The Embroidered Computer
January 11, 2019 6:49 AM   Subscribe

Both the fiber artist and the computer scientist in me is kind of in love with how pretty that is.
posted by jacquilynne at 6:58 AM on January 11 [7 favorites]

As a programmer who has done goldwork embroidery, this is extremely my jam.
posted by jedicus at 7:03 AM on January 11 [5 favorites]

this is beautiful. thanks for posting.
posted by jayz at 7:04 AM on January 11 [2 favorites]

As someone who embroiders... wow. That's stunning. Maybe I'll need to learn goldwork, though I don't think I'll be building a computer with it.
posted by bile and syntax at 7:15 AM on January 11

I want to know more about these relays.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 7:33 AM on January 11 [1 favorite]

That's my kind of wearable technology. If one could make oneself a ballgown-sized embroidered computer, I wonder what you could do with it.
posted by koucha at 7:48 AM on January 11 [2 favorites]

I am picturing huge wall hangings in a priory, quietly clicking to themselves as cloistered nuns go to and fro. This is the needlepunk I never knew I needed.
posted by Mogur at 8:23 AM on January 11 [13 favorites]

This is amazing!
posted by Jpfed at 8:32 AM on January 11

A few years ago I mentioned to twitter that knitting is a two-register counter machine, and is therefore Turing-complete.

Turns out, not only is there a substantial overlap between computation-theory twitter and knitting twitter, but holy shit there's a lot of pent-up aggro in there.

(This is really beautiful. I wish more of our computation strata looked this good.)
posted by mhoye at 8:37 AM on January 11 [8 favorites]

A few years ago I mentioned to twitter that knitting is a two-register counter machine, and is therefore Turing-complete.

please continue
posted by ragtag at 8:41 AM on January 11 [4 favorites]

Yes, do, continue.

I'm a fiber person who likes her computing-capable loom technology, and is *terrible* at all embroidery. I once made a roomful of Indian zardozi embroiderers fold up with laughter at just how terrible I am at goldwork. This is lovely and fantastic.

I think I would have used both sides of the linen for routing (although that would be less traceable for visual debugging). Maybe on the next generation when they need to be more densely packed.
posted by janell at 9:51 AM on January 11

That's incredible - beautiful.
posted by zeoslap at 12:56 PM on January 11

Pass the copper wire through the core and the computer read it as a one. Pass it around and it was read as a zero.

"Once you get it wired it's not going to change without breaking those wires," said Mr Hall.

The rope core memories would become know as "LOL memory" after the "little old ladies" who knitted together the software at a factory just outside Boston.

These ladies would sit in pairs with a memory unit between them, threading metres and metres of slender copper wires through and around the cores.
posted by tilde at 3:37 PM on January 11 [4 favorites]

I want to believe this is what my iPhone looks like inside.
posted by mazola at 10:16 PM on January 11

This is really cool! Good post.
posted by Going To Maine at 9:29 AM on January 12 [1 favorite]

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