The prototype archive, AI, 2023
In the 1970s, a small computer company based in Monta Loma had the ambitious goal of creating a fully functional computer prototype made entirely out of paper. The engineers and designers at Small Computer Inc. spent years developing the technology, experimenting with different types of paper and inks to create circuit boards and other components.
Finally, after many setbacks and delays, the prototype was completed. It was a marvel of engineering, with paper chips, paper circuit boards, and even a paper keyboard. The prototype was able to perform basic computing tasks, such as running programs and performing calculations.
But just as the company was preparing to showcase the prototype at a major technology trade show, disaster struck. A fire broke out in the company’s research and development lab, destroying the prototype and all the research and development data.
Devastated by the loss, the company decided to abandon the project and move on to other ventures. The story of the paper computer prototype was all but forgotten, until many years later when a team of researchers stumbled upon old documents in a dusty storage room, the forgotten blueprints of around 80 prototypes.
The researchers were amazed by what they found and set out to rebuild the prototypes, one after another, using the original plans and schematics. After months of work, almost all paper computer prototype was brought back to life, and it still worked as it did before. They presented it to the world and it caused a sensation in the technology industry, with many experts hailing it as a technological marvel ahead of its time.
However, the company who made it was long, long gone and the technology was never commercialized. But the prototype served as a reminder of the boundless potential of human ingenuity and creativity, even when working with something as humble as paper.