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.
Remember UC Berkeley researcher Pieter Abbeel’s fantastic towel-folding robot? Now, Abbeel and his team have prototyped a new kind of robot arm design meant for the home and other human environments. Compared to robot arms common in factories, this manipulator, called Blue, is less expensive (
Believe it or not, PDF files have been the go-to format for contracts and forms of any type since 1993. And sure, they’re easily shareable – but that’s about it. When you need to edit or sign a document – and you will – that’s when frustration can set in. Luckily, there are workarounds, and […]
It’s 4/20! Smoke ’em if you got ’em – and if you haven’t got ’em, check out this roundup of deep discounts on pipes and other accessories. They’re all on sale, but you can take an extra discount off the final price courtesy of the Boing Boing store by using the online code 420SAVE. Freeze […]
Ever wonder if you’re cleaning your teeth well enough? If your last dentist visit has you getting a little more thorough about oral care, it might be time to save yourself some guesswork. A lot of electric toothbrushes promise deep cleaning, but there’s a Platinum Sonic Toothbrush that has power plus the simple but effective […]