The digital pregnancy tests inside turned out to be almost real full-fledged IBM PCs
Techno section editor
There is a kind of competition among computer enthusiasts to run video games on devices that are absolutely not designed for this, such as cash registers, refrigerators and calculators. However, a Twitter user under the alias foone probably beat everyone – he launched Doom on a pregnancy test.
By cleverly retooling and reconfiguring the device's hardware, it became possible to play the iconic Doom from the 90s instead of wondering if you're pregnant.
See also in the story about how schools react to early pregnancy:
Each test, which costs less than $ 5 (140 hryvnia), includes a processor, RAM, a coin cell battery, and a tiny LCD screen to display the result. The processor is a Holtek 8-bit microcontroller with 64 bytes of RAM, capable of 4 or 8 MHz depending on battery configuration. It may sound very simple, but the chip is surprisingly complex.
“You might think it is very limited because it only has 64 bytes of RAM. But it actually uses a pipelined architecture to run at 1 instruction per cycle, which gives it decent performance for a 4MHz processor,” explains foone on his Twitter thread.
Fun suggests that this device is likely to be faster in number processing and basic I / O than the processor used in the original IBM PC. The original computer was based on the Intel 8088 microprocessor, an 8-bit chip running at 5 MHz. In 1984, such a computer cost several thousand dollars. This power is now crammed into a disposable pregnancy test that is simply thrown away after use.
Unfortunately, the chip is not programmable internally, so it is really impossible to make such a microcomputer run Doom. But the enthusiast went for a trick – he used a monochrome display as a monitor to display the game from another device. In addition to the gameplay of the shooter, the “hacker” showed an opening scene from the game Skyrim and even one video.
Recall that earlier Nintendo promised to revive the cult game console “Wait a minute!”. In turn, Sony lost the main trump card of the PlayStation 5 and betrayed the fans.
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