Computer geeks spend ridiculous amounts of money on high-end rigs all the time, but one digital electronics engineer from Cambridge, England, poured a small fortune into building a giant computer that he only uses to play Tetris.
James Newman’s supercomputer took five years to build, cost over $53,000 and takes up an entire room, yet it is a million times slower and has a million times less memory than a typical desktop. That’s because it’s actually just a mega microprocessor. “Computers are quite opaque, looking at them it’s impossible to see how they work. What I would like to do is get inside and see what’s going on,” Newman explains on the Megaprocessor project website. “Trouble is we can’t shrink down small enough to walk inside a silicon chip. But we can go the other way; we can build the thing big enough that we can walk inside it. Not only that we can also put LEDs on everything so we can actually SEE the data moving and the logic happening.” And that’s exactly what he spent the last five decades doing. As of June 22, the Megaprocessor is finally complete.