A Do-It-Yourself Paper Digital Computer, 1959


11 Responses to “A Do-It-Yourself Paper Digital Computer, 1959”

  1. Robert says:

    Oh, and you don’t need to pay $125 to Ptak Science Books for the entire IEEE issue… a reprint of the article is available from IEEE for $30.

  2. technogeek says:

    Whereas I’m immediately thinking “woodshop”.

  3. Jonathan Badger says:

    This is more interesting than what I expected, which was yet another paper “computer” that was nothing more than a bookkeeping aid to help a human simulate a computer (think of the CARDIAC or the Little Man Computer — but this looks like it actually has functioning moving parts.

  4. aerohydro says:

    That paper computer reminds me a bit of another such “paper” device. This is a 2-dimensional steam-engine which was featured in the book “The Planiverse” by A K Dewdney (ISBN 0387989161).

    A couple of illustrations of the engine, along with an explanation of how it was supposed to work, can be found on pp14-15 of this PDF:


  5. fatuousplatitudes says:

    It has how much RAM?

  6. Anonymous says:

    Can I play Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood on it? Seriously, what would you use this device for? Otherwise, looks to be a pretty ingenious and cheap device.

  7. DonBoy says:

    Reminds me of the Digi-Comp II, seen here:


    The Digi-Comp I was better known but I eventually had both. If anyone remembers “Dr. Nim.” it’s in the same ballpark (and, I now see, was from the same company.)

  8. braininavat says:

    So you could make up a bunch of these, finesse a carry in there some how, and do just about anything then?

  9. Robert says:

    Cool. I wonder if the mechanism is useful enough and compatible enough with my in-progress steam-powered computer? I’m going to build it and find out!

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