Homebrew Turing Machine


19 Responses to “Homebrew Turing Machine”

  1. cbuchner1 says:

    Weren’t turing machines supposed to also store their program on tape?

    Putting it on SD card seems like taking a short cut.

    Would have been faster to use magnetic tape instead of the optical one. ;)

  2. Roy Trumbull says:

    Two papers were written on the computability of numbers. One was by Turning and the other by Alonzo Church. Turning came to the U.S. to study with Church at Princeton.
    When he was back in England working on a more efficient way to decode the Enigma machine, electronic were pretty primitive. He needed a delay line to do a logical operation with an earlier result. It was an acoustic delay line and used a mixture of alcohol and water in a glass tube. The preferred liquid was gin right out of the bottle.

  3. Crashproof says:

    But will it run Crysis?

  4. Anonymous says:

    Would be awesome if it used a wider variety of symbols, say Mandarin, and pronounced them when it read them.

  5. Chentzilla says:

    You know that classic Turing machine has infinite tape, right?

  6. dhasenan says:

    Technically, it’s a linear bounded automaton, but I won’t quibble — it’s awesome.

  7. Genteel Bartender says:

    I would be much more impressed if it were a Hot Tub Turing Machine.

  8. AirPillo says:

    I feel really weird saying this, but… it was oddly beautiful seeing it write out those nice, perfect ones and zeroes.

    That tickled some sort of really neurotic pleasure center in my brain.

  9. jphilby says:

    Put this guy together with Trimpin for some *real* fun!

  10. skeletoncityrepeater says:

    As a BS in CS I would like to argue that the Turing machine is not simply a ‘thought experiment’ but a _revolutionary_ model in computing theory. In my Finite Automata and Grammars class (the hardest class I ever took) it was proven to me that if you can build a Turing machine on paper to solve a problem, then it is therefore mechanically or electronically computable.

    • AirPillo says:

      Thought experiments can still be revolutionary, just ask Einstein. Relativity started as a series of thought experiments.

  11. Taliesin says:

    That is just awesomely cool.

    Here is this extremely sophisticated, industrialized *realization* of a Turing machine actually emulating (with absurd precision) the theoretical idea that inspired it in the first place. Isn’t that irony delicious?

    And that playfulness extends out to the maker who created it. He obviously delighted in the painstaking work he took, just like the machine he built could be said to “delight” in painstakingly performing this simple, abstract computation. A computation that harnesses resources inside the machine’s controller chip that of course vastly exceed its own complexity.

    Far out!

  12. massspecgeek says:

    What do the 10 k’s do? You’d think you’d need more of the other letters — k isn’t very common, in English at least, so you’d expect the machine to be loaded up with e’s or a’s or t’s instead. Weird.

  13. imag says:

    That is awesome. That video made my morning. Thanks Mike!

  14. semiotix says:

    I desperately want to break into this guy’s house while he’s away and write a blocky, machine-like “2″ at the end of whatever tape he’s got loaded into it.

  15. Anonymous says:


  16. querent says:

    pure awesomeness. beautiful in conception and execution. thanks mike!

  17. Anonymous says:

    This is awesome. I can’t believe how polished the whole project is. I could easily see this thing churning away on a pedestal in a museum. Excellent work Mr. Davey!

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