Museum of Science and Industry (was: Interesting places in Chicago area?)

From: Russ Blakeman <>
Date: Wed Mar 13 06:18:18 2002

Don't forget the U-505's computer...

=> -----Original Message-----
=> From:
=> there, two of the exhibits I still recall and are more on topic as they
=> relate to computers.
=> One exhibit was a little display about the size of a podium. It had an
=> exposed PC board on top with heavy gauge copper in an odd
=> pattern. A metal
=> "pen" was used to draw a digit from 0 to 9, and based on which
=> traces you
=> touched and the sequence you touched them in, it would display
=> what digit
=> you had written. On the front was the schematic of the thing,
=> containing
=> many dozens of transistors. Was it the first palm pilot? This was
=> probably around 1974 or so.
=> The other display I recall vividly was the tic-tac-toe machine
=> implemented
=> as a clacking relay computer. You could see the relays
=> activating behind
=> the plexiglass. In 8th grade when I understood just the basics
=> of digital
=> logic I attempted to design my own tic-tac-toe computer using
=> transistor/diode/resistor logic. I didn't understand how
=> "state" worked,
=> so I had a massive tangle of combinational logic. I probably would have
=> had to feed 100V in to the inputs to get a measurable output
=> after so many
=> diode drops. In high school, I had access to a Wang 2200 computer, and
=> after a few warm up programs, I wrote a BASIC program to play tic tac
=> toe. My first implementation was along the lines of the combinational
=> logic -- just a lot of straight "if this and this and this then do that"
=> statements.
=> I visited there about five years ago and it didn't hold the same
=> appeal. I
=> don't know if it was just that I had matured and the wonder of the world
=> has been lost, or if the displays just have a different flavor now that
=> doesn't appeal to me.
=> Ah, memories.
=> -----
=> Jim Battle ==
Received on Wed Mar 13 2002 - 06:18:18 GMT

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