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You'll Envy This Teenage Supergenius

| 21 Jun 2011 21:50
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At a time when most teens would be swiping bottles from dad's liquor cabinet, Jack Eisenmann handcrafted an 8-bit computer.

Don't get the wrong idea, this wasn't a simple "insert video card into AGP slot" computer build. No, that would be too easy for the recent high school grad.

The computer Eisenmann built, officially dubbed "Duo Adept," was cobbled together from a pile of chips that the teen hand-wired together. The prospective programmer then wrote a custom operating system for the machine, complete with a Pong clone and a homebrew title Eisenmann calls Get Muffins (that Yahoo News likens to Donkey Kong).

Admittedly, the Duo Adept is far from a supercomputer. If anything, it would seem at home in the late 1980s. Official specs can be found on the Duo Adept site, but highlights include the machine's 64KB of main memory and 6KB of video RAM (which outputs monochrome video at 240x208 resolution).

The machine currently displays video via a standard television set, accepts input from a QWERTY keyboard and is stored within some kind of oversized tupperware container. It would seem wildly low-rent, if it wasn't so fittingly apropos given the project's DIY roots.

Of course, anyone can toss a bunch of silicon scraps inside a storage tub and claim to have built a computer. This being the Internet, I'm sure someone has done that at one time or another. Eisenmann however, offers video proof of the Duo Adept in action:

Normally, I'd slam Eisenmann's choice of music in that clip, but after seeing the Duo Adept in action, I just don't feel right questioning his creative decisions. If he can manage something like this right out of high school, what will he be building as an adult?

*Cue ominous orchestral swell.*

Source: Duo Adept, via Yahoo News

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