How-To Geek

Homebrew CPU Is a Hands On Look at How Computers Tick

This ambitious DIY project is a completely home-built microcomputer complete that provides a in depth and hands on look at how computers tick.

Now a days we talk about computer registers, DMAs, and IRQs as abstract things buried deep inside the microprocessor of our modern computers. This computer showcases all these aspects of modern computing in a very hands on way. Watch the video above to see the computer in action and then hit up the link below if you’re interested in a very ambitious summer project.

Homebrew CPU [via Hack A Day]

Jason Fitzpatrick is a warranty-voiding DIYer who spends his days cracking opening cases and wrestling with code so you don't have to. If it can be modded, optimized, repurposed, or torn apart for fun he's interested (and probably already at the workbench taking it apart). You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 07/19/11

Comments (2)

  1. Snert

    When I was in 1st grade a friend of my father taught Science at the school I attended. Mr. Winkle was a genius. No argument whatsoever On hius own time with his own money he built a computer on plexiglass boards. I’ll try to explain. Flip-flop circuits, AMD gates, NAND gates, whatevers – each on it’s own board and lots of them. I was enthralled! My 6 year old mind was warped!
    it took up quite a bit of space in the basemant and was built completely from scratch with resistor, capacitors and transistors, relays, transformers, a lot of wires and stuff. It wasn’t much of a computer by todays standards but it worked.
    He claimed it was just a high-speed electronic adding machine.
    “There are 10 kinds of people. Those that understand binary, and those that don’t”

  2. pbug

    I remember my brother trying to teach me this stuff 40 years ago. Some I got. 2nd year in college I was learning BAL – Basic Assembler Language, the sort of class I wish all Microsoft programmers had to master still today. In my first programming job, the older of our 2 PDP-11’s was booted by means of front console switches to load up the boot address which then set off reading of a card deck. We also got a 2nd PDP 11 with the new console which had its own preprogrammed CPU in it. Booting was mostly automatic, and it had the ability to recover from a power failure without having a large team of engineers come (needed, as I recall for IBM 360 restarts after a power outage).

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