11/23/2020: 18th production run,
47 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
FriendsOfDigiComp group (now at
Groups.io)... How many other educational toys
can boast their own Internet fan club? Remarkable, considering
Digi-Comp is nearly 60 years old and has been off the market
for nearly 50... Which explains why the originals (if you
can find any) are so scarce, commanding $100 or more on
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
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
By the way, if you've
only just learned about Digi-Comp from the
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 fifteen hundred more and are committed
to keeping the kit in production. Check the top of this
page for inventory status.
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 piano-wire 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: $50 plus about $12 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
Tim at Minds-On Toys
PS: DIRECT FEEDBACK
FROM SOME EARLY ADOPTERS...
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 recommend it."
· "I'm thrilled with the new version. It looks
great and I don't worry about breaking it like I do with
my original DC-1."
· "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 works."
· "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
· "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."
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