IT whizz creates incredible eco-computer to show how ‘real’ computers work

Tomasz came up with the idea while in the mountains without internet during lockdown. Tomasz Węgliński

An IT whizz has come up with an eco-friendly mechanical computer to teach users how modern computers work.

Brainy Tomasz Węgliński, a seasoned IT Administrator from Szczecin, said he came up with the idea during lockdown when he went to the mountains where he couldn’t access the internet.

Built out of recycled wood, the fully-functional analogue ball computer known as KulKomp works in a similar way to an electronic digital computer, performing a surprising number of operations performed by an electronic computer, but in a visible and mechanical way, not electronic.Tomasz Węgliński

He said: “As I have been professionally in the IT industry for over 20 years, the offline dose was a shock.

“I had the idea of presenting the intricacies of modern computer science and electronics in a simple, understandable way to everyone.

Tomasz has been working as an IT professional for over 20 years.Tomasz Węgliński/Linkedin

“I remember a man named John T. Godfrey once built something like that out of a piece of plywood [DigiComp II (ed.)]. What if we recall and refresh his idea?”

Built out of recycled wood, the fully-functional analogue ball computer known as KulKomp works in a similar way to an electronic digital computer, performing a surprising number of operations performed by an electronic computer, but in a visible and mechanical way, not electronic.

He now hopes to raise enough money through crowdfunding and begin manufacturing.Tomasz Węgliński

With the help of mechanical switches that represent digital input and output, and metal balls depicting the flow of electrical impulses, users “have the opportunity to experience the computer world and understand its logic.”

Węgliński told TFN: “Initially I wanted to purchase DigiComp II, however, unfortunately, the project was discontinued.

“As I am an avid carpenter, I decided to take things into my own hands and breathe new life into the ingenious idea.”

Mechanical switches represent digital input and output, and metal balls depict the flow of electrical impulses which give users the opportunity to experience the computer world and understand its logic.Tomasz Węgliński

He now hopes to raise enough money through crowdfunding and begin manufacturing.