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Nickname:?Clive Maxfield???? Articles(444)???? Visits(533016)???? Comments(79)???? Votes(236)???? RSS
There is so much amazingly cool "stuff" to see and do that I'm amazed I find the time to get any real work done. In my blog I will waffle on about the books I'm reading, the projects I'm building, and the weird and wonderful websites I blunder across. Please Email Me if you see anything you think will "tickle my fancy."
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Posted: 06:22:12 PM, 30/06/2015

Brit creates bodacious 16-Bit mega-processor

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Well, it seems that there are ripples in the force, as it were, because lately I have been inundated with friends pointing me to this BBC article and this column in The Register ("Biting the hand that feeds IT"). These pieces tell the tale of one James Newman, who is building a computer in the family room of his bungalow in Cambridge, England.

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"So what?" you say, "Anyone can build a computer using off-the-shelf boards and modules." Well yes, but that's not what James is doing. Instead, he's creating a 45-foot (14 meter) monster that will eventually weigh about half a tonne out of individual transistors. You dont really get a sense of the scale of this thing until you see James standing next to one of his panels (the final machine is expected to consist of seven panels).

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This is definitely a work of love, because James has been working on it for three years and has already spent ?20,000. This means that, once again, Britain is leading the world with regard to creating extremely large, painfully slow, and excruciatingly expensive computing technology. I tell you, it makes me proud to be British!

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Some people may think all of this is a tad excessive, but I know where James is coming from. One of my own "back burner" projects is to construct a 4-bit processor as a collection of glass-fronted, wall-mounted wooden cabinets where each cabinet boasts a different implementation technology: relays, vacuum tubes, transistors, TTL integrated circuits, magnetic logic, pneumatic logic, and so forth.

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But that will have to wait until I've finished my current projects, including my Inamorata Prognostication Engine and my Vetinari Clock. How about you? Are you working on any fun and interesting projects? If so, please share them with the rest of us.

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