Microprocessors which ran on air #VintageComputing
Erik Engheimresearches a time, now forgotten, where the expectation was that computers would run on fluid currents rather than electric currents.
Logical gates can be made in almost any fashion. Today we build logical gates such as AND, OR, NAND, and XOR gates using combinations of transistors. However, this is not the only way to do it. Earlier computers used vacuum tubes instead of transistors. Before that relays were used. One of the first programmable computers the Z1, made by Konrad Zuse during WWII used mechanical logical gates.
Chances are that you have never heard of this technology called Fluidics. It is based on using fluids such as liquids or gasses to perform computations. No, it is not based on moving pistons and valves. In fact Fluidics systems are notmechanical at all. Rather they are based on how a jet of fluid can modify the direction of another jet of fluid.
This principle was discovered quite late when researchers worked on airplanes. However, engineers in the 1800s had everything they needed to build logical gates on this principle.
Fluidic circuits existed for a short time before electricity replaced them. It came into prominence over a relatively short time period before electronics quickly got good enough to entirely replace it.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.