“Handie Talkie” (May, 1945)

If you count all of the transistors and other solid state components, a current model iPhone has something on the order of a quarter trillion parts.

“Handie Talkie”

comes out of its case to show its remarkably compact construction. The 5-tube sending and receiving radio telephone weighs only slightly more than 5 pounds, but contains 585 tiny parts. The batteries which operate it have a life of 12-1/2 hours.

  1. Kosher Ham says: August 13, 201010:49 am

    In 1945, black and white television was a novelty. ENIAC was also under development.

    Only 5 tubes? Some of those tubes may be multi unit.

    The iPhone and iPad were science fiction articles as late as the 1960’s. Consider the movie, 2001 a Space Odyssey: There was a device called a Newspad, which looked very much like an iPad.

  2. GaryM says: August 13, 201011:04 am

    In Robert Asprin’s Phule novels, he described a device which only the richest people on the planet, in a far-future era, could afford. It was the functional equivalent of a Palm VII.

  3. Firebrand38 says: August 13, 201011:05 am

    Kosher Ham: I prefer to think that the iPad resembles the Newspad

  4. Mike says: August 13, 20102:53 pm

    Think about how many Star Trek devices resemble modern devices.

  5. Firebrand38 says: August 13, 20103:13 pm

    Mike: Actually it’s the other way around. The Star Trek communicator obviously influenced cellphone designs that flip open.

  6. Another Mike says: August 14, 201011:54 am

    Remarkably, five tubes total and the clever use of a lot of switches:


  7. jayessell says: August 14, 201011:56 am

    I was looking for that reference.
    It’s from the novelization of the movie.
    The portable TV screens (In portrait mode!) are seen in the movie.
    Also seen in the movie… The astronauts writing on legal pads!!
    Nice hit A.C.C., but it should have had WiFi.
    But then, even the Star Trek ones didn’t.


  8. Kosher Ham says: August 14, 20101:07 pm

    Legal pads? That is not only thing Arthur C. Clarke missed: In the novel he talks about using Typewriters on moon!

    There are no typewriters on the International Space Station except for specialized devices for making labels, otherwise they use ordinary computer printers adapted for zero gee.

    As for the HAL 9000 Computer, well don’t even get me started!

    Did A.C.C predict Google?

    Ha Ha

  9. jayessell says: August 14, 20102:10 pm

    I read ACC’s 1950ish novelette about a cargo ship to Mars
    resupplying the colony there with a reporter tagging along
    who used his typewriter on the trip and faxed his dispatches to Earth.

    It used ribbons.

    When I read it in the 1960s/1970s, I thought it should at least have had a teletype mode.

    iPad = This is the future.

    iPad version one or iTouch version 2?
    Can’t afford both!

  10. Toronto says: August 17, 20105:59 pm

    Anyone notice the cover? The Ball Turret Gunner without his B17? Yikes.

    Talk about your falling into the state.

  11. Casandro says: August 20, 20103:33 am

    ACC didn’t predict google, but he did predict “Bildschirmtext”.

    Other than that, what’s still missing are good pen-computers.

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