Another system clock contender for my "Heath Robinson Rube Goldberg Computer" project would be a Jacob's ladder.
It may not surprise you to discover that I'm still happily pondering various aspects of my Heath Robinson Rube Goldberg mixed-technology computer project (relays, vacuum tubes, transistors, fluidic logic, pneumatic logic, magnetic logic ... and that's just the start).
For example, do you recall the old black-and-white horror films ("its alive... it's alive...") in which the mad scientist's lab would always feature electric arcs rippling up between two vertical wires. This is known as a Jacob's Ladder (does anyone know why?).
Well, wouldn't that make a great system clock (we could use a photo-detector to generate a pulse every time an arc reached the top of the wires)? I mentioned this idea to my friend Steve just yesterday. Imagine my horror when he said: "I wish I'd known, I gave one away to my nephew only a week ago!" Give me strength! Isn’t that just the way it always goes?
And what a waste, giving it to a young lad who will play with it once or twice before relegating it to the back of his bedroom closet, as opposed to giving it to someone like me who would happily sit there watching it for hour after hour (day after day, week after...).
What? You have one yourself? Well, in that case, it would be great if you could email me a photo that I can include in my paper. You can email me at email@example.com. And, as usual, if you haven't already done so, don't forget to Sign Up for our weekly Programmable Logic DesignLine Newsletter.