Michael Gardi built a nice replica of the Minivac 601 computer kit, and made the plans available on Instructables.
Created by information theory pioneer Claude Shannon as an educational toy for teaching digital circuits, the Minivac 601 Digital Computer Kit was billed as an electromechanical digital computer system. Produced by Scientific Development Corporation in the early 1960s it sold for $85 (about $720 today).
Minivac 601 used electromechanical relays as logic switches as well as for very basic storage. Simple DPDT switches and SPDT push buttons made up the binary inputs, with lights to represent the outputs. A large motorized dial allowed the user to enter decimal or hexadecimal numbers, and to output numbers, or to act as a clock signal generator. For more information about the Minivac 601 here are some additional references:
Center for Computing History
Time-Line Computer Archive
The Instructable presented here is for a full size replica of that Minivac 601 from 1961. I have tried to remain as true to the original as possible given the technologies and resources available to me. I don't have a "vintage" unit so this replica has been constructed based on photos and from the original manuals that were available online. I have included these manuals in PDF format as part of this project. I brought these files to a local copy center and had them printed as the spiral bound booklets you can see [below]. I'm really happy with the results.
This is the lowest price I’ve seen for a Raspberry Pi 3 B+ single board computer. It has a 1.4GHz 64-bit quad-core processor, WiFi, Bluetooth, and Ethernet. These Pis are great for playing retro video games (emulators for almost every game platform from the 80s and 90s you can think of are available). This Amazon […]
Today is National Slinky Day. As Rachael Lallensack writes in Smithsonian, a spring, a spring, this marvelous thing was invented by accident: In 1943, mechanical engineer Richard James was designing a device that the Navy could use to secure equipment and shipments on ships while they rocked at sea. As the story goes, he dropped […]
In this video, The Q shows how to cut the heads out of coins. Start by putting the coin in a vise. Drill a small hole through the coin. Run a jeweler’s saw blade through the hole and start sawing away. That’s really all there is to it! Image: The Q/YouTube
Breaking into the big leagues as a project manager isn’t done overnight, but there are principles that anyone can learn, and they’re applicable to nearly any business. No matter what your field, if there are multiple teams working toward a common goal, you’re going to need a roadmap. The Project Management Professional Certification Training Suite […]
On the one hand, nostalgia is “a corruption of the historical impulse,” according to William Gibson. On the other hand, “Super Mario Bros.” will never not be cool. Luckily, there’s a way to satisfy that retro gaming while still keeping an eye on the future: The GameShell Kit. This thing is simultaneously the last handheld […]
The field of data analytics can get intimidating, even for business professionals who constantly rely on it. But at its heart, its purpose is to simplify. To take mounds of information and distill their insights into a single clear picture. Currently, the go-to software for painting that picture is Tableau. And if you want to […]