Cardboard computer





This is a cardboard implementation of a Digicomp I computer created by a person known only as "Sven". I came across this on a Yahoo group dedicated to the Digicomp I computer, which came out in 1966 or so.



The Digicomp I computer was a plastic computer that I was given when I was in third or fourth grade. My parents bought one for me (I can only believe that a teacher at school asked them to, since they had no interest in computers.)



The original Digicomp I is a collector's item now, fetching up to $450.00 on eBay.



The computer is "cycling" and performing some kind of logic in the animation. The Digicomp I had three bits in an ALU (Arithmetic/Logic Unit) and could count from 0 to 7 or simulate a traffic-light and that sort of thing. I learned Boolean algebra and about Venn diagrams and that kind of stuff



I spent the summer inside the house every day playing with it. I was about eight or nine at the time. My parents were quite distressed. "Go outside more!" I remember I had the soundtrack to Chitty-Chitty Bang Bang going in the background the entire summer. The record player just looped through it all day.



More stuff about the Digicomp I is here. The Yahoo group is "Friends of Digicomp".



(BTW, in real life you "cycled" the logic by moving the slide on the lower right of the animation. This is a stop-motion animation of the computer working.)



[Wait! There's more!]



Here is one made out of wood.



And here is one made out of K'Nex.





Text © 2005 Stephen Clarke-Willson - All Rights Reserved