Contrary to what you may have read in the technical press, the iPad isn't the first tablet to have changed the world.
Floppy, bendy paper in abundance is a relatively recent luxury, but people have wanted to write things down ever since some officious human decided that people would be more likely to obey the written word than the spoken one. Thus, it's really no surprise that the most famous set of tablets were the Ten Commandments, which are the ancient equivalent of today's “Keep Off the Grass” sign.
The Rosetta stone is probably the most famous non-religious tablet around. It's a slab of granite-like granodiorite, and carries a decree by Memphis priests telling people that the new Egyptian ruler Ptolemy was sent by the gods, and was an all-around excellent chap. Like any other propaganda, the message itself is somewhat dull.
The cool thing about the Rosetta stone is that this same decree was written three times, each in a different language: ancient Egyptian, demotic script and ancient Greek. Thus the stone can be used to translate between these ancient languages, a great help to those who, unlike James Spader in Stargate, still couldn't read Egyptian hieroglyphics.
Photo: Okko Pyykkö/Flickr
Fuente: Gadget Lab