a prototype of the MITS Altair Computer, being readied for publication. Recognizing the potential of interfacing the Cyclops digital camera to the Altair, Melen changed his return flight to California to go through Albuquerque to visit Ed Roberts, president of MITS. Roberts was anxious to develop third-party support for the Altair, encouraged Melen to interface the Cyclops digital camera to the Altair computer. Roberts agreed to ship an Altair computer to Melen; the MITS Altair Computer appeared on the cover of Popular Electronics in January 1975, the Cyclops digital camera appeared on the front cover the following month. Melen went to work on an interface to connect the Cyclops to the Altair.
To market the Cyclops Camera, its Altair interface, Melen formed a company with Harry Garland. The MITS Altair was an immediate success, this provided an opportunity for Cromemco to develop other products; the next product developed by Melen was a color graphics interface for the Altair, called the “Dazzler”. The Dazzler appeared on the front cover of the February 1976 issue of Popular Electronics. Melen and his team developed a series of other products culminating in the introduction of complete computer systems based on the Zilog Z80 microprocessor, the Motorola 68000 processor; these systems were used for graphics generation in U. S. television stations, were deployed as Mission Planning Systems by the United States Air Force, were the first microcomputer systems distributed in China. Dr. Melen served as Vice President of R&D for Cromemco from its inception in 1975 to its sale to Dynatech Corporation in 1987. Dr. Melen served as Vice President of R&D for Canon Research Center of America from its inception in 1990 until 2001.
During this time he developed image processing technology for document imaging, stereographic photography, radiographic imaging. In 2001 Melen joined Toyota InfoTechnology Center, U. S. A. as Senior Advisor. At Toyota he has focused on developing technology for vehicular information systems in support of vehicle safety and efficiency. Dr. Melen served as Editor of Charge-Coupled Devices: Technology and Applications published by the IEEE Press, he is author of two other technical books: Understanding IC Operational Amplifiers, Understanding CMOS Integrated Circuits. His role as a pioneer in the microcomputer industry has been recognized in numerous books, by his appearance in the 1996 PBS documentary, The Triumph of the Nerds: The Rise of Accidental Empires. Dr. Melen has been awarded 50 patents by the U. S. Patent Office
YouTube is an American video-sharing website headquartered in San Bruno, California. Three former PayPal employees—Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, Jawed Karim—created the service in February 2005. Google bought the site in November 2006 for US$1.65 billion. YouTube allows users to upload, rate, add to playlists, comment on videos, subscribe to other users, it offers a wide variety of corporate media videos. Available content includes video clips, TV show clips, music videos and documentary films, audio recordings, movie trailers, live streams, other content such as video blogging, short original videos, educational videos. Most of the content on YouTube is uploaded by individuals, but media corporations including CBS, the BBC, Hulu offer some of their material via YouTube as part of the YouTube partnership program. Unregistered users can only watch videos on the site, while registered users are permitted to upload an unlimited number of videos and add comments to videos. Videos deemed inappropriate are available only to registered users affirming themselves to be at least 18 years old.
YouTube and its creators earn advertising revenue from Google AdSense, a program which targets ads according to site content and audience. The vast majority of its videos are free to view, but there are exceptions, including subscription-based premium channels, film rentals, as well as YouTube Music and YouTube Premium, subscription services offering premium and ad-free music streaming, ad-free access to all content, including exclusive content commissioned from notable personalities; as of February 2017, there were more than 400 hours of content uploaded to YouTube each minute, one billion hours of content being watched on YouTube every day. As of August 2018, the website is ranked as the second-most popular site in the world, according to Alexa Internet. YouTube has faced criticism over aspects of its operations, including its handling of copyrighted content contained within uploaded videos, its recommendation algorithms perpetuating videos that promote conspiracy theories and falsehoods, hosting videos ostensibly targeting children but containing violent and/or sexually suggestive content involving popular characters, videos of minors attracting pedophilic activities in their comment sections, fluctuating policies on the types of content, eligible to be monetized with advertising.
