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: technobiker - IEEE Institute
This piece in the news supplement to the IEEE Spectrum (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) came at the beginning of the long Silicon Valley BEHEMOTH-building layover. Such publicity helped immensely during the team-building phase... without my übergeek volunteers, that final version ...
Computing Across America book review - A.N.A.L.O.G. Computing
I find this review most gratifying, and not only because the reviewer enjoyed my book. Michael A. Banks is a writer I've known and respected for  years, and his Modem Reference was one of the most-thumbed technical books on my shelf... back before USB <creak>. He was a prolific columni...
Maplet - Indiana and Kentucky Shakedown Cruise
Before launching out for parts unknown, I needed to test bike and body... so this little 762-mile loop was the first phase of the Computing Across America adventure. Having left Columbus 2 days earlier, I entered Indiana from the east... heading for Indianapolis and the International Human-Powered V...
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>