"As you can probably imagine, this took some effort to make."
March 21, 2012 9:44 AM   Subscribe

"The calculator itself is just over 250x200x100 blocks. It contains 2 6-digit BCD number selectors, 2 BCD-to-binary decoders, 3 binary-to-BCD decoders, 6 BCD adders and subtractors, a 20 bit (output) multiplier, 10 bit divider, a memory bank and additional circuitry for the graphing function." Yes, someone built a working scientific calculator, in Minecraft.
posted by jbickers (46 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite

 
6922251 x 8 =
posted by Fizz at 9:47 AM on March 21, 2012


Holy shit, this is amazing.

...but can you play DopeWars on it?
posted by griphus at 9:49 AM on March 21, 2012 [8 favorites]


Amazing! I'm looking forward to someone building an actual graphing calculator in real life! One day, perhaps, we'll be able to make them handheld, with digital displays and enough power to run Minecraft!
posted by I EAT TAPAS at 9:52 AM on March 21, 2012 [8 favorites]


Incredible. My oldest son has recently discovered minecraft and this will blow his mind completely.
posted by jquinby at 9:54 AM on March 21, 2012


Meh, I won't be impressed until you can play Minecraft inside of Minecraft inside of Garry's Mod inside of Little Big Planet inside of Minecraft.
posted by gwint at 9:55 AM on March 21, 2012 [13 favorites]


That's really an astounding achievement, especially if that is with no mods.
posted by empath at 9:55 AM on March 21, 2012


This stuff astounds me. I've seen this kind of this done before, both in Minecraft and Little Big Planet.

Is there a name, beyond 'meta-simulation', for simulating things like computers inside computers?
posted by 0bvious at 9:56 AM on March 21, 2012


Is there a name, beyond 'meta-simulation', for simulating things like computers inside computers?

It's somewhere around 2001 or 2002. I'm playing The Sims. I'm building up my house, meeting neighbors, attempting to develop relationships with other Sims. It hits me, this moment of clarity. I'm on my computer staring at a screen while my virtual self is on his tiny computer starting as his screen.

I hate my life a little bit more. I've not played since.
posted by Fizz at 9:59 AM on March 21, 2012 [3 favorites]


I just sent this to my wife to show my son after school. I expect when I get home tonight he will be halfway done building his own. Then he will attempt to explain it to me.

"And then this redstone connects to this one, and then this one over here, next to the cow dispenser..."
posted by bondcliff at 10:00 AM on March 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Is there a name, beyond 'meta-simulation', for simulating things like computers inside computers?

Apocalypse.
posted by Amplify at 10:01 AM on March 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


It hits me, this moment of clarity.

There were layers of meaning there I couldn't begin to interpret.
posted by griphus at 10:01 AM on March 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


I know nothing about minecraft. Is he (it's ALWAYS a he) manually putting each individual block in there or does he code something that drops in blocks of, er, blocks? 'Cause it seems hardly possible to do this block by block if each movement took more than a few seconds.
posted by Phreesh at 10:02 AM on March 21, 2012


Hey guys, you do all know that we are living in a gigantic Minecraft simulation right now, +++ EXISTENTIALIST ERROR CORRECTION ROUTINE INITIATED +++ .... ++++ COMPLETED +++ ... hey, what was a I just talking about...? Anyway, this is amazeballs!
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 10:02 AM on March 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


If I remember correctly, you can simulate Conway's Game of Life inside Conway's Game of Life. It's astonishingly hard to google this, though, because there are people that have actual lives who contaminate the results.
posted by madcaptenor at 10:03 AM on March 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


I know nothing about minecraft. Is he (it's ALWAYS a he) manually putting each individual block in there or does he code something that drops in blocks of, er, blocks? 'Cause it seems hardly possible to do this block by block if each movement took more than a few seconds.

Combination of designing and testing pieces of it in the game and then copy-pasting in an editor, usually.
posted by empath at 10:05 AM on March 21, 2012


Dear god. And I was feeling all cocky because I built my first red stone arrow trap.
posted by brundlefly at 10:08 AM on March 21, 2012


Is there a name, beyond 'meta-simulation', for simulating things like computers inside computers?

