Build your own Apollo Guidance Computer

Alexandre Souza alexandre-listas at
Tue Dec 19 15:23:05 CST 2006

>> I've seen this before; has anyone on cctalk built one?
> Looks like a labor of love.
> But, given that the original uses RTL and core, what's the point of
> building one in LSTTL?  Why not use an FPGA?  It'd be no more or less
> authentic.  Or perhaps just write a simulator to run on your PeeCee?
> What's remarkable about the original is the size (2 cu. ft.) and the
> modularity and serviceability.

    The answer is "Fun".

    I see no point into building an Altair using old components. BTW, I see 
no point into building an Altair, but this kit is something I'd like to buy 
(no way, I'm in Brazil!) because:

    - It is beautiful
    - It is fun
    - It is a kit, and I love to build kits (did I said I love build kits?) 
and you can't find kits to build in Brazil
    - It is hackeable, all the gates are there in my hand
    - It is fun
    - It is beautiful
    - It is a labour of love
    - I love blinkenlights
    - It is fun
    - Did I said it is fun?
    - It is something I'll proudly show to my friends, sons and like, and 
tell "when I began, people programmed like this"
    - It is fun!

    So, there is no rational for building something old, as there is no 
rational into collecting or using something old. If you follow this way, you 
may think that:

    - Build an Altair? Better use newer components!
    - Newer components? I can build the entire box into a simple CPLD!
    - CPLD? Why? I can emulate that on PC!
    - Emulate an Altair? Why the hell would I want to use it?!?!

    As you can see, using is the least fun of all the adventure. The journey 
is the reward!

    Alexandre Souza 

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