Testing my newest contraption…

digital difference engine


A long time ago (after I built my FIBIAC), my friends at Makerbot used their botfarm to make a boatload of 3-digit counters for me. I hadn’t really decided what to do with them at the time, but I thought it would be fun to see how far I could push the delightfully-inefficient instruction-set architecture I had come up with. After languishing for 2 years or so, I finally decided to do something with them. The punch-card chain of the FIBIAC has been replaced by a somewhat more robust stepper-driven instruction drum, and there are now 8 (!) 3-digit counters. Here is a short test video of it running a 4-instruction ‘Difference Engine Emulator’, and computing a table of x^2 (1, 4, 9, 16, 25 …). The final result shows up on the 4th counter from the left (the white one) after every iteration. Enjoy =)

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