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Always interested in offers/projects/new ideas. Eclectic experience in fields like: numerical computing; Python web; Java enterprise; functional languages; GPGPU; SQL databases; etc. Based in Santiago, Chile; telecommute worldwide. CV; email.

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Re: [Cute] Modular hardware/Interactive Dominoes

From: Shae Matijs Erisson <shae@...>

Date: Mon, 24 Jan 2005 21:26:44 +0100

"andrew cooke" <andrew@...> writes:

> One of the big problems (I think) in making modular objects with properties
> that "emerge" when they are used together is how to get something useful out,
> rather than noise.  This shows a couple of good solutions, although it's not
> clear to me how the Digital Cubes work, in any detail (do they have to all be
> aligned pointing "north"? does one dominate (if so, which)? are the visible
> messages really emergent (eg the "noise" really interferes) or do the cubes
> simply switch from noise to text when they detect neighbours?)

I got distracted, but I meant to reply to this with two urls:
http://www2.parc.com/spl/projects/modrobots/lattice/digitalclay/
http://www2.parc.com/spl/projects/modrobots/lattice/proteo/

This fits into a neat idea I've had about infinitely expandable hardware.
I wish my computer were built out of a bunch space-filling 3D shapes, 
one for each component. If each face of this shape were an expansion plug to
the next component, I'd never have to 'build a new box', I'd just smack on
another hard drive or CPU or another ram chunk.
After reading the urls above, I like the rhombic dodecahedron.
If this ever became a reality, other neat features would be possible.
You could do asymmetric multiprocessing with CPUs of different flavors, one
type for fast floating point, another one for fast integer ops.
Linux already has minimal asymmetric CPU support, and hotplug CPU support...

Even further, you could 'bud' a running system by splitting it down the middle
and giving the collection of older chunks to your younger siblings, or whoever
gets your hand-me-down computers.

What do you think?
-- 
Shae Matijs Erisson - http://www.ScannedInAvian.com/ - Sockmonster once said:
You could switch out the unicycles for badgers, and the game would be the same.

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