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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
josepp Obit: Norio Ohga - CD Creator (10) Obit: Norio Ohga dies 24 Apr 11

Former Sony president, the man largely responsible for the CD and digitizing music, has passed away. Without him, we'd have never had ipods and mp3s.

Founded by Morita Akio, Sony started off as a tape recorder manufacturer called Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha or TTK. When the Texas Instruments-sponsored Regency TR-1 transistorized radio hit the market in 1954, TTK was was seized with the desire to create an even better one. The TR-1 was bulky and heavy. Touted as pocket-sized, it really wasn't and required a 22-volt battery and cost $50--a lot of money in 1954.

Western Electric was selling transistor patents and so TTK bought them. They found the transistors were not up to snuff and had to dope them with phosphorus to increase their output enough to suit their vision. Bell Labs--who invented the transistor--had abandoned doping as impossible but TTK did it. They then began releasing truly pocket-sized transistor radios. In 1957, TTK released the TR-63 transistor radio which was cheap, light and only required a 9-volt battery. It was an enormous global success. So successful was the TR-63 that TTK changed its name to a combination of "sonus" (Latin for "sound") and Sonny-boy--Sony--and became THE electronic giant of the world. And nothing would ever be the same again.

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