Not a virtual machine: A computer built by hand

Admit it.  How many of you out there take great pride in your technical prowess?  How many, after solving a particularly vexing problem related to VMware, head out for a beer to celebrate your victory?

Well… you have nothing on this kid!  Jack Eisenmann, a recent high school graduate, has built for himself a full-fledged computer using wafer boards, wire and chips he bought off the Internet.  Jack indicates that he’s spent about $300 or so on this rig and has gone through about 200 feet of wire.

Jack has also documented his progress along the way and has posted – as of this writing – a series of eleven videos on YouTube.  In his video series, Jack explains his process pretty clearly.

He’s spent a lot of time creating a rudimentary operating system for his new rig and have even written Pong for his OS.  While the whole thing is obviously simplistic, it’s a great endeavor.

It’s a fact that the U.S. is beginning to lose its technical edge to countries like China and India.  Although many people have built these kinds of rigs before, the kind of ambition and quest for knowledge that it is apparent that Mr. Eisenmann has is impressive.  Hopefully, more people will follow his example and get back to basics to help us all move ahead.

I consider myself a pretty technical guy but I can safely say that I would have no chance of doing what Jack is doing.  Kudos!

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