Church-Turing Thesis
posted by DU at 10:09 AM on March 21, 2012 [4 favorites]


If I remember correctly, you can simulate Conway's Game of Life inside Conway's Game of Life.

If a system is turing complete, as both Minecraft and the Game of Life are (and many, many other things, including Minesweeper, even), you can simulate any other turing complete machine within it, given an arbitrarily large amount of space and time.
posted by empath at 10:13 AM on March 21, 2012 [8 favorites]


So it's only a matter of time until someone creates a playable version of Nell's adventures in Castle Turing. A Young Lady's Minecrafted Primer.
posted by Babblesort at 10:18 AM on March 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


So it's only a matter of time until someone creates a playable version of Nell's adventures in Castle Turing. A Young Lady's Minecrafted Primer.

Isn't that what the ipad is?
posted by empath at 10:19 AM on March 21, 2012 [4 favorites]


of course, empath. But that's a nonconstructive proof. What I meant is that I'm pretty sure someone has given a constructive proof, i. e. simulated the Game of Life inside the Game of Life.
posted by madcaptenor at 10:19 AM on March 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


(I meant to italicize "constructive" there, not "has".)
posted by madcaptenor at 10:19 AM on March 21, 2012


There you go.
posted by empath at 10:22 AM on March 21, 2012 [16 favorites]


I EAT TAPAS: Amazing! I'm looking forward to someone building an actual graphing calculator in real life! One day, perhaps, we'll be able to make them handheld, with digital displays and enough power to run Minecraft!

WAY HARDER THAN IT SHOULD BE. Seriously, Portal 2 will put less of a strain on many systems, the OptiFine mod is pretty much required to run Minecraft for a great many people.
posted by jason_steakums at 10:30 AM on March 21, 2012


There's something about this and the earlier posted computer in Minecraft which is so awesome. I've never played the game, nor really understand that much about their workings, but just enough to go "wow!"
posted by Jehan at 10:31 AM on March 21, 2012


and I thought the fax machine was impressive....
posted by caddis at 11:01 AM on March 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


I absolutely want one of these displays on this scale in real life.
posted by MysticMCJ at 11:24 AM on March 21, 2012


goddammit I still haven't made an effective mob trap.

and now this makes me want to go into minecraft when I should be learning important things
posted by zennish at 12:03 PM on March 21, 2012


Nell's adventures in Castle Turing. A Young Lady's Minecrafted Primer

I thought of The Diamond Age, too. I reread it sorta recently, and though I haven't played Minecraft myself, the image I have in my head of people building things like this in the game is amazingly similar to the image I had in my head of the Nanotech Engineers in the book.
posted by dammitjim at 12:09 PM on March 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


While I'm familiar with the game, I've never played Minecraft for myself. I'm more of a fighting game person, and I've hit something of a crisis with my current favorite: Ultimate Marvel Vs. Capcom 3. It seems that through it, I've discovered the upper limits of my cognition / motor skills / coordination / etc. There are some combos with Spiderman and Dante that no matter how many times I drill, I just cannot get the timing down on.

It makes me depressed when I go online to play, because I don't have nearly the time to dedicate to practicing as I once did, and all these moves and techniques that seem impossible to me, are being executed flawlessly by almost everyone I come across. It bums me out to the point I almost don't want to try anymore.

