As you may have guessed, my all time favorite is Bill Buzbee and his Magic 1 TTL 16-bit 70s style homebrew minicomputer. He is no doubt my greatest inspiration and his example is the chief reason I decided to go ahead with my own project.
However, Bill is not alone. Many other people have inspired me over the years. Namely:
- The CuriousMarc YouTube channel. These guys are not strictly Homebrew CPU builders but their resurrection of an AGC (Apollo Guidance Computer) is certainly the coolest vintage computing project I have ever seen. CuriousMarc is sponsored by PCBWay and so are we!
- Ken Shirriff aka "Master Ken". A member of the CuriousMarc restoration team, whose excellent blog I avidly read and strongly recommend.
- All the guys from the Homebrew Computers Web-ring. The list seems mostly dormant nowadays but it once was the Mecca of Retrobrew building. Among the members of the ring, I found the following particularly worthy of note:
- The already mentioned Bill Buzbee ...
- Jeroen Brinkman, whose 100kg relay-based beast is in a category all its own.
- James Newman, whose discrete transistor-based Megaprocessor is the main contender to Jeroen Brinkman's Mercia for the title of most unwieldy retrobrew machine.
- fritzler-avr.de's Spaceage 2 32-bit MIPS I ISA TTL implementation. Another heavyweight, although not in the size department but in terms of computing power.
- Gianluca G's Apollo 181 4-bit educational TTL computer. Simple, elegant, Italian.
- Two YouTubers, Ben Eater and James Sharman, whose numerous and highly educational video series I followed regularly over the years.
I am sure I am forgetting many interesting projects. These are just the ones that came to my mind today.