THE ANALOG THING – Newsletter #1
First of all, welcome and a big "Thank you!" to all fellow analog computing
enthusiasts who subscribed to this newsletter! We have
550 subscriptions already! Happy analog computing to all of you!
We, the team behind THAT, would like to stress that THE ANALOG THING
is an open hardware project. All schematics and specifications are public.
Anyone interested in analog computing may use this project as a point of
departure for their own work. THAT is not-for-profit and intended to be
an educational resource for as many people as possible. We are planning to
share our motivation for this project with you in more detail in future
issues of this newsletter.
Introducing THE ANALOG THING
This month, THE ANALOG THING was shown publicly for the first time at a TEDx
conference in Münster, Germany by our team member Sven Köppel:
It was also shown by our team members Bernd Ulmann and Dirk Killat at the
Kleinheubacher Tagung 2021, an academic
conference in Germany. At this event, an implementation of a Lorenz attractor
and a Hindmarsh-Rose model of a biological neuron were demonstrated using THATs.
The implementation of a Hindmarsh-Rose model is described in detail in this
In addition to these outreach initiatives, we are currently working on a short
product video to communicate the value of THAT and of analog computing in general
to broader audiences.
All THATs that have been shown to the public so far are first-batch
prototypes. The second batch of prototypes is currently in production.
The development of the second batch has seen some quirks fixed as well
as changes in function and appearance. Examples include the addition of
the HYBRID port and the change of the coefficient potentiometer scales
from numbered to gradual scales.
We are currently waiting for the second batch of prototype PCBs to arrive
so that we can perform the final tests before going into series production.
We are super excited to put the HYBRID port to work!
It is fantastic to see new user accounts being set up on the
wiki! We hope that
a healthy community for analog computing enthusiasts will result from this and
that this community will generate a valuable learning resource for THAT users.
We are currently setting up a webshop for THE ANALOG THING and
related equipment. This requires some legal aspects to be clarified, which
we expect to take a few weeks.
We are also working on the packaging for THAT and other aspects of
sales and distribution.
We received several requests for resources to start learning about analog computing.
A good place to start is the Analog Museum.
It includes a wealth of information on classic analog computers. For
beginners, the introductory
section is a good place to start.
A more contemporary resource is the book Analog and Hybrid Computer Programming:
If you have questions regarding THE ANALOG THING, please contact us at