Digi-Comp I

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The original DigiComp I
A front view of the Digi-Comp I version 2.0

The Digi-Comp I was a functioning, mechanical digital computer sold in kit form. It was originally manufactured from polystyrene parts by E.S.R., Inc. starting in 1963 and sold as an educational toy for US$4.99.

Operation[edit]

In essence, the Digi-Comp I contained three mechanical flip-flops, providing an ability to connect them together in a programmable way using thin vertical wires that are either pushed, or blocked from moving, by a number of cylindrical pegs. The whole arrangement was 'clocked' by moving a lever back and forth. Different configurations of these cylinders caused the Digi-Comp to compute different boolean logic operations. With a three binary digit (3-bit) readout of the state of the flip-flops, it could be programmed to demonstrate binary logic, to perform various operations such as addition and subtraction, and to play some simple logic games such as Nim.[citation needed]

Reproductions[edit]

The Digi-Comp I version 2.0 was made available by Minds-On Toys in 2005 as a relatively inexpensive binder's board version of the original Digi-Comp with a much enhanced instruction manual.[1]

A successor, the Digi-Comp II, was not programmable, but in effect a visible calculator. A two-level masonite platform with guides served as the medium for a supply of marbles that rolled down an inclined plane, moving plastic cams as they fell.[2]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Minds-On Toys - Kits". Retrieved 2013-04-17. 
  2. ^ "Yahoo friendsofdigicomp". Retrieved 2013-04-17. 

External links[edit]