Created by information theory pioneer Claude Shannon as an educational toy for teaching digital circuits, the Minivac 601 Digital Computer Kit was billed as an electromechanical digital computer system. Produced by Scientific Development Corporation in the early 1960s it sold for $85 (about $720 today).
Minivac 601 used electromechanical relays as logic switches as well as for very basic storage. Simple DPDT switches and SPDT push buttons made up the binary inputs, with lights to represent the outputs. A large motorized dial allowed the user to enter decimal or hexadecimal numbers, and to output numbers, or to act as a clock signal generator. For more information about the Minivac 601 here are some additional references:
The Instructable presented here is for a full size replica of that Minivac 601 from 1961. I have tried to remain as true to the original as possible given the technologies and resources available to me. I don’t have a “vintage” unit so this replica has been constructed based on photos and from the original manuals that were available online. I have included these manuals in PDF format as part of this project. I brought these files to a local copy center and had them printed as the spiral bound booklets you can see [below]. I’m really happy with the results.
If you want to try it out, theres a promotion happening that gives you a one-month trial of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate for $1. But before you redeem it, you should know that its possible to use the trial as a way to save a lot of money on Game Pass Ultimate for the next three years.
Microsoft allows Xbox players to order up to 36 months of prepaid Xbox Live Gold service. And for a limited time, activating the $1 trial will automatically…
Are you running Firefox version 67.0.3 or Firefox ESR 60.7.1? If the answer is no, or youre not sure, maybe just update your web browser now. Firefox maker Mozilla is warning (via ZDNet) that the browser has a zero-day flaw thats actively being exploited in the wild you dont see that every day and it has issued an emergency patch that can let you plug that hole right now.
Heres the full description of the issue:
Updating Firefox can be as easy as restarting the browser, though you can also tap the hamburger icon on the…
Digital clocks are extremely useful and generally considered pretty easy to read. However, they can sometimes have rather arcane interfaces for setting the time and alarms. For [Michael Wessel], he noted that in the 1980s he had to routinely help his grandparents set their clocks for this very reason. That …read more
How best to untangle the Gordian knot that is navigating your own healthcare? It’s a tricky question, and one that seems to have become only more complicated as technology improves, in many regards — systems don’t necessarily speak to one another, and it’s still hard for an ordinary patient without specialist knowledge to make sense […]
Ive been working with Java for about 14 years now, and the last two years Ive also worked with Node.js and Golang to build some middleware AI platforms at my startup. Nevertheless, I often push myself in learning other technologies as well. Ive been learning Python these past few weeks. I was inspired by its concise syntax and the prominent feature that supports almost anything. You can use Python for any GUI and/or web development, operating system shell, data processing and analysis (data science), etc. Someone said that you can build the world with Python. Mmmmm, sounds interesting.
Since I believe that the best way to grasp the knowledge is to write what Ive learned, Im gonna try here to write everything I know so far about Python. I have read different books and websites, so here Im trying to summarize within six parts everything I gotten from these different resources. Hopefully, you’ll find this article useful, especially for those of you who are trying to learn Python in a crash course.
Battle royale has come for Mario. The winner-takes-all genre, popularized by the likes of Fortnite and PUBG, is now also a free web game starring Nintendos famous plumber.
The aptly titled Mario Royale has a pretty simple premise: 75 people, all playing as Mario, try to make their way to the end of a classic Super Mario Bros. stage at the same time. It sounds easy, but since everyone looks identical, its incredibly chaotic, and youll likely find yourself dying because you mixed up which squat plumber you were controller. Still, as a proof of concept, its a clever idea, especially following the likes of Tetris 99.
