ScuzzBlog: Diaries May 2021

Entry 28th May 2021: Post 3: My home made 8-bit paper computer.

My home made 8-bit paper computer.

Back in the days when I was but a lad in school I had often thought
of creating a simple data base machine. This was before the launch
of the home computer and many years before my first ZX81.

One of my fun activities was to set up with my brother a massive
battle of all our soldiers on the floor of the lounge. Problem was
finding the types of soldier for the selected locations. I suddenly
had this brilliant idea using old bits of card and a set of moms
knitting needles of creating a card for each of soldier type,  and
referencing them as either yes or no to a simple question, which was
identified by having a solid hole for yes and a slot for no. The
idea being that I simply inserted needles for the type of soldier
I wanted and when the others dropped away I would be left with
just the soldiers that were suitable. The process involved doing
one selection at a time until there were only cards left that met
the criteria.

I can't recall just how I worded the questions but I recall
refining the responses to a specific line of questioning that did
indeed provide results that I could quickly act upon.

And so was born my first 8-bits of data storing to generate a
quick and pretty effective data base. Sadly I don't have the cards
or the soldiers any more as they were given away decades ago. The
process turned out to be way more fun than the playing with soldiers
in the end and led me to creating a whole series of similar question
and answer selection processes to sort data. I had inadvertently
tripped upon the binary processes used in computers. I didn't
even know I had done it.

Very happy days..... Took us all day to set up the soldiers and
about ten minutes to knock them all over. So funny.

My home made 8-bit paper computer.

Modern interpretation from memory.

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Last updated 28th May 2021

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