Over the last couple years, I built a mechanical computer powered by marbles and made a game out of it. It's similar to the old Digi-Comp II, except for two key differences:
- Parts are repositionable on the board.
- You can connect multiple 'bits' together using gears. When one of these bits is flipped, it flips the other bits connected to it.
The above link describes how it works. My question is, what are its theoretical limitations? My theoretical computing background is weak, so please ELI5.
edit: I'm not interested in the obvious limitations: speed (not going to win any races there...), board size, or # of marbles. I'm more interested in its theoretical limitations. Maybe it would help to split it into two questions:
- How can it be proven (or disproven) to be Turing-complete?
- If more than 3 gear bits are connected together, the friction becomes too great for a marble to turn all of them at once. Does that create additional limitations?
Thanks - I'm really excited to read your answers! I've been thinking about this for a long time.