1964 Science Fair Project – The Computer Plus

Steve Roberts - 1964 science fair (age 11)

(Click to see schematic and read text)

I have often joked over the years that I never outgrew science fairs… showing off the various technomadic machines at trade shows and other events was eerily reminiscent of those early years, complete with passion, demo effects, marketing, and procrastination followed by despair. I credit science fairs with giving me a lifelong project-oriented perspective, and in the intellectual wasteland of school they were the only thing that kept me sane. This one was my second project, and of course we can see that “computer” is a bit of a misnomer for a simple binary decision tree of relay logic (augmented by cascading relaxation-oscillator blinkies with the venerable NE-2, and a few other bits of eye candy). But I was honing my packaging skills… good times.

Winner on 2 Fronts

Jeffersonian – March 26, 1964
Jeffersontown, Kentucky

AN ELECTRONIC computer which he designed and built and his demonstration of the device has won two recent honors for Steve Roberts, 11-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Edward H. Roberts, 9908 Old Six Mile Lane, Jeffersontown. Steve, a seventh grader at Louisville Country Day School, took top honors in last Wednesday’s Science Fair at the school for seventh graders, and fourth place honors in general science category of the Louisville Area High School Science Show Saturday at the Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center. He is a member of the Jeffersontown Junior Optimist Electronics Club.

 

Random posts from the archives:

Steve Roberts - Computing Across America - Online Today
This was a hugely pivotal article in my unfolding adventure. First, the author unwittingly named the whole escapade, and second, this was published just before launch. That meant that almost every CompuServe subscriber had a heads-up that there was a guy on a computerized recumbent bicycle takin...
Daisy, Daisy, Give me a print-out, do - London Daily Mail on Sunday
This rather flip, quirky, tabloid-like piece from the UK scored a prime spot in my collection of newspaper articles for two reasons: the title (epic win!) and the head shot... which actually caught me with a playful expression rather than the usual focused countenance of intense technomadic concentr...
Bicycle baffles passers-by - Titusville Today
This was Christmas Day, as I was making the trek south to Key West to meet a network friend in what came to be known as "the ultimate blind date." I was fortunate to have old friends in Titusville, and it was sweet to spend the holiday in their company before returning to the madness of th...
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