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View Full Version : The dominoes computer!


Shaggy Sheep Driver
7th Apr 2014, 15:38
As part of Science Week, Manchester Museum of Science & Industry (MoSI) built a computer that works by dominos falling over - or not. You give it an input of 2 binary numbers, and it gives the sum of them in binary as the output. It does it just as an electronic computer does - using logic gates (AND, OR, ExOR etc.) but made of dominoes rather than solid state silicon - amazing!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OpLU__bhu2w#t=890

Dushan
7th Apr 2014, 16:48
Wouldn't that be "You give it an input of 10 binary numbers..."

Shaggy Sheep Driver
7th Apr 2014, 18:06
Not unless you normally describe numbers in binary notation in normal conversation. The number of binary numbers you give it as input is (decimal) 2.

Strictly speaking, of course, it's not a computer; it's a binary adder. But it's s good illustration of how computers work.

LookingForAJob
7th Apr 2014, 19:24
it's a binary adderIs that related to the Horned Bush Viper?

mixture
7th Apr 2014, 23:13
I see just like your average Microsoft OS, first release a bit buggy, will probably be more stable as of SP1. :cool:

tartare
7th Apr 2014, 23:18
Looking... !:D:D:D

Shaggy Sheep Driver
8th Apr 2014, 10:30
I see just like your average Microsoft OS, first release a bit buggy, will probably be more stable as of SP1

Prob more analogous to chip design as it's simulating the hardware, not the OS or the apps. The problems they had with the second machine (where they had more doms in the same space as the first machine, which worked OK) were junctions where the domino flow 'leaked' both ways instead of just the intended way, and 'crosstalk' between adjacent lines where a domino not only knocked down the one in front, but due to the lack of space between lines it also knocked down a domino in the adjacent row.

Both of these effects (but with electrons of course, not doms) have to be avoided in chip design. The more compact chips become, the harder that is.

teeteringhead
8th Apr 2014, 14:20
Wouldn't that be "You give it an input of 10 binary numbers..." As they say: "There are 10 kinds of people - those who understand binary and those that do not!"

MagnusP
8th Apr 2014, 14:50
will have was would've been

Fixed it. HTH.

Keef
8th Apr 2014, 14:53
There are 10 kinds of people: those who understand binary, those that do not, and the great majority who chuckle from their comprehension of octal, decimal, hexadecimal, and the vast panoply of other bases.

Shaggy Sheep Driver
8th Apr 2014, 15:07
And 0000 0000 0000 0010 kinds of people, who understand BCD and not. :ok: