OT: Language for the ages

Tony Duell ard at p850ug1.demon.co.uk
Tue Oct 18 14:54:20 CDT 2005

> > Now what about LEGO ... I  Know they have something computer controled
> > with the stupid high-priced building blocks?
> Real nerds use Fischer-Technik.
> Real real nerds have grey and red colored Fischer-Technik.

What other coulour is there? I've seen black gears (but most of mine are 
the old red ones), and they even have aluminium alloy beams I think now.

Fischer Technik has gone down spectacularly since I was a kid. In the old 
days there were fairly simple elecrronic modules (alas so expensive that 
I couldn't afford enough of them) -- things like a double pole changeover 
relay, analogue voltage comparator, AND gate, OR gate, flip-flop, 
monotstable, etc. Now you seem to get a complete sensor-input to 
motor-switch-output module, which is a lot less versatile. Oh well.... 

There was a Fischer Technick kit with TTL chips in it (!). There was a 
module with a 14 pin DIL socket on the front with the connections brought 
out to pins on the front. You plugged in one of the 4 chips in the kit 
(IIRC 7400 NAND gate, 7402 NOR gate, 7408 AND gate or 74121 monostable), 
connected the pins correctly, added R's and C's as appropriate, etc. 
There were LDRs in the kit (which, with the appropriate pull-up resistor 
could directly switch a TTL input), there was also a special relay module 
that could be driven from TTL. Does anyone else here have that one? No, 
mine is not for sale...

_Real_ hackers (I don't know what a nerd is...) control the original 
Fischer Technik robotics kit with a homebrew interface from their HP48 


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