News: High School Grad Builds 8-Bit Computer from Scratch

High School Grad Builds 8-Bit Computer from Scratch

High School Grad Builds 8-Bit Computer from Scratch

Age doesn't matter in the world of programming, only skills, and recent high school grad Jack Eisenmann definitely has them. He recently built a homebrew 8-bit computer from scratch, calling it the DUO Adept. A worn television makes up the monitor and speaker system, an old keyboard acts as the input controller and the actual computer itself is housed inside a clear Rubbermaid container, consisting of 100 TTL chips and a ton of wire.

High School Grad Builds 8-Bit Computer from Scratch

The future A-list programmer started the project last summer by first diagramming every wire and connection, then wiring up the GPU that generates composite video using TTL only, and finally creating the CPU, which executes a unique code.

High School Grad Builds 8-Bit Computer from Scratch

After fully constructed, he had to program it for interaction, so he created his own operating system (Duo OS) and hex editor. Then, he designed some homebrew programs, including some fun looking games like Get Muffins, Conway's Game of Life and a rendition of Pong that takes you back to the good old days of the Commodore VIC-20s three decades ago.

Overview video, complete with 8-bit era music.

The computer has 64K of total memory, with 6K dedicated video RAM for outputting a 240 by 208 black and white image on the monitor.

High School Grad Builds 8-Bit Computer from Scratch

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of Eisenmann's homebrew 8-bit project is the fact that he's had no formal education in electronics, but instead learned from "Google, other YouTube users, personal experimentation, and of course the datasheets for each chip."

To see more of Jack's 8-bit computer, check out his YouTube videos documenting the construction and demonstration of his Duo Adept, and make sure to visit his website for the schematics, code, further details and more pics.

7 Comments

Amazing. And his website is also pretty cool. Never seen a site presented in that manner.

In high school me and a friend built one of those robotic hands that comes in those do it yourself kits with wires everywhere. Once we programmed it to give everyone the middle finger we sort of just lost interest because we had reached the epitome of what our small brains could imagine.

The guy , is a genius.

KOOOO DO ANYONE KNOW HOW I CAN START ON A COMPUTER PROGRAM FOR MY SCHOOL IM 16 AND IN HIGHSCHOOL I WONNA WORK ON COMPUTERS AND LEARN MORE THAN JUST TYPING :(

it's like amazing.....you are so brilyent...:)

Being someone who is currently building a 8 bit computer as well, I can honestly say that this is brilliant. The thing that I am most impressed about is the graphics, all I am doing is having 8 LED's display the numbers or letters that it wants to display. So when I see this my first thought is "damn.... how did he do that." I am super jealous.

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