However, this video gave me at least SOME hope, because no matter how skilled you get at UMVC3, I don't have to worry about someone making a fucking GRAPHING CALCULATOR out of strung together combos.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 12:17 PM on March 21, 2012 [6 favorites]


FIGHTCRAFT!
posted by symbioid at 12:26 PM on March 21, 2012


Spinning Star 6 Digit BCD Selectors!
posted by symbioid at 12:27 PM on March 21, 2012


Actually, it turns out the proof to the Riemann hypothesis was a 15-hit Ryu/Dante combo leading into Taskmaster's super.
posted by griphus at 12:28 PM on March 21, 2012 [6 favorites]


Oh hey guys! Don't mind me, I'll just be over here, building my 5x5 tower. Made of cobblestone......It's...really tall......and stuff.
posted by Ducks or monkeys at 12:53 PM on March 21, 2012 [5 favorites]


I think it would be cooler if they'd done it using cogs and pistons and stuff rather then redrocks.
posted by delmoi at 12:55 PM on March 21, 2012


I thought of The Diamond Age, too. I reread it sorta recently, and though I haven't played Minecraft myself, the image I have in my head of people building things like this in the game is amazingly similar to the image I had in my head of the Nanotech Engineers in the book.

The game in Reamde is basically WoW crossed with Minecraft. However, Stephenson really phoned it in with that book.
posted by delmoi at 1:02 PM on March 21, 2012


I think it would be cooler if they'd done it using cogs and pistons and stuff rather then redrocks.

There are some logic gates that utilize pistons. But other than that, redstone torches and repeaters are all you have.

All you really need is torches and wire. The repeaters and pistons just let you compact a few circuits.
posted by empath at 1:07 PM on March 21, 2012


You know, that thing's -almost- as fast as flipping toggle switches on an Imsai.
posted by Twang at 1:11 PM on March 21, 2012


I'm on my computer staring at a screen while my virtual self is on his tiny computer starting as his screen.

That's the Sims though; and what you describe is exactly why I disliked that game. The Sims was simulating shit you should be doing yourself, in real life. Minecraft actually lets you be creative and solve problems. Redstone circuitry hurts my head, but it requires a kind of thinking I never would have willingly engaged in again if it weren't for that game. I thought I was done with that stuff when I finished grade 12 math.
posted by Hoopo at 1:19 PM on March 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


'I put a computer in your computer so you could compute while you compute'?
posted by oonh at 1:37 PM on March 21, 2012 [3 favorites]


@madcaptenor: the references you want to look at are: @empath: to be pedantic...
If a system is turing complete, as both Minecraft and the Game of Life are (and many, many other things, including Minesweeper, even), you can simulate any other turing complete machine within it, given an arbitrarily large amount of space and time.
  • technically, Minecraft itself is not Turing complete for two reasons.
    1. it is specific arrangements of redstone on blocks that appear Turing complete (or an approximation thereof with large tapes), not the game itself. It is the same distinction with a real-world computer: the silicon itself is not Turing complete, but the specific combinations of circuits you print on them.
    2. Contrary to Game of Life, Minecraft's world size is specified to be finite. Therefore, redstone circuits cannot be said to be Turing-complete, as there is no way to "grow the tape" arbitrarily.
  • about the "turing-completeness" of Minesweeper, introduced here: again, it is not Minesweeper that is Turing-complete, but a custom-designed set of rules to play Minesweeper (again, substrate != logic). Also it works only on an infinite-plane MS, and the plane must be infinite to start with before you can compute with it. (As opposed to Game of Life where you can approximate a tape length L with an area proportional to L)

(sorry to be pedantic, I just happened to have studied the stuff)

posted by knz at 3:03 PM on March 21, 2012 [7 favorites]


Well, an idealized minecraft is infinite in size. It just gets weird once you get several million miles out because of floating point precision.

But there's a limit in how many blocks you can load in ram, anyway. But yes, to be specific, red stone is Turing complete, not minecraft.
posted by empath at 3:07 PM on March 21, 2012


I'll be glad when the default music on Minecraft videos is not dubstep.
posted by Phantomx at 6:50 PM on March 21, 2012


I'll be glad when the default music on Minecraft videos is not dubstep.

You did know that Deadmau5 is the official music of minecraft?
posted by JimmyJames at 11:21 AM on March 22, 2012


Heh, Deadmau5 is just a fan :) he's not official anything.
posted by empath at 11:24 AM on March 22, 2012


In case you didn't feel inadequate enough already: the person who created the calculator is sixteen years old.
posted by jedicus at 6:30 PM on March 26, 2012


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