• The Corkboard Computer

    SHAOS12/25/2016 at 06:14 2 comments

    This semi-retro technique to build DIY computer was inspired by this amazing piece of art ("The Cardboard Computer"):


    I decided to implement my own very similar approach for "Germanium Calculus" project - namely The Corkboard Computer concept ;)

    I started with these things that I stumbled upon in the local grocery store:

    As you can see it's 125 yellowish tacks for $1.99 or about 1.6 cent per point!

    Then I bought these cork tiles in another store (4 tiles 12''x12'' for $7.49):

    Then I successfully tried to solder something to it :)

    For now I think it's the best way to finally build my "Germanium Calculus"...

  • Actual Germanium Modules

    SHAOS05/25/2016 at 03:13 0 comments

    Today I got package from Ukraine with a number of actual germanium logic modules manufactured in USSR from 1974 to 1978 for transistor computer MIR (that is actually abbreviation that stands for Machine for Engineering Calculations in Russian and in the same time means "world" and "peace"). According to Wikipedia this computer had 3 flavors - MIR (1965), MIR-1 (1968) and MIR-2 (1969) so modules from 1974-1978 look like spare parts for pre-existed "old" computers and may be even never used (but I'm not sure):

    I plan to reverse-engineer them (it looks like straight-forward task because PCBs have only 1 layer of copper) and may be even USE in this particular project ;)

    UPDATE: Later I got scancopies of lecture notes from 70s with detailed description of every MIR module including schematics :)

  • Components

    SHAOS04/22/2016 at 02:58 6 comments

    This is basic board (3-input germanium NAND with indication if all inputs are 1s) that will be used here (and there #Clockwork germanium ):

    Manufactured by oshpark.com

    Another thing was taken from old Soviet phone (and sold to me through eBay ; ):

    This one will be used to input decimal digits into calculator ;)

    UPDATE (04/22): Soviet nixie tubes have arrived :)