YouTube was founded by Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, Jawed Karim, who were all early employees of PayPal. Hurley had studied design at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Chen and Karim studied computer science together at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign. According to a story, repeated in the media and Chen developed the idea for YouTube during the early months of 2005, after they had experienced difficulty sharing videos, shot at a dinner party at Chen's apartment in San Francisco. Karim did not attend the party and denied that it had occurred, but Chen commented that the idea that YouTube was founded after a dinner party "was very strengthened by marketing ideas around creating a story, digestible". Karim said the inspiration for YouTube first came from Janet Jackson's role in the 2004 Super Bowl incident, when her breast was exposed during her performance, from the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. Karim could not find video clips of either event online, which led to the idea of a video sharing site.
Hurley and Chen said that the original idea for YouTube was a video version of an online dating service, had been influenced by the website Hot or Not. Difficulty in finding enough dating videos led to a change of plans, with the site's founders deciding to accept uploads of any type of video. YouTube began as a venture capital-funded technology startup from an $11.5 million investment by Sequoia Capital and an $8 million investment from Artis Capital Management between November 2005 and April 2006. YouTube's early headquarters were situated above a pizzeria and Japanese restaurant in San Mateo, California; the domain name www.youtube.com was activated on February 14, 2005, the website was developed over the subsequent months. The first YouTube video, titled Me at the zoo, shows co-founder Jawed Karim at the San Diego Zoo; the video was uploaded on April 23, 2005, can still be viewed on the site. YouTube offered the public a beta test of the site in May 2005; the first video to reach one million views was a Nike advertisement featuring Ronaldinho in November 2005.
Following a $3.5 million investment from Sequoia Capital in November, the site launched on December 15, 2005, by which time the site was receiving 8 million views a day. The site grew and, in July 2006, the company announced that more than 65,000 new videos were being uploaded every day, that the site was receiving 100 million video views per day. According to data published by market research company comScore, YouTube is the dominant provider of online video in the United States, with a market share of around 43% and more than 14 billion views of videos in May 2010. In May 2011, 48 hours of new videos were uploaded to the site every minute, which increased to 60 hours every minute in January 2012, 100 hours every minute in May 2013, 300 hours every minute in November 2014, 400 hours every minute in February 2017; as of January 2012, the site had 800 million unique users a month. It is estimated that in 2007 YouTube consumed as much bandwidth as the entire Internet in 2000. According to third-party web analytics providers and SimilarWeb, YouTube is the second-most visited website in the world, as of December 2016.
Cromemco was a Mountain View, California microcomputer company known for its high-end Z80-based S-100 bus computers and peripherals in the early days of the personal computer revolution. The company began as a partnership in 1974 between Harry Garland and Roger Melen, two Stanford Ph. D. students. The company was named for their residence at Stanford University. Cromemco was incorporated in 1976 and their first products were the Cromemco Cyclops digital camera, the Cromemco Dazzler color graphics interface - both groundbreaking at the time - before they moved on to making computer systems. In December 1981 Inc. Magazine named Cromemco in the top ten fastest-growing held companies in the U. S; the collaboration, to become Cromemco began in 1970 when Harry Garland and Roger Melen, graduate students at Stanford University, began working on a series of articles for Popular Electronics magazine. These articles described construction projects for the electronic hobbyist. Since it was sometimes difficult for the hobbyist to find the needed parts for these projects and Melen licensed third-party suppliers to provide kits of parts.
A kit for one of these projects, an “Op Amp Tester”, was sold by a company called MITS which would launch a revolutionary microcomputer on the cover of Popular Electronics. In 1974 Roger Melen was visiting the New York editorial offices of Popular Electronics where he saw a prototype of the MITS Altair microcomputer. Melen was so impressed with this machine that he changed his return flight to California to go through Albuquerque, where he met with Ed Roberts, the president of MITS. At that meeting Roberts encouraged Melen to develop add-on products for the Altair, beginning with the Cyclops digital camera, slated to appear in the February 1975 issue of Popular Electronics. On returning to California and Garland formed a partnership to produce the Cyclops camera and future microcomputer products, they named the company “Cromemco” after the Stanford dorm where they first began their collaboration. Melen and Garland began work on the Cyclops Camera interface for the Altair, this spawned several other projects for their young company.
