Sunday, July 28, 2013

Irony of the Retro Propeller

Retro machine becomes more
It's very strange - that to become more powerful, at least in ranking and rating, the Propeller powered Big Brain had to initially take a step into yesteryear by going retro!

— When less becomes more! —

Sometimes less is more! Going retro is not a new idea (pun intended), even though the shape of today's modern processors are sometimes molded and formed into nostalgic products and projects stemming from the past. For example, the Propeller Pocket Mini Computer uses one Propeller chip to create a remarkable retro computer. But what about the Big Brain? What could possibly be gained by going retro and stepping into the past?

The idea on June 30th of 2012, was the creation and completion of a retro "Propeller chip only" machine that had supercomputer rating but only from a nostalgic past viewpoint. This was, of course as we all know now, a precursor to the Big Modern Brain, which took some time and growth to place in the actual Top 500 List of supercomputing machines.

One can take the timeline of supercomputers, divided into decades, and rate even the smallest board today in terms of speed. Range includes 1950s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s etc. Be prepared to calculate speed ranging from flops (floating point operations per second), through the gradual progression of faster and faster ratings, kflops, mflops, gflops, and teraflops.

The photo, seen here in a rotated retro effect, shows the "all propeller laden" retro supercomputer machine, laced with PPPBs and giant solderless breadboards. This experimental Big Brain and retro supercomputer was a gem that led to the development of the first supertronic enhancements and continuing experiments with machines inside machines.