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My computer is older than YOUR computer!

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My father still has his Sinclair ZX81. Pretty old if you ask me. I still remember him learning how to code in C, basic, back then (1982?), when we were living in West Africa.  :) Great design.  ;D  Smaller than a lot of modern laptops, but with a 3.25 MHz CPU, and and 1 KB of RAM -- although I thing we had 64 at the time...

Does anybody have one of these? I got mine as a Christmas present way back when I was a kid. It's called a Digicomp and it was sold by a terrific company (now long defunct) called Edmund Scientific.

It's not really a computer per sce. It's actually a set of mechanical flip-flops that could be programmed and initialized in various ways using little plastic programming lugs (they were one-inch pieces of drinking straw) such that some rudimentary logic circuits could be set up and played with. The most interesting part of it was the "clock" which consisted of your hand pushing a plastic plate back and forth to create the "clock cycles" that drove your "logic circuits."

One of the most intellectually satisfying things that ever happened to me was when I was able to set it up as a count-up register device - and more importantly, understood why it worked! That experience was what initially got me hooked on the whole "computer thing."

Here's what it looks like:

There's a great article on this clever little device:

I wonder if they still make toys like this anymore?

BTW: Very good link on Classic Computing over at the Retro Thing website, Check it out:


Hey I can put together a 486-dx in a hearbeat and don't try me!  I still have all my Windows for workgroups 3.11 disks and I was running AOL and found a girlfriend in 1996!  ha ha.  no joke.

40hz, that looks really cool, never seen one of those before.

I did have a few of these when i was growing up which are extremely cool, and still available:



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