There was no convenient way to store software for the Altair, other than on punched paper tape. To remedy this problem Melen and Garland went to work on designing a programmable read-only memory card they called the “Bytesaver.” The Bytesaver could support a resident program that allowed the computer to function when it was powered up, without having to first manually load a bootstrap program. The Bytesaver proved to be a popular peripheral. There was no way to see a Cyclops image stored in the Altair. So work began on a graphics interface card; this graphics interface, called the Dazzler, was introduced in the February 1976 issue of Popular Electronics. One use for an Altair Computer with a Dazzler was to play games, but there was no way to interface a game joystick to the Altair. So the next project was to design a joystick console and an interface card that supported an 8-bit digital channel and 7 analog channels; the D+7A could do much more than just interface a joystick, it was this card that allowed the Altair to be connected to the world of data acquisition and industrial computing.
Cromemco called themselves “Specialists in Computer Peripherals” and had a reputation for innovative designs and quality construction. They were, just a few steps away from offering their own computer system based on the Altair computer bus structure, named by Garland and Melen the "S-100 bus"; the first computer released by Cromemco was the Z-1 in August 1976. The Z-1 came with 8K of static RAM and used the same chassis as the IMSAI 8080 but featured the Z80 microprocessor rather than the IMSAI computer's Intel 8080 chip; the Z-1 was succeeded by the Z-2 in June 1977, which featured 64K of RAM and the ability to run Cromemco DOS, a CP/M-like operating system. The Z-2 added a parallel interface in addition to an RS-232C serial port and no longer included the large panel of switches, part of the Z-1 model. Cromemco re-packaged their systems to produce the System One, followed by the larger System Two and System Three; the System Three, announced in 1978 was capable of running both FORTRAN IV and Z80 BASIC programming languages.
The System Three was designed for multiuser professional use and included an optional hard disk, CRT terminal and the main computer unit. In 1979, Cromemco released the first Unix-like operating system for microcomputers. CROMIX ran on the System Three and would run on Cromemco systems using the Motorola 68000 series of microprocessors. In 1982, Cromemco introduced a Motorola 68000 CPU card for their systems, it was a dual-processor card with both a Zilog Z-80 processor. Their System One and Three computers evolved to the 100-series, 200-series, 300-series respectively. Additionally a 400-series was introduced in a tower-style case; the DPU was followed by the increasing capable XPU and XXU cards based on the Motorola 68000 family of processors. Cromemco introduced the C-10 personal computer in 1982, a Z-80 floppy disk based system for the low end of the market. By 1983, Cromemco had annual revenues of US$55 million; the company was wholly owned by Garland and Melen until it was sold to Dynatech in 1987 as a supplier to their ColorGraphics Weather Systems subsidiary.
The European division of Cromemco reorganized as Cromemco AG and was in liquidation in 2018 (https
An image sensor or imager is a sensor that detects and conveys information used to make an image. It does so by converting the variable attenuation of light waves into signals, small bursts of current that convey the information; the waves can be other electromagnetic radiation. Image sensors are used in electronic imaging devices of both analog and digital types, which include digital cameras, camera modules, medical imaging equipment, night vision equipment such as thermal imaging devices, radar and others; as technology changes, digital imaging tends to replace analog imaging. Early analog sensors for visible light were video camera tubes. Used types are semiconductor charge-coupled devices or active pixel sensors in complementary metal–oxide–semiconductor or N-type metal-oxide-semiconductor technologies. Analog sensors for invisible radiation tend to involve vacuum tubes of various kinds. Digital sensors include flat panel detectors. In February 2018, researchers at Dartmouth College announced a new image sensing technology that the researchers call QIS, for Quanta Image Sensor.
