The early pioneers of electronics and telecommunications would surely be astonished to see the variety of uses of modern electronic engineering. Even as late as 1950, the impact of electronics on the average household in the industrial world was limited to a telephone, a radio receiver, and perhaps a gramophone. We now also have televisions, home computers linked to data and communications networks, pocket calculators, video and audio tape recorders and electronic watches—and we increasingly use electronics in our domestic appliances, for the control of heating systems, and in our cars. Such uses are apparent to everyone. But of course electronics has also entered schools and universities, offices, factories, and hospitals. Ships and satellites navigate with it, aircraft cannot fly without it. Government departments and business organisations rely upon it, in the form of digital computers, for information storage and retrieval. The list seems endless, and grows longer every year.
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