- some folks have just too much time on their hands:
Heath Robinson and Rube Goldberg
First and foremost, this project is named in honor of British cartoonist and illustrator William Heath Robinson (1872-1944) and his American counterpart Reuben (Rube) Lucius Goldberg (1883-1970).
Robinson and Goldberg were both famous for creating illustrations of machines that were intended to perform relatively simple tasks, but whose implementations were incredibly complex such that they performed their tasks in exceedingly convoluted and indirect ways.
Presentation is important
Before we plunge into the fray, let's briefly remind ourselves that the idea is to present the HRRG Steampunk Computer in the form of a bunch of glass-fronted wooden cabinets on the wall. The contents of each cabinet would be implemented in a different technology (relays, vacuum tubes, transistors, silicon chips, and much, much more), and each would contain some portion of the computer, such as the system clock, the ROM, the RAM, the ALU, the CPU's status and control logic, the CPU's addressing logic, and so forth.
As opposed to having the cabinets linked by bunches of unsightly cables, I was thinking of providing each cabinet with a simple wireless communications system. This would (a) make things look nice and (b) allow the various cabinets to be located at arbitrary distances from each other.
One thing we are going to need for our HRRG Steampunk computer is some form of read-only memory (ROM) in which to store a simple boot (start-up) program. One way to achieve this would be to have a cabinet containing a number of banks of up/down on/off switches (preferably really uber-cool-looking antique ones).
On Wed, Apr 13, 2011 at 3:29 AM, mejeep_ferret <mejeep@...> wrote:
some folks have just too much time on their hands:
I like the idea with merging of Steampunk style with the vintage computing hardware. Can't wait to see what they build. But I think he might be going overkill on some of the technical aspects, with trying to make it universal using a hybrid of new hardware and old hardware :)