Instead of pixels, QIS chips have what the researchers call "jots." Each jot can detect a single particle of light, called a photon. Cameras integrated in small consumer products use CMOS sensors, which are cheaper and have lower power consumption in battery powered devices than CCDs. CCD sensors are used for high end broadcast quality video cameras, MOS sensors dominate in still photography and consumer goods where overall cost is a major concern. Both types of sensor accomplish the same task of capturing light and converting it into electrical signals; each cell of a CCD image sensor is an analog device. When light strikes the chip it is held as a small electrical charge in each photo sensor; the charges in the line of pixels nearest to the output amplifiers are amplified and output each line of pixels shifts its charges one line closer to the amplifier, filling the empty line closest to the amplifiers. This process is repeated until all the lines of pixels have had their charge amplified and output.
A CMOS image sensor has an amplifier for each pixel compared to the few amplifiers of a CCD. This results in less area for the capture of photons than a CCD, but this problem has been overcome by using microlenses in front of each photodiode, which focus light into the photodiode that would have otherwise hit the amplifier and not be detected; some CMOS imaging sensors use Back-side illumination to increase the number of photons that hit the photodiode. CMOS sensors can be implemented with fewer components, use less power, and/or provide faster readout than CCD sensors, they are less vulnerable to static electricity discharges. Another design, a hybrid CCD/CMOS architecture consists of CMOS readout integrated circuits that are bump bonded to a CCD imaging substrate – a technology, developed for infrared staring arrays and has been adapted to silicon-based detector technology. Another approach is to utilize the fine dimensions available in modern CMOS technology to implement a CCD like structure in CMOS technology: such structures can be achieved by separating individual poly-silicon gates by a small gap.
There are many parameters that can be used to evaluate the performance of an image sensor, including dynamic range, signal-to-noise ratio, low-light sensitivity. For sensors of comparable types, the signal-to-noise ratio and dynamic range improve as the size increases. There are several main types of color image sensors, differing by the type of color-separation mechanism: Bayer filter sensor, low-cost and most common, using a color filter array that passes red and blue light to selected pixel sensors; each individual sensor element is made sensitive to red and blue by means of a color gel made of chemical dye placed over each individual element. Although inexpensive to manufacture, this technique lacks the color purity of dichroic filters; because the color gel segment must be separated from the others by a freme, less of the areal density of a Bayer filter sensor is available to capture light, making the Bayer filter sensor less sensitive than other color sensors of similar size. This loss can be negated by using larger sensor size, albeit at greater cost.
The most common Bayer filter matrix uses two green pixels, one each for red and blue. This results in less resolution for red and blue colors, corresponding to the human eye's reduced sensitivity at the limits of the visual spectrum; the missing color samples may interpolated using a demosaicing algorithm, or ignored altogether by lossy compression. In order to improve color information, techniques like color co-site sampling use a piezo mechanism to shift the color sensor in pixel steps. Foveon X3 sensor, using an array of layered pixel sensors, separating light via the inherent wavelength-dependent absorption property of silicon, such that every location senses all three color channels; this method is similar to. 3CCD, using three discrete image sensors, with the color separation done by a dichroic prism. The dichroic elements provide a sharper color separation, thus improving color quality; because each sensor is sensitive within its passband, at full resolution, 3-CCD sensors produce better color quality and better low light performance.
3-CCD sensors produce a full 4:4:4 signal, preferred in television broadcasting, video editing and chroma key visual effects. Special sensors are
Ed Roberts (computer engineer)
Henry Edward "Ed" Roberts was an American engineer and medical doctor who invented the first commercially successful personal computer in 1975. He is most known as "the father of the personal computer", he founded Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems in 1970 to sell electronics kits to model rocketry hobbyists, but the first successful product was an electronic calculator kit, featured on the cover of the November 1971 issue of Popular Electronics. The calculators were successful and sales topped one million dollars in 1973. A brutal calculator price war left the company in debt by 1974. Roberts developed the Altair 8800 personal computer that used the new Intel 8080 microprocessor; this was featured on the cover of the January 1975 issue of Popular Electronics, hobbyists flooded MITS with orders for this $397 computer kit. Bill Gates and Paul Allen joined MITS to develop software and Altair BASIC was Microsoft's first product. Roberts sold MITS in 1977 and retired to Georgia where he farmed, studied medicine and became a small-town doctor living in Cochran, Georgia.
