YouTube's TheInternetFTW shows off this arithmetic logic unit (ALU) that he's built out of blocks and chunks in the game Minecraft. It's part of a larger "Hack" computer (as described in Elements of Computing Systems).
So basically, this is a computer subcomponent that you can run around on, physically moving around and watching as it does its thing. It's the 21st century equivalent of the wonderful Bell Labs Cardiac Computer that I played with as a child -- a cardboard computer that got me interested in computing when I was six or seven. It is the virtual made visceral, an unpacked microscopic mystery. It is sheer genius, better than any ten boring lectures on ALUs, computing theory, Boolean math, etc. It's the kind of thing that makes me wish I was a kid today, and glad that I have a kid of my own.
Way back in 2011, major American automakers were slow to realize that “companies in Silicon Valley have for some time been looking at cars just like another mobile device or app.” When the disruption, hit, it hit hard, writes Nick Bilton:
Founded in 1970 as Xerox’s R&D division, PARC was a dream factory that brought the world laser printing, Ethernet, the graphical user interface that led to Windows and the Macintosh, ubiquitous computing, and many other technologies that we now take for granted. Why made the place so damn special? Alan Kay, who pioneered networked computing […]
Yeah, Bluetooth audio is pretty common these days, so why should you care about these earbuds? Look how happy that woman up above looks. She’s got FRESHeBUDS in. Boom. There’s your reason. She’s also at the beach and it appears to be a very nice day.But for the sake of promotion, wireless earbuds are fast becoming the […]
“Gets stuff done,” is a good way to be described by anybody. Especially by coworkers or bosses. Because whether you’re in finance or a children’s librarian, stuff needs to get done. But how do you make sure stuff gets done? You definitely can’t do all the stuff yourself, unless your company/organization/government office consists entirely of you. And […]
Even the most expensive pair of hi-fi headphones can’t match the feeling of bass rumbling through your body at a live show. That’s why music aficionados designed The Basslet, an accessory that reproduces that sensation from your wrist. Does it make your whole body shake with deep subs? Not really, because that would be terrifying, but […]