You'll Envy This Teenage Supergenius

You'll Envy This Teenage Supergenius

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At a time when most teens would be swiping bottles from dad's liquor cabinet, Jack Eisenmann handcrafted an 8-bit computer.

Don't get the wrong idea, this wasn't a simple "insert video card into AGP slot" computer build. No, that would be too easy for the recent high school grad.

The computer Eisenmann built, officially dubbed "Duo Adept," was cobbled together from a pile of chips that the teen hand-wired together. The prospective programmer then wrote a custom operating system for the machine, complete with a Pong clone and a homebrew title Eisenmann calls Get Muffins (that Yahoo News likens to Donkey Kong).

Admittedly, the Duo Adept is far from a supercomputer. If anything, it would seem at home in the late 1980s. Official specs can be found on the Duo Adept site, but highlights include the machine's 64KB of main memory and 6KB of video RAM (which outputs monochrome video at 240x208 resolution).

The machine currently displays video via a standard television set, accepts input from a QWERTY keyboard and is stored within some kind of oversized tupperware container. It would seem wildly low-rent, if it wasn't so fittingly apropos given the project's DIY roots.

Of course, anyone can toss a bunch of silicon scraps inside a storage tub and claim to have built a computer. This being the Internet, I'm sure someone has done that at one time or another. Eisenmann however, offers video proof of the Duo Adept in action:

Normally, I'd slam Eisenmann's choice of music in that clip, but after seeing the Duo Adept in action, I just don't feel right questioning his creative decisions. If he can manage something like this right out of high school, what will he be building as an adult?

*Cue ominous orchestral swell.*

Source: Duo Adept, via Yahoo News

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If this is what it takes to be a supergenius, then standards have fallen very far.

This would be impressive only if he was under ten years old. It's not remotely impressive for a teenager.

Ready-fabbed chips. If he had made the chips himself, this would be somewhat impressive, but still not newsworthy. But with premade chips, it's simply commonplace.

Envy him why?
He's not even old enough to get drunk of his arse!

Plus this makes you a God on the Internet for one second, but at school you get beat up for it and at work people just think you're a weirdo.

If anything a supergenius should be focused on the future, little things called poverty and world hunger need solving more than remaking old crap imho.

He's in for a shock when he finds out that building that won't get him laid over the summer

That's actually pretty awesome...

Definitely a challenge I'd like to try if I ever find the time...

EDIT after checking some fotos:

Ah, so he's running it on 4.5V...
Interesting...

I'd be impressed if he built a robot parrot.

I see your TTL computer and raise you a relay computer.

Yeah. It's surely neat to know to do such stuff, but really, people build their own 8-bit computers on technical high schools all the time.

I'm more impressed with that web server that's running on potato battery (not Glados, a real-life computer).

Impressive? Yes, he has my applause indeed, I could never do anything like that (maybe I could, but I doubt we will ever find out), I and respect his skill and the amount of work he put into it.
Supergenius? Hardly, if he had made a NASA-esque computer we could talk about supergenuis, but and 8-bit comp? 30 year old hardware that you can make from dirt and kitchenware (not literaly), does not qualify for supergenius.
Skilled on the other hand, indeed.

Am I the only one who's loving the fact this young inventor's last name is German for "Iron Man"?

Earnest Cavalli:
If he can manage something like this right out of high school, what will he be building as an adult?

I got a hunch..

I agree to what people previously said. Yes, he is a very smart kid! Kudos for building it, I was never interested enough or have the income to try this and I would probably give up fast.

But...that's hardly supergenious...he did just graduate high-school.

I wouldn't call him a super-genius, but he certainly has a knack for engineering.

Kenjitsuka:
Envy him why?
He's not even old enough to get drunk of his arse!

Plus this makes you a God on the Internet for one second, but at school you get beat up for it and at work people just think you're a weirdo.

If anything a supergenius should be focused on the future, little things called poverty and world hunger need solving more than remaking old crap imho.

Nobody in my school would kick my ass for this, and i'm in the 9th grade.

friend of mine did the same thing at age 13 in the early nineties. Its really not that spectaculat if you know the matter.
(only plus on his side was, in '92 it wasnt that outdated yet)

Jack Eisenmann/Tony Stark was able to build this with a box of scraps.

I wound up building most of those parts very independently throughout my college career. An OS, serial communication, we put together an old-school Mac out of chips and wires. It didn't actually require any special ability other than a manual, either. Supergenius? No. Leagues above your average Joe? Oh, yes. Would I give him a job straight out of high school? Definitely.

