Welcome to Hot Tech Zone. News, reviews and DIY projects on modern and retro tech and much more.

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The birth of technology

What is technology all about? Technology has been around us for a very long time now. You cannot ignore it. Even if you do not care about technology, it is all around you and affects your life every day. Here are some key points that have really shaped things, and everything we have now has only been achieved because of this.

  • Transistors

In the late 1940’s, transistors arrived. Prior to transistors, there were vales ( AKA tubes ). Valves were large, fragile, slow, power hungry and gave off a lot of heat. A great example of how transistors changed things is the first portable transistor radio, the Regency TR-1 in 1954. Before this portable devices were made with valves and were large and heavy and got through batteries quickly. The transistor fixed all of these problems. The Regency TR-1 radio can fit in your pocket and is light and could run for a long time on its battery. Valves still soldiered on for a while, but the writing was on the wall. The transistor was the future.

Prototype transistor
Prototype transistor
Vintage transistor
Vintage transistor
  • Integrated circuits

In the late 1950’s, integrated circuits arrived. This was a huge breakthrough like the transistor. Small devices could now be made with a number of legs on them to connect to the circuit, but inside the device, complex things were going on. This was a huge step forward to miniaturise circuits, improve performance and reduce power consumption. Good examples of this new technology was in business computer systems. They were still very large, but nowhere near the size of the previous valve computers. But no proper standard had been set at this time and a lot of integrated circuits were custom made to do a particular task.

Prototype integrated circuit
Prototype integrated circuit
Vintage integrated circuit
Vintage integrated circuit
  • Microprocessors

In the early 1970’s, microprocessors arrived. They took integrated circuits to the next level and could do any task you gave them with some software and interfacing. Until then, computers were huge and were just used by big corporations. The microprocessor ushered in a new era. Computers could now fit in much smaller cases and could sit on a desktop. Speeds increased and power consumption reduced. The first microprocessor computers were very expensive, but by the late 1970’s to early 1980’s home computers became affordable. A great example of this is the Sinclair ZX80 and ZX81 which sold for less than £100. Computers went from something only a business could afford, to something everybody could afford.

Intel 4004 microprocessor silicon die
Intel 4004 microprocessor silicon die
Intel 4004 microprocessor
Intel 4004 microprocessor

The 1970’s and 1980’s was a great time for technology to quickly advance year after year. Achievements were happening that not long before were just a dream. For example, things being done now would have been pure science fiction in the past. Consumer products are one of the many things that have benefited from this growing industry. There has been no stopping in making things smaller, more powerful and more efficient. None of this would have ever happened if it was not for those early pioneers in the electronics industry.

Technology today

Technology today has moved on at a phenomenal rate since the 1980’s. The transistors used in microprocessors have got smaller and smaller. This has allowed the microprocessor to be more complex, faster and use less power. They went from the simple early 8 bit architectures to 16, 32 and now 64 bits. This has given better performance, access to more memory and allowed software to be more complex and productive.

Unless you have a background in these fields, then consumer technology these days can be a minefield of choices. Although the price of electronic products is getting lower and lower, premium devices can still cost a lot of money. So your choice has to be a good one to not end up buying something you later regret.

Electronic products are changing all the time. Last years latest model is now out of date and superseded by this years new model. With new product releases all the time, do you need the new model? Does it offer anything worthwhile to warrant an upgrade? There are more and more really good budget and mid range devices now being released that are giving the high end devices a run for their money. You do not always have to spend a fortune to get a good device to satisfy your requirements. It can all be a very daunting process to keep up with what is out there.

What are we about?

We are passionate about technology. We write articles about everyday consumer products to help you with the decision process on your next purchase. Hot Tech Zone is a participant in the Amazon Services Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising programme designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.

But we are not all about helping you choose your next product, we are also into retro technology and DIY project builds. This should provide an interest from many different angles.

Our aim

We aim to try and make things easier for you by writing regular articles and covering the main product categories of mobile phones, tablets, computers, gaming, audio, video and cameras. We will cater for all budgets and talk about entry level and mid range products as well as high end products. But as previously mentioned, we will also talk about retro stuff and DIY projects. The following are the sort of articles we will be writing about.

  • News about new products in the pipeline.
  • Reviews of products you can buy now.
  • Advice on choosing the best products.
  • Product comparisons.
  • Reviews about older products that are still relevant today.
  • Retro technology.
  • DIY project builds.
  • And various other articles.

We hope you enjoy this website and let us know what you think in the comments.