The GENIAC, a narrative interactive game from 1955

Originally published at:


Following the link, what I found more interesting than the GENIAC was the mention by a commenter of the “paperclip computer” and the book describing building one. And you can download the book for free from the Internet Archive (I recommend avoiding the epub, as like many of their epubs there it is generated from the PDF and screws up formatting)



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My favorite part of the GENIAC was the included paper “A Symbolic Analysis of Switching and Relay Circuits” by MIT and Bell Labs research mathematician Dr. Claude Shannon.

Very sneaky. Sell 'em a kid’s toy, but whack 'em over the head with Deep Computer Science.


Of course, the Russians used something like this to go in to space and get back again.

I have this on my bookshelf; I bought it as a teen on a visit to the Smithsonian (at their museum shop). I never got very far in the construction, but just puzzling through it was a great way to learn about logic gates and the basics of computer arithmetic.


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