Sunday, 11 November 2007

Home Made MiniComputer that Runs Minix Linux

Magic-1 is a completely homebuilt minicomputer. It doesn't use an off-the-shelf microprocessor, but instead has a custom CPU made out of 74 Series TTL chips. Altogether there are more than 200 chips in Magic-1 connected together with thousands of individually wrapped wires. And, it works. Not only the hardware, but a full software stack. There's a ANSI C cross-compiler for Magic-1 (retargeted LCC), a fully multi-user, multi-tasking port of the Minix 2 operating system. a TCP/IP stack and hundreds of programs.

Except when he is working on it, Magic-1 is connected to the net. It serves web pages at, and by clicking here you can telnet in and play Original Adventure or run a few other old classics such as Eliza, Conway's Life or Hunt the Wumpus. To log in, use the id "guest" and the password "magic". Before the Minix port was completed, Magic-1 was running a very simple homebrew operating system. It also had a simple guestbook program. Many thousands of people have telnetted into Magic-1 from around the world, and between 2004 and the summer of 2007 they left 1388 guestbook messages. I've preserved the messsages here.

This web site has served as the development repository for the project, and contains lots of pictures documenting the construction, as well as full documentation and diaries stretching back to the project's beginning in 2001. You can also find a few videos of Magic-1 running, including the first time it worked.
Pic of the home built PC

The Project site h3r3

Other Projects from the same Geek h3r3

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