Weekend Update: Dreamcast Coffee Table gets Legs, Building an Electronic ‘Game’ from a 1972 Electronic Slide Rule

Just a couple of quick updates for my weekend readers.

First, I spent a bit of time on the Dreamcast coffee table, adding a set of chair wheels for mobility, and a hook beneath for holding the controllers, and replacing the plastic leveling shim with a nice metallic U-grip built from an old flat wrench.

Second, I took apart an old 1972 electronic slide rule calculator while scavenging for parts. It originally ran on a chained set of 3 1.5v batteries, so a modern AA is enough to drive the display and chipset. I realized that the mathematical operations and numerical keys were all still available for use after gutting the calculator, you simply must bridge some header pins on the (very readable) circuit board. Thus, ‘Pi Finder’ was born. The goal? To get the display to render the digits of pi by any means necessary, extra points for cleverness! You see, not only can you calculate a good approximation of Pi from division, this ancient electrical marvel has the value of PI encoded deep within the chipset. Can you access the stored value? Can you spell “Google” in calculator language? (379009) Good times.

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