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OT: This is the coolest thing I've ever seen

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  • brian_cirulnick
    http://www.homebrewcpu.com/ It s a completely homebrew computer. Even the CPU is essentially hand-built from 74-series TTL chips (i.e., no off the shelf CPU
    Message 1 of 5 , Jul 19 1:17 PM
      http://www.homebrewcpu.com/

      It's a completely homebrew computer. Even the CPU is essentially hand-built from 74-series TTL chips (i.e., no "off the shelf CPU" used), and it's a beautiful construction job.

      Even more impressive is it's old-school Altair/Imsai look, and the fact that it's running a unix variant that allows it to be connected to the internet. You can even telnet in and play "adventure".

      Seriously, if you love hardware, you must see this thing.
    • B Degnan
      ... I agree, nice and worth noting on our list, thanks. I once started to make a paperclip computer, but I never finished it. Ever seen one of those? Bill
      Message 2 of 5 , Jul 19 1:29 PM
        At 04:17 PM 7/19/2011, you wrote:
        >http://www.homebrewcpu.com/
        >
        >It's a completely homebrew computer. Even the CPU is essentially
        >hand-built from 74-series TTL chips (i.e., no "off the shelf CPU"
        >used), and it's a beautiful construction job.
        >
        >Even more impressive is it's old-school Altair/Imsai look, and the
        >fact that it's running a unix variant that allows it to be connected
        >to the internet. You can even telnet in and play "adventure".
        >
        >Seriously, if you love hardware, you must see this thing.

        I agree, nice and worth noting on our list, thanks.

        I once started to make a paperclip computer, but I never finished
        it. Ever seen one of those?

        Bill
      • Jim Scheef
        Step thru the webring to see others. They are all impressive, although I agree the Magic-1 has a truly wonderful level of finish. Jim
        Message 3 of 5 , Jul 19 9:36 PM
          Step thru the webring to see others. They are all impressive, although I agree the Magic-1 has a truly wonderful level of finish.

          Jim

          On 7/19/2011 4:17 PM, brian_cirulnick wrote:
           

          http://www.homebrewcpu.com/

          It's a completely homebrew computer. Even the CPU is essentially hand-built from 74-series TTL chips (i.e., no "off the shelf CPU" used), and it's a beautiful construction job.

          Even more impressive is it's old-school Altair/Imsai look, and the fact that it's running a unix variant that allows it to be connected to the internet. You can even telnet in and play "adventure".

          Seriously, if you love hardware, you must see this thing.

        • s100doctor
          ... I did go through the Web Ring. What I found is that there are only four of these as completed computer projects in the ring. Three were built in the early
          Message 4 of 5 , Jul 20 8:21 AM
            > On 7/19/2011 4:17 PM, brian_cirulnick wrote:
            > >
            > > http://www.homebrewcpu.com/
            > >
            > > It's a completely homebrew computer. Even the CPU is essentially
            > > hand-built from 74-series TTL chips (i.e., no "off the shelf CPU"
            > > used), and it's a beautiful construction job.
            > >

            Jim Scheef wrote:
            >
            > Step thru the webring to see others. They are all impressive, although I
            > agree the Magic-1 has a truly wonderful level of finish.
            >

            I did go through the Web Ring. What I found is that there are only four of these as completed computer projects in the ring. Three were built in the early 2000's, one built in the early 1970's. A fifth ring member is a "paper" design only from 2004. Outside the ring, someone replicated two of the four computers.

            The Magic 1 is the most powerful and represented as a "minicomputer". It still runs today, supports a Web site, and supports Minix which is (without a long explanation or argument) "comparable" to Linux in capability. I did not look hard at the other systems to describe their status or capabilities, but they look like dormant projects completed in the mid-2000's.

            Point being, these are tough projects and not likely to be duplicated again.

            First, they are about hand-wiring a few hundred IC's - today there's many more projects using programmable logic devices. One can "wire" with a mouse and in software now. It's not my preference but there it is. Developing designs from scratch is also difficult - indeed, one person replicated two of these systems.

            The Simplex series of computers deserves merit because they are "period" work of the 1970's. That's my period, so I'm gonna explain the NECESSITY of that project in the context of the times.

            In the early 70's anyone wanting their "own" computer was obliged to build one in just this way, or get some used commercial minicomputer. Many of us were about to do just this sort of thing, as the microprocessor chip SETS began to become single CPU chips. The Intel 8080 was around, but MITS made it affordable around their Altair board set - that broke the ice. Other companies did the same with other or the same CPU's, and the MICROcomputer race was on.

            Otherwise, the projects represent for today, ways to build custom one-off digital cards, and it's useful to see these techniques. But printed-circuit boards now are cheap per square inch, even as one-off boards; compared to costs for wire-wrap sockets, boards, and time spent in wrapping wires. Make one board that way, fine; several, from your own designs? Not so much.

            So it's good that someone defined a set of projects with these features and created a Web Ring to associate and preserve these efforts. In that context, why is this posted as "off-topic" for MARCH? I've just made the case.

            Herb Johnson
            retrotechnology.com
          • B. Degnan
            ... and created a Web Ring to associate and preserve these efforts. In that context, why is this posted as off-topic for MARCH? I ve just made the case. ...
            Message 5 of 5 , Jul 20 9:01 AM
              >
              > So it's good that someone defined a set of projects with these features
              and created a Web Ring to associate and preserve these efforts. In that
              context, why is this posted as "off-topic" for MARCH? I've just made the
              case.
              >

              Good question why, technically this is a homebrew 70's-esque computer
              constructed well after the common era for such devices, essentially a
              "reproduction". Not important.

              Anyway, I had asked if anyone in this group had ever constructed the
              Paperclip Computer before. No one?

              Bill
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