Windell at Evil Mad Scientist Labs has dredged up an amazing project book from the Internet Archive: How to Build a Working Digital Computer (1967) (by Edward Alcosser, James P. Phillips, and Allen M. Wolk) contains a full set of instructions for building a working computer out of paperclips and various bits and bobs from the local hardware store. You can even use paperclips for switches (though, as Windell notes, "Arrays of paperclip logic gates can get pretty big, pretty fast.")
The instructions include a read-only drum memory for storing the computer program (much like a player piano roll), made from a juice can, with read heads made from bent paper clips. A separate manually-operated “core” memory (made of paper-clip switches) is used for storing data.
So can this “paper clip” computer actually built, and if so, would it work? Apparently yes, on both counts. Cleveland youngsters Mark Rosenstein and Kenny Antonelli built one named “Emmerack” in 1972 (albeit substituting Radio Shack slide switches for most of the paper clips), and another was built in 1975 by the Wickenburg High School Math Club in Arizona. And, at least one modern build has been completed, as you can see on YouTube.
How to Build a Working Digital Computer… out of paperclips
(via O'Reilly Radar)
Well, it’s finally official. After more than a year in regulatory limbo, The United States Justice Department has approved a $26 billion dollar deal between mobile carriers T-Mobile and Sprint.
Donald Trump says his administration will not provide any waivers or relief for Apple Mac Pro components built in China, and said Apple should instead build its products in the U.S.
We can expect three new “iPhone 11” models this fall from Apple, according to the official unofficial rumor mill. Each of these is said to be designed with an A13 chip, a Lightning port, and a new ‘Taptic Engine’ that will replace iPhone’s current 3D Touch.
Are we done with capsule coffee makers yet? Sure, they’re easy. But they are not so easy on the environment, and it’s debatable whether they actually make a better cup. Luckily, there’s never been a better time to switch back to the good old reliable drip method – especially when drip coffeemakers have quietly been […]
If there’s one thing that stayed consistent through the last decade or so of tech industry turmoil, it’s the love affair between techies and Linux. There’s just a ton you can do with the OS, and its open-source format means you can customize your rig from the ground up. Apparently not content with that level […]
Accidents happen. And when they do, you’re going to want a dash cam for a second pair of eyes. At the minimum, a decent dash cam can save you vast sums of time and money in case of an accident. But a really good dash cam can do a whole lot more. Here are six […]