boingboing at June 28th, 2013 22:44 — #1
I posted in 2011 about the Digi-Comp I, a 1963 mechanical digital computer made of polystyrene and used to teach the fundamentals of boolean logic, binary, and computer programming. I'd just discovered that Evil Mad Scientist Labs sells a wooden version of its successor, the Digi-Comp II, which uses a pachinko-style marble-run to do the… READ THE REST
jake0748 at June 28th, 2013 23:03 — #2
I would comment about this, having a LOT of experience with both the Digi-comp I AND II. They were some of the sweet toys we had in the 60s that taught us about computing machines and programming.
I have no idea where this comment will end up, so I'll stop here.
shrouded at June 28th, 2013 23:49 — #4
It's great to see such a nice version of this available. Back when I worked & volunteered at the Santa Fe Children's Museum a guest artist used to bring in a home-built similar computer to run, alongside other simple electronics projects kids could take home. I had the pleasure of watching a lot of faces light up when kids had the ah-ha moment where it suddenly made sense how computers worked.
nadreck at June 28th, 2013 23:59 — #5
There used to be a giant version of this at the Ontario Science Centre with tennis balls being shot into the logic gates through transparent pneumatic tubes. It was about 2 stories high.
allenmcbride at June 29th, 2013 00:05 — #6
I'm glad to see on their page that they're working on a cheap plastic version.
d_r at June 29th, 2013 01:31 — #7
Me too. I still have the Dr. Nim that it closely resembles.
captainpedge at June 29th, 2013 08:06 — #8
I can't be the only one who would love to see a video of this in action
crashproof at June 29th, 2013 08:25 — #9
macshaggy at June 29th, 2013 09:20 — #10
This takes me back on the way back machine. I think it was this that started me thinking about computers. My mom always wanted me to go into CS but it was the original machine that made me think about studying CS in the first place.
boundegar at June 29th, 2013 10:05 — #11
If you hook enough of these in tandem, could you build PRISM?
cellocgw at June 29th, 2013 11:16 — #12
Me too . I'd love to have one to go along with my original DigiComp1 (found while cleaning out parents' attic), but not at @$279, for sure.
robpennoyer at June 29th, 2013 12:03 — #13
This is fantastic. It gets to the heart of a serious problem: how to teach how computers actually work, in an age when people's exposure to the technology is far removed from its underlying operating principles.
A five year old child with an iPad has dozens (hundreds?) of "layers" of technology between what his experience and what's actually going on.
siouxgeonz at June 29th, 2013 14:10 — #14
Is there an online version of it?
aloisius at June 29th, 2013 18:04 — #15
It is right on the page the article links to:
aloisius at June 29th, 2013 18:08 — #16
It is right on the page this article links to:
(I have no idea how to embed a video)
jake0748 at June 30th, 2013 00:39 — #17
Funny, because the original was cheap and plastic.
boingboing at July 3rd, 2013 22:44 — #18
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