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Computer History BEFORE Microprocessors



I have become interested lately in the history of computers before the mid 70s when I first got into them.  Maybe it's because I sort of exhausted my curiosity about computers during the 70s and 80s and always thought of anything earlier as the dark ages and not worth spending any time learning.  But this hit a fever pitch lately with the project I picked up on via Youtube to restore an Apollo guidance computer.  That actual AGC then went on tour and I got to see it in action at the MIT Museum about a month ago.  As much respect as I have for the original Atari programmers who had to code for the 2600, the AGC is next-level in what they had to do compared to what they had available in tooling.



I now have this completely impractical and pointless (and probably impossible) desire to learn how to build my own CPU out of TTL logic, similar to what Larry Rosenthal did with Vectorbeam.  I still feel like there's some unfinished business in my life for having never truly learning the ins and outs of assembly language, let alone electrical engineering.  But there comes a time when you get too old to put in Malcolm Gladwell's 10K hours anymore.



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Have you seen the Bob Ross of computer engineering?

Ben Eater's videos are great even if you already know everything.



And some fun thing I found recently.  You should probably whip through it just for fun.




Edited by djmips
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This stuff boggles my mind. 


Maybe you could build a CPU in Minecraft, which would make it "fun" instead of work?

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1 hour ago, Flojomojo said:

Maybe you could build a CPU in Minecraft, which would make it "fun" instead of work?

Someone already built the arithmetic unit of one.


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It cost 1 million dollars to change a line of code in the AGC or LVDC once they were installed in their respective vehicles. And the code had to be finalized and flight-ready 5 months before launch.

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