The worst part is the tedium. SO MANY WIRES. If one comes loose, it can be impossible to identify the cause of the bug it'll result in.

He mentioned custom machine code. I want to know what he means by that, unless he just means that he wrote processor instructions directly. When I read that what I think I interpret is "custom processor instructions," which I don't think I believe.

And I sure don't mean to disparage - this is quite impressive.

So, he's completed a project that would make him the star of a 1980's era homebrew club, if he was 3 years younger. You know, like that Steve and that Bill.

Great Timex Sinclair! Awesome Job!

He hasn't done anything "new", but for a HS grad its impressive.

And it means that he's accomplished much more with tupperware, than the FBI did to its antequated systems with millions of dollars and about 8 years time.

Honestly why the hell would you bash his musical choices? That has to be the most badass chiptune I've heard in a LONG time.

...I'll be impressed when he's rebuilt it using nothing but discrete transistors, diodes, capacitors and the like. Either that, or I'll be impressed if I see Crysis running on it.

It's interesting, not really genius. Also, he hasn't really proven that he's not faking it. I could easily whip up that video over a weekend.

I don't know if that's impressive or not. I've never tried my hand at something like that.....GIVE ME A WEEK. (disappears in puff of smoke)

Wow, a whole lot of hate here. This stupid article called him a super genius, he never did. Its amazing that he did this, most kids his age are out partying.

But I doubt it can run Crysis.
So that means back to the work bench.

When i was 15 I made a FM-Radio + broadcast station from scratch with old electronics.
Then i learned i could have spared myself the hassle and just bought one from radioshack.

Why wasnt i dubbed a super-mega-genius-very-important-person-to-the-max?

The tech is as current as this piece of junk.

Speaking of geniuses:

http://www.myfoxtwincities.com/dpp/news/must_read/waconia-wunderkind-builds-particle-accelerator-may-26-2011

moar genius.

Nice work.
Hope he gets his arse to university, there´s a lot more cool stuff for him to do and learn.

Though I agree, the title of the article is a bit of an exaggeration.
But hey, exaggeration aimed at the achievements of smart, young people is probably the most acceptable kind.

adamtm:
When i was 15 I made a FM-Radio + broadcast station from scratch with old electronics.
Then i learned i could have spared myself the hassle and just bought one from radioshack.

Why wasnt i dubbed a super-mega-genius-very-important-person-to-the-max?

.... because you apparently believe that building a FM-Radio is equally difficult than building a rudimentary PC ?

TheAmazingHobo:

.... because you apparently believe that building a FM-Radio is equally difficult than building a rudimentary PC ?

Its re-inventing the wheel, and not even an interesting wheel.

lame

Well I understand not many of you are engineers that can appreciate howmuch work goes into this shit, but it's alot of work and the kid must know hell of alot to make this work, well done sir.

Still, you might want to move on to the new equipment, a kid with such enthusiasm and determination could do somuch more on just a regular cheap ass computer.

My husband designed and built a removable scanner attachment for the nine pin dot matrix printer he used with his Commodore 64. During his second year of highschool. This was waayy back in 1987.

Why he did it? Apart from seeing if it could be done, to impress girls. Not sure the impressing part worked much until he met me.

"Well I built 17 gaming computers out of banana peels from my mother's uterus."

I believe this sums up the thread until now.

But good on this kid, certainly more than what I've done with computers. To be honest, I'm not as much into computers as I probably ought to be.

Wow, those of you dissing the work and effort that this kid put into this project need to get over yourselves! If you think you can do better, then by all means do so and make a video to prove it. Otherwise, quit trying to tear-down others for their extraordinary efforts and accomplishments. You just sound like a bunch of jealous, do-nothings with such comments as I'm seeing in this thread. This kid did more in a summer than some of you have probably done in your entire lives, thus far. I mean, really! Is this the internet now? A bunch of snide, conceited, condescending, lazy bums that contribute nothing except to constantly criticize and belittle what others accomplish?

Jack Eisenmann, I applaud and congratulate your successful effort! I encourage you to ignore the snide, conceited remarks of the jealous loafers in this thread and go on to succeed in build even better and greater machines.

I will envy this guy if he also manages to get a job/laid/credit for doing this but I doubt thats going to happen but I do envy his willpower.. I really couldn't have been bothered to even attempt this kind of thing..

Mygaffer:
Wow, a whole lot of hate here. This stupid article called him a super genius, he never did. Its amazing that he did this, most kids his age are out partying.

Hear hear. Good on ya, Jack, you've done something I couldn't do.

 

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