Roberts was born on September 13, 1941 in Miami, Florida to Henry Melvin Roberts, an appliance repairman, Edna Wilcher Roberts, a homemaker. His younger sister Cheryl was born in 1947. During World War II, while his father was in the Army and his mother lived on the Wilcher family farm in Wheeler County, Georgia. After the war, the family returned to Miami, but Roberts would spend his summers with his grandparents in rural Georgia. Roberts' father had an appliance repair business in Miami. Roberts became interested in electronics and built a small relay-based computer while in high school. Medicine was his true passion, he entered University of Miami with the intention of becoming a doctor, the first in his family to attend college. There he met a neurosurgeon; the doctor suggested that Roberts get an engineering degree before applying to medical school, Roberts changed his major to electrical engineering. Roberts married Joan Clark while at the university, when she became pregnant Roberts knew that he would have to drop out of school to support his new family.
The U. S. Air Force had a program that would pay for college, in May 1962 he enlisted with the hope of finishing his degree through the Airman Education & Commissioning Program. After basic training, Roberts attended the Cryptographic Equipment Maintenance School at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas; because of his electrical engineering studies at college, Roberts was made an instructor at the Cryptographic School when he finished the course. To augment his meager enlisted man's pay, Roberts worked on several off-duty projects and set up a one-man company, Reliance Engineering; the most notable job was to create the electronics that animated the Christmas characters in the window display of Joske's department store in San Antonio. In 1965, he was selected for an Air Force program to complete his college degree and become a commissioned officer. Roberts earned an electrical engineering degree from Oklahoma State University in 1968 and was assigned to the Laser Division of the Weapons Laboratory at Kirtland AFB in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
In 1968, he looked into applying to medical school but learned that, at age 27, he was considered too old. Roberts worked with Forrest Mims at the Weapons Laboratory, both shared an interest in model rocketry. Mims was an advisor to the Albuquerque Model Rocket Club and met the publisher of Model Rocketry magazine at a rocketry conference; this led to an article in the September 1969 issue of Model Rocketry, "Transistorized Tracking Light for Night Launched Model Rockets". Roberts and lab coworkers Stan Cagle and Bob Zaller decided that they could design and sell electronics kits to model rocket hobbyists. Roberts wanted to call the new company Reliance Engineering, but Mims wanted to form an acronym similar to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's MIT. Cagle came up with Micro Telemetry Systems, they advertised the light flasher, a roll rate sensor with transmitter, other kits in Model Rocketry, but the sales were disappointing. Mims wrote an article about the new technology of light-emitting diodes, to be published in the November 1970 issue of Popular Electronics magazine.
He asked the editors if they wanted a project story, they agreed. Roberts and Mims developed an LED communicator that would transmit voice on an infrared beam of light to a receiver hundreds of feet away. Readers could buy a kit of parts to build the Opticom LED Communicator from MITS for $15. MITS sold just over a hundred kits. Mims wanted to pursue a career as a technology writer. Roberts bought out his original partners and focused the company on the emerging market of electronic calculators. Roberts's first real experience with computers came while at Oklahoma State University where engineering students had free access to an IBM 1620 computer, his office at the Weapons Laboratory had the state of the art Hewlett-Packard 9100A programmable calculator in 1968. Roberts had always wanted to build a digital computer and, in July 1970, Electronic Arrays announced a set of six LSI integrated circuits that would make a four-function calculator. Roberts was determined to design a calculator kit and got fellow Weapons Laboratory officers William Yates and Ed Laughlin to invest in the project with time and money.
