These mid-century control rooms are sheer eye candy

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When my daughter was little we used to build logic circuits using this.
The results looked a little similar.

If you want to try it, look for the free in-browser version.


Also I used to have these blocks from Raytheon with schematics on them and real components inside. When you assembled them they made working circuits.

The funny thing about the internet is how things become less obscure with time, not more so. I used to Google them and find nothing. I wasn’t even sure I was remembering them right. Now all of a sudden there are tons of references to them under the names Lectron and Electronic Dominoes.


I had one of those…One of the simpler sets…

I found this video the other day, a computer built without chips but rather “full sized” transistors–each with an LED lit when operating!–to make a computer you can stand inside and watch it work. The speed is adjustable so that you can watch the calculations happen at human-perceptible speed, too. looks much like the OP.


I actually helped design a panel for controlling a six-story robotic production line. It was a long time ago, driven by a VAX so new it didn’t have a designation yet (it became the 8800 I think? Could be wrong) and I imagine it probably doesn’t exist any more. It had multiple keyboards and joysticks as well as myriads of buttons, screens and gauges all set in a big horseshoe arc console.

I had come from the aerospace industry and was a big fan of the military-style painted background lines and symbols, so I had constant quarrels with coworkers who wanted vast expanses of identical buttons in rows like a Gene Rodenberry set.


who won out in the end?

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The boss of the guys who were going to sit at the panel!

But he agreed with me. :smile:


Even Star Fleet doesn’t use those any more.


Did you happen to take any pictures of the completed project? :slight_smile:

Reminds me of my Labview days. Sweet, sweet Labview. My memories are no doubt much rosier than the actual experience.

From The Daily WTF



Scotty used a keyboard in the Whale movie, which as I annoyingly pointed out to my date at the time, he probably wouldn’t be able to use any more efficiently than I, an accountant, could use this:


No, this was long enough ago that film was too expensive to waste on industrial consoles… I just did some googling and couldn’t find any shots online. :frowning:


I learned logic circuits on one of these:

probably wouldn’t be able to use any more efficiently than I, an accountant, could use this

I did my father’s books on a hand-crank adder I was a teen. It was so irritating to use that I started inventing mental arithmetic shortcuts to increase speed and keep myself entertained, and I’m pretty sure that’s how I turned into a mathematician.


Yeah, LabView started out nice (and originally for Macs!), then to put it mildly, feature bloat attacked.
I argued, unsuccessfully, against it at work on the grounds that a design in LabView is undocumentable, un-commentable, and thus impossible to pass any kind of QC.

What’s your Erdos number? :slight_smile:

Three. Sadly, he stopped being a regular visitor to my department just before I joined it.

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Well, I wouldn’t go that far – you can put annotations on the block diagram, for instance. But I can’t say I’ve ever had to subject code to a rigorous QC process before.

We have something similar, Snap Circuits - it has individual components on pieces of plastic with shirt snaps on the ends, you snap things together to create a circuit:®_300_experiments=MzU1

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