What’s on your desktop this week? I’ve got a big mess of wires.
The Big Mess of Wires, or BMOW is a home brewed CPU built by Steve Chamberlin from dozens of discrete logic chips, all wire-wrapped together with care. This is how prototypes were built in the old days. Rather than etching board after board and soldering and soldering only then to discover that the thing doesn’t work, wire-wrapping relied on twisting thin wires to very long pins, and could thus be adjusted quickly. Many early computers were built using this process, and automated wire-wrapping machines were once common.
The BMOW includes 64K of RAM, VGA out, a BASIC interpreter, and it also sings: