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I love projects like these. One that has me fascinated is the idea of building a computer than can last centuries. Can it be done?

- Will the ICs last that long, can they?

- How will it get electricity if the sockets and voltage standards change?

- How do you make it durable to dropping, water, dust, etc?

- What sort of writable storage can last that long without degrading?

- How do you edit fonts as language changes over time?

- What sort of libraries and documentation do you include?

- Should you include some sort of Rosetta Stone for new users?




I have some answers

1. Yes; 10C reduction in temperature means doubling of life. I've known pentiums to last 10 years at 60C+; just running processors at 30*C instead is 80 years minimum. Main thing is to use leaded solder so you don't get electromigration problems.

2. Solar panels and batteries. Battery voltage is chemical and fixed by physics; nickel-iron batteries can be rebuilt and last forever. Solar panels can be oversized to provide enough energy even when they degrade over time and/or the computer can just be used at a lower duty cycle.

3. Make it big and hard to move in a sturdy box.

4. Flash can last that long if it is periodically rewritten, kept cool, has redundancy, and isn't updated often.


5. Default to a ROM which is made in such a way it is basically immortal.


Hey mate. Dunno if you recall, but some time ago you recommended How to Read a Book: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=20847508

Would you like us to share notes on the book itself? I've practiced its teachings for the last 3 years or so, and I'd like to chat with someone about it.

Sorry if this comment is a bit irrelevant, but HN doesn't really have a DM system. /shrug


Yeah I would be happy to discuss. I'm @guidoism on twitter if you want to move conversation there.


Sent you a tweet. Mostly want to share what hacks I've come up with for making the process speedier. And to inquire if you've come up with any. Also want to explore the possibility of a community for active readers - if you think it would work or not and why, and what benefits might come from it. Among other things. :)



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