The Unwanted Analog

Today I want to write about something which is long forgotten but once occurred even in Science Fiction. You probably remember those weird looking computers in old films and TV series like Startrek.

The were so weird looking because they were analog computers — computers without RAM and CPU and there programs were wired together. They had no real programming language but schematics and they were treated as what they are ‘electronic circuits’.

A German professor made an analogmuseum for them and my humble contribution to this history which never really were is an Analog Computer Simulator (not yet finished).

Be puzzled and amazed on this accumulation of buttons and blinking lights and get a copy of the manual from the already mentioned site.

These huge boxes run one of the most successful computer games ever known simple as Pong , probably when the engineers got bored with their simulation of real world missiles and other crashing phenomena.

Because this technology is now that alien, I had a hard time figuring out what the different components do. One such beast was called the “Integrator” which performs a basic operation on analog computers. However no way to figuring that out from the manual.

Actually just take a can of beer or a soda can , take a sip – maybe drink a little – and then try to make a little hole at the bottom with a sharp object. Watch the liquid running out , because that is basically what this highly scientific “Integrator” does.

Let it drop in your mouth , because why making a mess.


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