First, thanks for putting "clicks and clacks" in the headline. It's hard for me to resist any story with that! I LOVE this project. It is not just a great demonstration of how a computer works, but it is true kinetic art. It belongs in a museum like the Smithsonian, which I'm relatively sure would love it.
(I recently visited the Smithsonian and, to my astonishment, there was a gasoline-powered Pennsylvania-branded lawnmower that was the very same model I used to cut my family's lawn when I was about 12. First, I thought: "Why is the Smithsonian showing some dumb old lawnmower?" My second though: "Man, I must be geting old."
My first run-in with a computer was visiting my father's bank around 1960s where there was a monster tube-driven computer printing out punch-card checks in a vast refrigerated room. It was loud and printed out another check every couple of seconds, which was amazing back then. But that wouldn't be nearly as cool to see in the museum as this wall-hanger.
... and sell T-shirts that say "I'm living in the past, man". Or better yet, pocket protectors. Maybe we could join forces with the Society for Creative Anachronism and have mock sword fights with slide rules -- or use the giant ones as battering rams.
@Joe....nope, you're the man. SMS me your email address on 0428 425 099 and I'll get in touch (don't like posting my address directly). I can probably get it to Sydney for you to pick up (I'm in sunny Bathurst). Wife will be happy....something going out of the house instead of coming into it!
Eniac moved to Aberdeen, MD. after it was born, same as me! It lived at the BRL, where dad worked from the late 40s to the late 70s. I was a lucky little kid.
Ironically, we didn't get our own computer at home (a tragically tiny VIC, initially) until about 1980, although there were programmable TI 58s rattling around the house occasionally, which I learned to program for lack of anything better.
I learned to etch PCBs so I could expand the pitiful memory on that little VIC. Pitiful by today's standards, but relatively lavish compared to a TI58.
Blog Doing Math in FPGAs Tom Burke 20 comments For a recent project, I explored doing "real" (that is, non-integer) math on a Spartan 3 FPGA. FPGAs, by their nature, do integer math. That is, there's no floating-point ...