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Old 11-08-2008, 12:57 AM   #1
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Default Self-designed and self-built computer?

I know that lots of tech-saavy people assemble their own computers, but has anyone here actually designed and built their own?

I am attempting to do this and so far, I've finished 0.001% of the computer. The only part built (designed actually, still awaiting parts) is a 64-bit adder-subtractor built from around 40 standard logic chips...


This guy here has built his own, so it looks like I've got a bit of competition! :p


Why am I posting? Partly to push down that FPN-bait thread, of course!
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Old 11-08-2008, 02:20 AM   #2
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Default You miss the point!

The point of assembling your own computer is for it to be cheaper then just buy one which is ready. you don't need to actually build individual hardware pieces on your own... it'll just be more expansive and less reliable.
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Old 11-08-2008, 02:26 AM   #3
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LOL!


You didn't really think this is a computer for Maya did you?


It's mostly for fun...
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Old 11-08-2008, 02:51 AM   #4
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/gets behind the blast shield

Good luck with that.
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Old 11-08-2008, 02:56 AM   #5
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the blast shield is a very good idea


Thanks for the encouragement!
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Old 11-08-2008, 11:34 AM   #6
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//runs and hides in an already assembled Dell
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Old 11-08-2008, 11:43 PM   #7
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Originally posted by Joopson
//runs and hides in an already assembled Dell
Might want something more sturdy... like a bunker! :p


In other news, I've got enough chips to implement a whopping two more features!!!
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Old 12-08-2008, 03:09 AM   #8
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wait... you're actually building the components from scratch?!

crazy dude.....

i'm more of a software person only... the hardware kinda bores me...
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Old 12-08-2008, 03:22 AM   #9
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Originally posted by Chirone
wait... you're actually building the components from scratch?!

crazy dude.....

i'm more of a software person only... the hardware kinda bores me...
Yep, I'm building the entire computer, including the processor, out of standard SSI/MSI TTL logic chips!

If you think thats crazy, note that this is intended to be a 64-bit design - typically, TTLs are not used for anything larger than 16 bits, but I like 64-bit hardware so it has to be 64-bit or no computer... :p

There will be lots of soldering, thats for sure... I need 128 wires for the adder-subtractor inputs, 64 for the results and this doesn't include the connections between the chips or the logic unit, which so far can only do AND and OR operations...


Btw, didn't you say you have a something (qualification?) in computer science? And hardware bores you? lol!


beer... to make it less boring during the soldering stage!
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Old 12-08-2008, 03:28 AM   #10
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Originally posted by The Architect
There will be lots of soldering, thats for sure... I need 128 wires for the adder-subtractor inputs, 64 for the results and this doesn't include the connections between the chips or the logic unit, which so far can only do AND and OR operations...


Btw, didn't you say you have a something (qualification?) in computer science? And hardware bores you? lol!
only AND and OR... hahaha, man, that ain't gonna go far! not with out a NOT. everything can be constructed from NOTs and ORs, that's all you need

ah yes, i have a BSc in Computer Science and Logic and Computation... although it doesn't say that on my certificate....pretty lame

i'm more interested in the software side of things than the hardware side of things... and something about assembly just makes me want to hug Visual Studio and Eclipse...

sucks that if all the people who could make hardware vanished then i'd have nothing to do

wait... that came out really bad.... well... i'd just not be able to get a job... unless i could be a freelance writer and live life never knowing if i'll get a pay cheque
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Old 12-08-2008, 04:18 AM   #11
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Originally posted by Chirone
only AND and OR... hahaha, man, that ain't gonna go far! not with out a NOT. everything can be constructed from NOTs and ORs, that's all you need

ah yes, i have a BSc in Computer Science and Logic and Computation... although it doesn't say that on my certificate....pretty lame

i'm more interested in the software side of things than the hardware side of things... and something about assembly just makes me want to hug Visual Studio and Eclipse...

sucks that if all the people who could make hardware vanished then i'd have nothing to do

wait... that came out really bad.... well... i'd just not be able to get a job... unless i could be a freelance writer and live life never knowing if i'll get a pay cheque
Lol!

Yeah, I need NOR gates, but I haven't managed to find them yet... Its kinda difficult sorting little DIP chips as the pins are sharp!

Speaking of programming, I don't think there will ever be a high-level language for the computer... it will all be done in machine code! No assembly cause I can't program anything (other than my firewall and some trivial bash, C++ and basic). Of course, being all for user friendly, a large infomative table will be drawn up detailing all the opcodes and fields!

One last thing... I need names for my design... I was thinking of "FLOPS"*, but that would be kinda not suitable since the thing can't do floating point so the thinking cap goes back on...

* free cookie for the first person to get the reference!
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Old 12-08-2008, 04:21 AM   #12
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yeah, you wouldn't want to call it floating point operations when it can't do that :p
or are you expecting the machine to flop and die?? :p
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Old 12-08-2008, 04:25 AM   #13
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Originally posted by Chirone
yeah, you wouldn't want to call it floating point operations when it can't do that :p
or are you expecting the machine to flop and die?? :p
LOL!

Not exactly, although there might be a "halt and catch fire" instruction! :p

As for the cookie prize, still not there yet, but having a look at the Nintendo 64's specs might give some clue as to what FLOPS refers to (apart from rolling over when its powered on!)
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Old 13-08-2008, 12:21 AM   #14
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Sounds, err, err, interesting...

So are you making it from AND, NOT and OR gates?
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Old 13-08-2008, 12:39 AM   #15
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No, not from individual gates as the ALU is intended to be 64 bits wide... At the start I thought about it, but there was too much soldering so I've decided to use 4-bit full adders.

If I were to build the full-adder out of individual gates, it would would require 64 chips, each with four gates (2 XOR and 2 AND gates are required).

Everything else though, the logic for the XOR, NOR, AND and OR instructions are to be built from SSI TTLs with 4 gates each... which means 16 for each function and lot of soldering! :p

I'm hoping to get some of the parts tomorrow. I should have finished wiring the adder and subtractor by the start of next week, but I really don't know how long it will take.

Still have not thought about how the registers and control logic are going to be made though, so the ALU will be controlled the good old fashioned way until I design the control logic by inserting and removing jumpers! :p
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