for quantum computing of course one would want tiddly winks
August 23, 2019 9:01 AM   Subscribe

This combines so many things that my son loves (dominoes! binary! computers! time-lapse video!), he's going to go nuts when I show it to him. Thanks!
posted by Jpfed at 10:51 AM on August 23, 2019 [1 favorite]

My son was building logic gates out of dominoes ten years ago. He turns 17 today! God I miss those days.
posted by rikschell at 11:18 AM on August 23, 2019

Now available as a kid's toy, using marbles to implement computing: Turing Tumble.

Who am I kidding? The kids will have to wait their turn after the adults.
posted by happyinmotion at 11:22 AM on August 23, 2019 [1 favorite]

Really puts things into perspective.

36 hours for one "clock cycle" is 0.000000000000008 gigahertz. Put another way: To do what a 1 ghz computer can do in one second, a domino computer (really dominos and humans) would take more than four million years.

And then there's error rates and power consumption. Humans setting up dominos for four million years would make a lot of mistakes and eat a lot of food. On the other hand, that would happen anyway, so maybe domino computing isn't so bad. :)
posted by swr at 11:26 AM on August 23, 2019

In The Three-Body Problem, 30,000 humans holding flags comprise the logic gates in a computing machine. Excellent book anyway, but that scene especially for fans of this.
posted by hankscorpio83 at 11:59 AM on August 23, 2019 [1 favorite]

Is it me or does this guy look like a younger, geekier, Michael Palin?
posted by bluefrog at 7:20 PM on August 23, 2019

Gonna have to argue with the "not" tag on this post though. I don't think domino computation can do not gates. Unless you redefine one input as a single-shot "clock" pulse that you always push along with the other inputs, in which you could do it with an xor I suppose.
posted by biogeo at 11:04 PM on August 23, 2019 [1 favorite]

That is precisely the mechanism domino logic folks resort to, apparently! At some point in the museum video Parker mentions it, maybe not much more than passing; he may touch on that in the logic gate demo video too, I can't recall.

Recognizing a similar difficult stopped me very early in the process of thinking through logic gates using input/output conveyors and machines in Satisfactory, a couple months back, and in retrospect I think a similar "clock" inventory running on a parallel conveyor belt miiiiight? make it workable after all. But there's other complications with throughput there, and logic circuits have never been my strong suit in any case.
posted by cortex at 11:40 PM on August 23, 2019

Cool. I love these unusual-medium computers. One day I'd really like to build a simple computing device using water pressure; it seems like something that you could really play with to see how far you could take it. Could you actually build a simple programmable computer using nothing but plumbing?
posted by biogeo at 12:26 AM on August 24, 2019

Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong. It's Matt Parker Square Matt and "Numberphile" etc. John Brady.

Also: The printers 'fixed' my Humble Pi show flyer.

And you should totally check Matt's other things and Numberphile in general and especially the second channel with the Numberphile Podcast where Brady interviews mathy people because it's so awesome and up my alley.

Numberphile Podcast

I totally have to restrain myself from posting almost every brit sci thing that pops up in my feed. (MathJax!)
posted by zengargoyle at 1:32 AM on August 24, 2019 [1 favorite]

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