Exploring what sort of computing can be done on paper.


Color Computer

Non-electronic computers that work when you color them according to a simple set of rules. The booklet contains three series of computers: computers that compare, computers that count, and computers that play. From a technical standpoint they are all NOR-based logic circuits designed by using truth tables, karnaugh maps, and maxterm expansions.

From a social, political, and environmental perspective, these computers are an exploration of computation without electricity and semiconductors, an attempt to reinvent digital systems away from efficiency and productivity, and a hopeful prototype to expose the inner workings of computers.~


A nomogram is a graphical calculating device, a two-dimensional diagram designed to allow the approximate graphical computation of a function. Each variable is marked along a scale, and a line drawn through known scale values (or a straightedge placed across them) will cross the value of the unknown variable on its scale.
Example: 3 x 4 = 12

Visual Multiplication

The stick method of multiplication involves properly placing and crossing sticks. You simply lay out sticks consistent with the place values of the digits being multiplied. Then, you count the places where the sticks cross.
Example: 62 x 21 = 1302

Lattice Multiplication

Lattice multiplication is a method of multiplication that uses a lattice to multiply two multi-digit numbers.
Example: 64 x 17 = 1088

Paper Microfluidics

Paper microfluidics don’t require external pumps or power sources, they can be small, portable, disposable, easy to distribute and operate, low-cost, technically simple to make, and they only need tiny amounts of sample fluid. A minimal setup can be as simple as heating the lines drawn by wax crayon on extra absorbent paper, like cellulose paper and using droplets with food colouring.

Pen & Paper Games


The game is played by two players starting with a few spots drawn on a sheet of paper. Players take turns, where each turn consists of drawing a line between two spots, or from a spot to itself, and adding a new spot somewhere along the new line. In so-called normal play, the player who makes the last move wins. In misère play, the player who makes the last move loses.


The game is played with two grids of dots that are slightly offset from one another. To win a player must make a continuous connection from one side of the board to the other in the long direction for his color of dots.


Capture is played on a grid of dots. The players take turns connecting dots that are horizontally or vertically adjacent. If a player can complete a square then they capture that square. You must draw another line after making a capture. A player may make multiple captures in a single turn. After the last capture they must still connect two dots.

Peg Solitaire

Pegs is played on a shape made of pegs. The standard game fills the entire board with pegs except for the central hole. The objective is, making valid moves, to empty the entire board except for a solitary peg in the central hole.


Hexapawn is played on a rectangular board of variable size, for example on a 3×3 board or on a chessboard. On a board of size n×m, each player begins with m pawns, one for each square in the row closest to them. The goal of each player is to advance one of their pawns to the opposite end of the board or to prevent the other player from moving. ~

Every one knew how laborious the usual method is of attaining to arts and sciences; whereas, by his contrivance, the most ignorant person, at a reasonable charge, and with a little bodily labour, might write books in philosophy, poetry, politics, laws, mathematics, and theology, without the least assistance from genius or study.
The Engine, Jonathan Swift
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der papiercomputer

The design for a simple portable computer that only requires matches, a pen and a piece of paper.

The computer consists of a sheet of paper that contains both the program as well as a number of data registers and some matches that will be used to represent the contents of the data registers. This is a modified and extended edition of the papiercomputer by Wolfgang Back and Ulrich Rohde.

incoming(1): noton

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