More Blinking Lights (and a disgression)

April 28, 2009

In Blinking Lights I told you about how I feel the modern computer for its exterior, except for its screen, is boring. When I look at my Antec case, I see a large, silent black box, which, by its very definition, is uninteresting at best. Something like a rock that slowly dissipates heat.

However Bill Buzbee built a computer that has an interesting exterior, and a much more interesting interior: the Magic-1. The Magic-1 is a computer running at 4.something MHz, and is in the same computational power range as the original 8086 4.77 Mhz IBM PC, except with a more advanced instruction set.

The Magic-1 Computer

The Magic-1 Computer

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Blinking Lights

February 24, 2009

I’m sure that if you’re more than twenty, you’ve seen one of those really bad Sci-Fi movies with computers with lights everywhere. As the computer worked, computing at incredible speeds of course, the lights would flash like crazy, often accompanied by weird beeps and bops. When the computer completed its computation, like some kind of bizarre oven, the computer would make a loud ding! The answer would then be printed on a teletype with a characteristic loud buzzing noise.

The IBM 370

The IBM 370 (from Simon Fraser University Network Services. Click on image to follow original link.)

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