The Lab With Brad Dot Com

The Lab With Brad Dot Com

Latest Episodes

Ep 287: Spider silk?
December 17, 2020

Spider silk? - Brother Phil and I were on the porch the other day, and the topic swung round to the amazing mechanical strength of spider web. He bumped into something about some piece of clothing that had been made from the stuff.

Ep 286: Say cheese!
December 10, 2020

Say cheese! - Today we look at the history of photography, and how the camera helped create the modern computer. Here’s a website with a thumbnail sketch of the history of photography. - Unraveling the History of Photography -

Ep 285: A lucky accident
December 03, 2020

A lucky accident - Around the 1950s, many labs were attempting to figure out how to manufacture transistors. Even more exciting was the idea that many electrical components, entire circuits could be put on one crystal.

Ep 284: Back up a bit
November 19, 2020

Back up a bit - A large percentage of the show’s staff all hurt their backs at once—the producer, the audio editor, founder, writer, research department head, and the host. Mind you, those are all the same guy so… We did manage to talk a little bit mo...

Ep 283: An early AI, and the birth of the transistor
November 05, 2020

An early AI, and the birth of the transistor - Vacuum tubes were all well and good, but they were bulky, hot, power hungry, and prone to failure. Early on, artificial neural networks showed promise, as even if tubes broke while it was running,

Ep 282: wires magnets and memory
October 22, 2020

wires magnets and memory - We spend some more time with some more vintage tech. This time we look at audio recorded on spools of wire, teletype equipment for input and output, and the magnetic core. Check out the links below to catch some nifty videos...

Ep 281: In memory of vintage memory
October 15, 2020

In memory of vintage memory - Before microchips, before solid state transistors, early electronic computers had to hold information somewhere… somehow… Join us as we look at some old methods of storing electronic memory.

Ep 280: Finally, some actual computers!
October 01, 2020

Finally, some actual computers! - We started with the stone age, back in episode 270. Today, we finally get to look at an all electronic, Turing complete, programmable computer. We also take a short side trip to more or less fail to explain what “Turi...

Ep 279: World wars, cyphers and subs
September 24, 2020

World wars, cyphers and subs - War grips the globe, twice. Technology pushes forward, including the specialized calculating machines to encrypt messages on the one hand, and break the encryption of the enemy on the other.

Ep 278: Vacuum tubes, with a side order of steampunk
September 17, 2020

Vacuum tubes, with a side order of steampunk - We talk about vacuum tubes, how they work and how they made radio and telephone work so much better. We also spend some time talking about the very first computer programmer, the mother of steam punk,