High school grad builds 8-bit computer from scratch, complete with custom OS and Pong

18 Jun

Jeffrey Van Camp

June 17, 2011

Think you’ve got what it takes to live in an 8-bit world? One high school graduate does. He created his own 8-bit computer completely from scratch and now he’s writing games for it.

You think you’re smart? Well, not as smart as this guy. Jack Eisenmann, a programmer who just graduated high school, has built his own 8-bit homebrew computer completely from scratch using an old keyboard, a television, and a ton of TTL logic chips. No, he didn’t buy some computer parts and snap them together; he blueprinted every wire and connection and then built it, wire by wire. After he finished construction, he had to teach it how to communicate, so he created his own operating system and wrote some games for it. That’s dedication.

The new computer is called the Duo Adept and has specs that could be dwarfed by a NES, but it gets the job done. The computer has 64K of memory, 6K of which is dedicated video RAM needed to output a 240×208 black and white image. Since writing a basic hex editor for the Duo Adept, he’s taught it how to count to a googel, and programmed several games including Pong, Life, and a Donkey Kong-like game called “Get Muffin,” where you must get the muffin to win (tip: it’s up the ladder).

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