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Home-Built Relay Computer Clicks & Clacks on the Wall

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rick merritt
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Eniac days
rick merritt   8/2/2013 10:45:53 AM
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Wow, this reminds me of the early days of computing and the Eniac (see below, before my time!)

Programming in this era was about walking around with a clipboard and flipping a bazillion switches from instructions typed out on a sheet of paper. Not a very high level language!

Where do you find these folks, Caleb?

 



 

Caleb Kraft
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Re: Eniac days
Caleb Kraft   8/2/2013 10:48:42 AM
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I've been following passionate people doing home projects for years and years. This was one I saw a long time ago that I thought really deserved some fresh attention. There's just something so satisfying about hearing those mechanical switches clicking and clacking, I'm glad my laptop doesn't do that, but I kind of wish something in my house did!

rich.pell
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Re: Eniac days
rich.pell   8/2/2013 11:40:55 AM
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No problem, just get a mechanical-switch keyboard!

Caleb Kraft
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Re: Eniac days
Caleb Kraft   8/2/2013 11:43:35 AM
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Oh man, my co workers would kill me. I get aggressive with mechanical keyboards. By the end of a long sentence I'm furiously pounding on it just for the satisfaction of the RATA-TAT-TAT. You don't even want to see me use a typewriter with a manual carriage return. 

I need to stay away from those for everyone's sake. 

Susan Rambo
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Re: Eniac days
Susan Rambo   8/2/2013 12:30:13 PM
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I agree.  May the sound of a manual typewriter or even the short-lived "electronic" typewriter live on in all the old classic movies.

betajet
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CEO
Keypunch machines
betajet   8/2/2013 3:04:26 PM
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I always loved the sound of a keypunch.  I had a friend who called them "pea-kunch machines" because that's the sound they make: p-kunch, p-kunch, p-kunch followed by the satisfying hiss and klunk-klunk as the card is released and a new one loaded.

Drum cards rule! :-)

Bob83716
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Re: Eniac days
Bob83716   8/2/2013 5:39:30 PM
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Or (keeping with the theme of the article), you can go really retro with a USB Typewriter.  http://www.usbtypewriter.com/

David Ashton
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Relay computers
David Ashton   8/2/2013 8:41:45 PM
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Max obviously has not seen this yet....eat ya heart out Max!!!  A serious labour of love though.  I see he uses a 32K x 8 static ram chip for memory....cheating really, though it's excusable - if he did that with relays it would take up his whole lounge room.   Pity he did not use ferrite core memory or  something else from a bygone era for that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Devad
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Re: Relay computers
Devad   8/2/2013 8:51:22 PM
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This reminds me of the "BiTran 6" computer I used at Penn Technicial School.  It used 7400 logic chips but was programed using binary. I remember for my senior project I programmed it to solve the quadratic equation.  The good old days ....

David Ashton
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Re: Eniac days
David Ashton   8/2/2013 8:52:42 PM
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@ rich.pell: "No problem, just get a mechanical-switch keyboard!"

Someone gave me one of those the other day...can't be that old as it has a PS2 connector.  It was too nice to chuck, but if anyone wants it, let me know...you pay postage from Aussie (and they're not light!)  I'd love to see it go to a good home.

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