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A project log for TMD-1: A Turing Machine Demonstrator

Develop a Turing machine that is simple to program and easy to understand.

Michael GardiMichael Gardi 08/25/2020 at 08:230 Comments

This has been a very fun, exciting, and rewarding project for me. Fun because well, all my projects are fun or I wouldn't be putting so much time and effort into them. Exciting because I really loved the idea of TMD-1 and unlike my more usual "reproduction" projects this one was an original that allowed me to exercise my creative juices.  Rewarding because the end result turned out so much better than I could have imagined. 

I've been so consumed by all things Turing for the past two months that it's hard for me to judge if I have achieved my "easy to understand" goal. It's certainly easy for me to understand sure, but what about someone not as immersed in the subject as I am. When I get a chance to show TMD-1 around a bit I might be able to get a better sense of whether I hit the mark or not.

I'm a little more confident to think that I have accomplished the "simple to program" goal.  I loved using the "tile" interface when I was making my demonstration programs. Development is very iterative with a quick load, run, test, fix cycle. While the single step function was added as a learning feature it sure works great as a debugging tool as well. So I'm going to pat myself on the back for "simple to program".

I wouldn't necessarily say that TMD-1 was "easy to build", I will say that it was pretty straight forward though. There is nothing too tricky about the build, just a fair amount of complexity to deal with.

Next Step

My plan over the next week or so is to create a TMD-1 Instructable. I'll post all the build files and details there and add a link to the Instructable here.

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