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:

The Traveling Technophile - Home Office Computing
This is a follow-up to a piece by Daniel P. Dern in the same magazine, 6 years earlier... now discussing my transition to water with the Microship project. In real life, I had just set up a lab on Camano Island, Washington, and assumed that we would be setting out on the new expedition within a coup...
Cybertronics flyers from 1976
Way back in 1974, as a 22-year-old in Louisville, I started a small electronics business called Cybertronic Systems to help fund my growing microprocessor addiction and begin my escape from the employment treadmill that was already looming as a dangerous life habit. Within about a year, I was doing ...
BEHEMOTH visits CRASH in Houston
I remember this as a sweet and energetic evening, put together by Jason Asbahr. The hosting organization was C.R.A.S.H. (the Computers, Robotics, and Artists Society of Houston), which reports on its site: In November of 1994, CRASH organized a talk by Steve Roberts, technomad and internet expert...
This entry was posted in Early Years and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>