An important caveat, of course, is that this isnt an official Nintendo game, so its unlikely to stay online for long. If…
I’ve had a Brother wireless laser printer for close to 10 years. It’s so much faster and cheaper than an inkjet printer, and doesn’t cause problems like an inkjet printer. Right now, Amazon is selling the Brother HL-L2350DW, which prints on two-sides of a sheet, for . Official toner cartridges are for a high-yield toner cartridge (3,000 pages), but you can get TWO third-party high-yield cartridges for just , making this a cheap, reliable printer. Read the rest
I never thought I had a distinctive Colorado accent until people from California noted my dropped Gs at the end of “ing” words. I’ve since stopped dropping Gs, but when I go back to Colorado I can’t help myself and I drop my Gs. In this Condé Nast Traveler video, 50 people from 50 US states speak in their local accents.
If you’ve got some drone or FPV part lying around, this is the build for you. It’s a remote controlled tank, with a camera and video transmitter, that’s only 65 mm x 40 mm x 30 mm in size. Why on Earth would you ever build something so small? You …read more
Significant spoilers ahead for season 1 of Jessica Jones.
The horror and superhero genres approach the world from opposite directions. Horror is meant to make the audience feel disempowered and terrorized. Superhero stories, by contrast, make viewers feel empowered and triumphant. Both genres often set out to give the audience the same thing a big, satisfying burst of catharsis but in different ways, and for different reasons.
But at the same time, the genres draw liberally from each other. To heighten the empowerment sensation, the superhero genre often uses horror elements. In the recent film Shazam!, the hero is menaced by oozing, hulking nightmare monsters, and his victory is sweeter because hes initially terrified by what he…
Makeup tutorials and reviews are some of the most popular content on YouTube, as they help people learn about new products as well as how to apply them. YouTube is now kicking that experience up a notch with the introduction of a new AR feature for virtual makeup try-on right from the YouTube app. Called […]
My daughter is taking a precalc summer school course. Last night she was doing her homework, which was about verifying trigonometric identities. Out of the 25 homework problems, there was one that she got stuck on. I decided to give it a try and spent two hours on it without solving it.
Here it is. Verify the identity:
(sec x – tan x)² = (1 – sin x )/(1 + sin x )
You don’t need to know anything about trigonometry to solve this. All you need to know are the fundamental trigonometric identities, which are:
My daughter is in class now and she texted me the answer. There’s not too many steps involved. Let’s see how fast you can solve it. Read the rest
Bon Appetit’s 20-tip roundup of salad-making tips is full of culinary wisdom, from the mechanical (how to use a salad-spinner properly and how to apply dressing for a good, even coat that doesn’t turn delicates to mush) to the chemical (using salt to tenderize raw cabbage) to the culinary (toast your nuts, put chopped veg in your dressing, mix your vinegars). It’s a great and timely piece for anyone getting ready to enjoy the summer’s garden veg or anyone trying to get kids to eat more veggies. (via Kottke)
It is hard to remember that practical computers haven’t been around for even a century, yet. Modern computers have been around an even shorter period. Yet somehow people computed tables, kept ledgers, and even wrote books without any help from computers at all. Sometimes they just used brute force but …read more
The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you’d like to get this delivered to your inbox every day at around 9am Pacific, you can subscribe here. 1. Facebook announces Libra cryptocurrency: All you need to know Facebook has finally revealed the details of its cryptocurrency Libra, which will […]
Internet Archive founder Brewster Kahle (who also founded the company Alexa, now an Amazon division) ordered a pack of Sharpies from Amazon using the Internet Archive’s business account, then, minutes later, ordered another pack using his personal account, both to be delivered to the Internet Archive: the order for the Internet Archive was priced at $8.63, while the personal order was priced at $12.37.
According to Kahle, the price difference is a feature, not a bug: businesses who pay extra for Business Prime ($179/year versus $99 for non-business Prime) get significant discounts on some items.
Below are the receipt for the Internet Archive, offer to me, and offer to my home business account (same price as the Internet Archive). Turns out I stumbled upon Business Pricing. Its a feature. Business Prime costs $179/year, as opposed to consumer Prime for $99/year.