It's barely a headline anywhere else. But, imagine where we'd be without it. Today marks the 50th anniversary of the microchip; the first integrated circuit.

Check it out! It's not much to look at and clearly microchips have come along way since Jack Kilby of Texas Instruments unveiled the first one on September 12, 1958. Kilby would later move on to win the Nobel Prize in Physics. However, Kilby's chip was made of germanium. Six months after his chip debuted, Robert Noyce of Fairchild Semiconductor one up'd him with a better chip made of Silicon.

Good thing: Germanium Valley just wouldn't sound right in Northern California.

Still, props to Kilby and Texas Instruments and their place in the annals of American technology.

Speaking of Texas; as I write this, Hurricane Ike is less than 200 miles off the coast of Galveston with Houston in its direct path, as well. It's already sending in high waves and flooding neighborhoods. Over recent years I have received a lot of help on my stories for this web site from a number of techies and small business owners in the Houston area. David Robertson of Covenant Technologies and Robin Mueck of Heritage Texas Properties are just a couple that immediately come to mind. It was less than a year ago that David helped me with a story on disaster preparedness for smaller businesses. Hopefully, he'll have some stories to share with us next week. Hopefully, all with happy endings.

Please keep them in your thoughts this weekend, as will I.

I can't imagine a city on the planet more driven by it's own entrepreneural and creative spirit than Houston, Texas. It's always been a city of innovators, dreamers, wild catters and risk takers.

When Ike hits, you can bet Houston will hit right back.