Vacuum Tube Computer: Calamity and Reconstruction

There are many mishaps one can imagine befalling a vacuum tube computer: catching fire from all the heat emitted, catastrophic cascading electrical failures, intermittent errors due to power supply and grounding problems, aging of components, and a host of others. Having the computer’s wooden breadboard mounting picked up by a gust of Texas wind and smashed into the ground isn’t one readily imagined, but that’s what happened to Usagi Electric’s one-bit computer shortly after its triumphant display at the 2023 Vintage Computer Fest Southwest in Texas.

Now it’s time to literally pick up the pieces, assess the damage, and start to put it back together, discovering in the process that vacuum tubes may be more robust that you’ve assumed.

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