newbie building a scratch-built computer

Sridhar Ayengar ploopster at
Mon Jul 30 23:44:04 CDT 2007

Dave McGuire wrote:
> On Jul 30, 2007, at 8:43 PM, woodelf wrote:
>>> Hello, everyone. My name is Joe, I am 17 years old, and live in 
>>> central NJ.
>>> I would like to figure out how to build a retro-type computer, either 
>>> from
>>> plans or from a kit. I am currently considering the Micro-KIM, as 
>>> well as
>>> trying to build a mark-8. Not sure what I want to do. If anyone can 
>>> help me
>>> along with this, I would be very appreciative.
>> Expect to spend a good chunk of $$$ if you want something more than a 
>> toy.
>> Four thousand and ninety six words of memory was still considered
>> a large amount of memory in the mark-8 era, and many computers came with
>> that amount. 10,000x slower than computers of today so don't expect to 
>> have
>> much computing power, just have losts of fun. ('.~)
>   Bunk.  There is much educational value in even the tiniest of 
> machines, and even quite a few very practical uses.  And let's not lose 
> sight of the fact that the embedded systems world is filled to 
> overflowing with machines with considerably less memory than even 
> that...I routinely design systems around modern processors with a few 
> dozen bytes of memory.

Indeed.  A few months ago, I built a machine on a breadboard.  Not 
including the breadboard, the price of everything I used, *combined* was 
less than $50.

Peace...  Sridhar

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