The first product was a "four-function" calculator that could add, subtract and divide. The display was only eight digits; the MITS Model 816 calculator kit was featured on the November 1971 cov
Popular Electronics is an American magazine published by John August Media, LLC, hosted at TechnicaCuriosa.com. The magazine was started by Ziff-Davis Publishing Company in October 1954 for electronics hobbyists and experimenters, it soon became the "World's Largest-Selling Electronics Magazine". In April 1957 Ziff-Davis reported. Popular Electronics was published until October 1982 when, in November 1982, Ziff-Davis launched a successor magazine, Computers & Electronics. During its last year of publication by Ziff-Davis, Popular Electronics reported an average monthly circulation of 409,344 copies; the title was sold to Gernsback Publications, their Hands-On Electronics magazine was renamed to Popular Electronics in February 1989, published until December 1999. The Popular Electronics trademark was acquired by John August Media, who revived the magazine, the digital edition of, hosted at TechnicaCuriosa.com, along with sister titles, Mechanix Illustrated and Popular Astronomy. A cover story on Popular Electronics could launch a new company.
The most famous issue, January 1975, had the Altair 8800 computer on the cover and ignited the home computer revolution. Paul Allen showed that issue to Bill Gates, they started Microsoft. Radio & Television News was a magazine for professionals and the editors wanted to create a magazine for hobbyists. Ziff-Davis had started Popular Aviation in 1927 and Popular Photography in 1934 but found that Gernsback Publications had the trademark on Popular Electronics, it was used in Radio-Craft from 1943 until 1948. Ziff-Davis started Popular Electronics with the October 1954 issue. Many of the editors and authors worked for both Ziff-Davis magazines. Oliver Read was the editor of both Radio & Television News and Popular Electronics. Read was promoted to Publisher in June 1956. Oliver Perry Ferrell took over as editor of Popular Electronics and William A. Stocklin became editor of Radio & Television News. In Radio & TV News John T. Frye wrote a column on a fictional repair shop where the proprietor, would interact with other technicians and customers.
The reader would learn repair techniques for servicing TVs. In Popular Electronics his column was about two high school boys and Jerry; each month the boys would have an adventure. By 1954 building audio and radio kits was a growing pastime. Heathkit and many others offered kits; the premier cover shows the assembly of a Heathkit A-7B audio amplifier. Popular Electronics would offer projects; the early issues showed these as father and son projects. Most of the early projects used vacuum tubes, as transistors were expensive: the small-signal Raytheon CK722 transistor was US$3.50 in the December 1954 issue, while a typical small-signal vacuum tube was $0.61. Lou Garner wrote the feature story for the first issue, a battery-powered tube radio that could be used on a bicycle, he was given a column called Transistor Topics. Transistors soon cost less than a dollar and transistor projects became common in every issue of Popular Electronics; the column was renamed to Solid State in 1965 and ran under his byline until December 1978.
The July 1962 issue had 112 pages, the editor was Oliver P. Ferrell and the monthly circulation was 400,000; the magazine had a full page of electronics news, called "POP'tronics News Scope." In January 2000 a successor magazine was renamed Poptronics. In the 1960s, Fawcett Publications had Electronics Illustrated; the cover showed a 15-inch black and white TV kit by Conar that cost $135. The feature construction story was a "Radiation Fallout Monitor" for "keeping track of the radiation level in your neighborhood." Other construction projects included an underwater temperature probe. There were regular columns for amateur radio and shortwave listening; these would show a reader with his radio equipment each month. Lou Garner's Transistor Topics covers the new transistorized FM stereo receivers and several readers' circuits. John T. Frye's fictional characters and Jerry, use a PH meter to locate the source of pollution in a river; as Editor, Olivier Ferrell built a stable of authors who contributed interesting construction projects.
These projects established the style of Popular Electronics for years to come. Two of the most prolific authors were Don Lancaster. Daniel Meyer graduated from Southwest Texas State and became an engineer at Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, Texas, he soon started writing hobbyist articles. The first was in Electronics World and latter he had a 2 part cover feature for Radio-Electronics; the March 1963 issue of Popular Electronics featured his ultrasonic listening device on the cover. Don Lancaster graduated from Arizona State University. A 1960s fad was to have colored lights synchronized with music; this psychedelic lighting was made economical by the development of the silicon-controlled rectifier. Don's first published article was "Solid-State 3-Channel Color Organ" in the April 1963 issue of Electronics World, he was paid $150 for the story. The projects in Popular Electronic