production run, 58 in stock!
No doubt about it, the
original Digi-Comp I is a rare item——in more ways than one.
For example, there's the Yahoo group FriendsOfDigiComp... How many other
educational toys can boast their own Internet fan club?
Remarkable, considering Digi-Comp is 50 years old and has been off
the market for about 40... Which explains why the originals
(if you can find any) are so scarce, commanding $100 or more on eBay.
But perhaps the rarest
thing about Digi-Comp is the combination of hands-on and
minds-on fun it affords. It definitely still has things to teach*, like Boolean logic and problem-solving... and it's
rewarding to build and use. That's why Minds-On Toys decided to
reintroduce it in an affordable kit format, with a thorough and
professional revamp of the original documentation.
If you remember the
original Digi-Comp, Digi-Comp I v2.0 was created for you.
Not to keep in a trophy case, but to use and especially
to share——maybe with a son or daughter, niece or
nephew, or any other learner in your life (older than 10 or so).
We've pushed the limits of laser die-making and die-cutting, and
succeeded! All the original functionality is there, with just a
few design modifications and (ahem) small improvements. There's
the satisfaction of building it by hand, following clear
instructions, saving time and error using pre-engineered parts.
And then, flip ahead to the Lab section of the manual... and let
the problem-solving begin!
By the way, if you've only just
learned about Digi-Comp from the Intro, better late than never!
The new one's for you, too.
Digi-Comp I v2.0 is
now available. The first run of
one hundred kits was initially offered in November 2005 to
members of the FriendsOfDigiComp group——and with their
strong encouragement (see sample comments below), we've sold
over a thousand more and are
committed to keeping the kit in production. Check the top of this page for
Digi-Comp will take you a couple
of hours to put together. No special skills
are required, but youngsters might need a more experienced
assistant to make sure it comes out right. All you really need on hand is a bit of white
glue and a ruler; everything else is included.
Exactingly designed, materials carefully sourced: sturdy 80
point binders board, laminated with laser-printed high-gloss
Kromekote, parts precision diecut into punch-out sheets;
custom-formed steel rods; plus rubber bands, plastic tubes,
implements, etc. See the Gallery
for some glimpses of production methods.
· User Guide: Fully illustrated, step-by-step assembly
sequence; over 30 experiments and challenges adapted from the
best of the older material, interspersed with new informational
sidebars. 48 pages, entirely rewritten from the ground up.
· Cost: $49 plus $10 shipping (USPS Priority) in the
US. Check or PayPal accepted. Also available worldwide!
So take your time... have a
look around... and see the Order page
for further details.
at Minds-On Toys
PS: DIRECT FEEDBACK FROM SOME EARLY ADOPTERS...
· "At first glance, Tim's done a TERRIFIC job.
It's very professional - the manual is excellent and very
readable... Price is right -- quality is good -- Yes, I'd
· "I'm thrilled with the new version. It looks
great and I don't worry about breaking it like I do with my
· "I have received and assembled my kit. It works
great! ... The product is beautifully made and the instructions
are very clear. [The illustrations] are very easy to understand
and make assembly quite easy. I wish more illustrations were
this good. At first, I had some trepidation about making this
out of heavy bookbinder board, but that was quite misplaced. The
finished unit looks remarkably like the original and brings back
· "I ordered three of them, one for me, one for my
son, and one just in case I wanted another... It goes together
as promised, in a few hours, with remarkably clear and
easy-to-follow instructions. The change in nomenclature
('input' and 'output' versus 'logic' and 'clock', for example) go a long
way toward making it easier to understand. And, yes, it really
· "What a sweet little machine -- and what a clever
reimplementation in cardboard. It sure beats this Unix
workstation I'm hammering out code on, for plain old-fashioned
· "Got my Digi-Comp today, and have it together
and working... Thanks for doing such a great job putting this
machine together, I cant wait until my son is old enough to
learn how logic machines work."
THIS APPRECIATION (4/08) FROM A JAPANESE STUDENT...
· "My Digi-Comp I v2.0 was finally started
flip-flop yesterday. It's only a tiny little flip in the world
but big flip in my life. Thank you for your all the help and
hope your further success in the future."
STEVEN LANDSBURG WRITES in The Big Questions: Tackling the
Problems of Philosophy with Ideas from Mathematics, Economics
and Physics (Free Press, 2009)...
· "When I was a child, I had an absolutely
wonderful toy called a Digi-Comp I; I'm delighted to see that
after an absence of several decades, it is back on the market.
... A child with a Digi-Comp I is a child with a deep insight
into what makes a computer work."