Not only do you have to water cool this thing to over clock it, you have to use WD-40 and KY in a 1:2 ratio
July 25, 2006 10:33 PM   Subscribe

If you've always wanted to build your own computer why not do it with some tinker toys? This ought to give future archaeologists many years of discussion.
posted by bigmusic (9 comments total)
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posted by bigmusic at 10:33 PM on July 25, 2006

Bah. The tinker toys just hide the chicken.
posted by quite unimportant at 10:43 PM on July 25, 2006

Holy shit that's impressive. Is it actually a stored program computer?
posted by delmoi at 11:11 PM on July 25, 2006

Err, reading the article it's not what we normally consider a "computer" (i.e. it's not Turing complete). It's a device designed to play tic-tac-toe. In theory of computation terms, it's a Discrete Finite State Automata, or DFA which is the simplest type of computational model.
posted by delmoi at 11:14 PM on July 25, 2006

I'm just awed by the pussy they must have scored with this.
posted by bardic at 11:45 PM on July 25, 2006

In a truly just and good world, mame would emulate this.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 12:23 AM on July 26, 2006

I remember reading this at the time (I read Computer Recreations religiously in the 80s, some awesome stuff was published in that column). Danny Hillis has been a hero of mine ever since. An interesting article on what he's up to these days.

Lots of those Computer Recreations articles ended up collected in The Turing Omnibus
posted by Leon at 6:52 AM on July 26, 2006

Is there something about Tinkertoys that makes it particularly well-suited to building mechanical automata, or was that choice just a matter of masochism? Old-school Erector and Meccano and of course Lego are far, far more fun and flexible as toys, at least.
posted by Western Infidels at 10:44 AM on July 26, 2006

delmoi Holy shit that's impressive. Is it actually a stored program computer?

Actually, not quite. If you read the SciAm article, you see that it is more like a tinker-toy lookup table with the configurations coded with a binary peg/no-peg code.
posted by Nyrath at 10:50 AM on July 26, 2006

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