The PAPAC-00
April 8, 2013 10:50 AM   Subscribe

In less than an hour you can build the simplified digital computer shown in figure 1, using only a pair of scissors, three dozen common pins, and the parts shown in figures 1 and 2.
posted by popcassady (7 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
Kind of like a paper Digi-Comp 1.
posted by mygoditsbob at 11:02 AM on April 8, 2013 [1 favorite]

Heh, neat.
posted by jeffamaphone at 11:07 AM on April 8, 2013

I believe this is our dept's tech plan for 2013.
posted by mazola at 1:51 PM on April 8, 2013 [4 favorites]

"... the typical 12-year-old youngster has the interest, skill and basic knowledge necessary to build and understand simple working models of practically anything."

I had all but forgotten what it felt like to be 12. What a beautiful reminder.
posted by klarck at 2:50 PM on April 8, 2013

I had a Digi-Comp 1 back when I was a kid. This design template seems similar, although it is 1 bit and the DC-1 had 3 bits. Perhaps this paper was an inspiration for the DC-1.

BTW, Ptak Science Books (previously on MeFi) is consistently the most interesting blog on the internet. And all the more amazing because you can buy the stuff he blogs. For example, related topics:

The First Personal Computer (?)–”Simon”, 1950

Manuscript Material on the Installation, Operation and Maintenance of the UNIVAC, 1949-1957

I am pretty sure that last link came up on MeFi before, but I couldn't find it.

On Seeing the Future in Waves, 1876

Lord Kelvin's analog computer to calculate tides.

The First Electric Calculator–Seiferheid’s Invention of 1818

The Birth of the “Internet” at the End of WWII: Vannevar Bush & the MEMEX, July 1945
posted by charlie don't surf at 3:16 PM on April 8, 2013 [2 favorites]

Also, be sure to check out the amazing machines Konrad Zuse was working on in the mid-1930s, especially the Z1, which was chockful of a dizzying array of sliding mechanical parts. Though the construction was made of simple mechanical elements, the machine accomplished some very amazing things. The original Z1 was destroyed in allied air raids, but he rebuilt it in 1989. It's fantastic looking.
posted by SteelyDuran at 6:22 PM on April 8, 2013

Some close-ups of the Z1. I can't seem to find anything that shows the machine in action.
posted by SteelyDuran at 6:36 PM on April 8, 2013

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