Hand-Cranked Computer

When the hackerspace NYC Resistor hosted a “digital archaeology” interactive show last spring, electrical engineer Chris Fenton built a throwback computer using modern technology. Fenton works with supercomputers all day but wanted to slow things down, so he designed the Turbo Entabulator. The 3-D–printed hand-cranked calculator relies on punch cards, string, and rubber bands to execute functions. One minute of turning produces part of the Fibonacci sequence, a numerical pattern that appears in nature. The plastic machine may be inefficient, but it’s a computer nonetheless and uses parts analogous to those in modern devices.

Time 50 hours, Cost $100