I bet Alan Turing who invented the Turing machine (and wrote the first ever chess playing program among many other things) as a thought experiment convenient for discussions on the theory of computation would have never thought that in the year 2010 a smart guy from Wisconsin would actually take the time to build one. Mike Davey had some free time on his hands and since he likes building cool things decided to construct the first ever Turing machine; and it actually computes even though it only has a finite amount of tape.

If you don’t know what a Turing machine is but would like to after watching the below video of Mike’s magnificent device then check out the information here and/or here. You can also get additional information about the hardware, software, and example programs that Mike’s device can execute then go here.

A very elegant machine … I'm surprised the ink doesn't smudge when the tape rolls up.

@seealso: http://legoofdoom.blogspot.com/2009/01/turing-machine-demonstration-video.html

I want one. Where can i get it???

I want one! Where can i get it???

This is really impressive no doubt. But I'm pretty sure that this isn't the first ever turing maching. Isn't any computer (including my cell phone) a turing machine? It reads and writes 1's and 0's on a theoretical infinite amount of tape. (Hard drive/memory/magnetic tape/punch cards) Which would make the ENIAC the first turing machine. (Short of having infinite tape of course.) I'm really surprised how many of my fellow Computer Scientist friends are believing this is the first one. Is my definition of a turing machine wrong?