People with more imagination then brains

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Pengwuino

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Ok there is this kid in this other forum that is absolutely insane. Hes about 13 or something and he constantly asks everyone if he can build an insane thing or invent some insane thing and id ont know what to tell this kid. Everyone else is encouraging him and saying "anythings" possible but i swear this damn kid needs ot spend more time studying then trying to build stupid things he doesnt understand.

His current lists of ideas and inventions include:

Wants to build his own CPU to work in his computer
Wants to build his own memory to work in his computer
Wants to create an alternative to Freon and do it in his bedroom (and asked "Do i have to memorize the periodic table of elements to invent a replacement for freon? (CFC's)")
ASKED US "what energy source can i invent to power a extremly low powered device such as a boombox or cell phone charger?"

Now, most of the stuff has been rather stupid but some of it is getting into that "Kid dies when he tries to mix volatile chemicals" headline type of crap. What do you say to people like this?
 

Astronuc

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Pengwuino said:
Wants to build his own CPU to work in his computer
Wants to build his own memory to work in his computer
Wants to create an alternative to Freon and do it in his bedroom (and asked "Do i have to memorize the periodic table of elements to invent a replacement for freon? (CFC's)")
1. Not feasible considering one needs a very clean Si wafer and a clean room with lots of hi-tech equipment (e.g. photolithograhphic system). He also has to design the templates for the circuitry - and I am sure he'd have no idea where to start.

2. Tell him to go to Best Buy or Circuit City.

3. Replacements for Freon have been developed.
 
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Before he try to invent, ask him how much does he knows.
It is kind of sad when people only talks but never doing something to achieve their dream.
 

Pengwuino

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darkar said:
Before he try to invent, ask him how much does he knows.
It is kind of sad when people only talks but never doing something to achieve their dream.
Hes 14 and asked if he needs to memorize the period table of elements to invent a replacement for freon... i think that sums it up.
 

Averagesupernova

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Maybe he's trolling trying to get somebodys goat? Maybe he has succeeded?
 

cronxeh

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As Astronuc pointed out - with our current electrical engineering solutions we cant easily make those cpu chips, however if you considered a biological cpu ( http://www.cse.ohio-state.edu/~lauria/biocpu/ [Broken] ) or some other solution it would make it somewhat easier
 
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Averagesupernova said:
Maybe he's trolling trying to get somebodys goat? Maybe he has succeeded?
He's trying to get somebody's goat, all right, but no way is he trolling. It sounds like he's just having fun.
 
I know who your talking about, or at least i think.

but whats wrong with what he/she is trying to do
 

Moonbear

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He could be just seeking attention, but he could be a curious kid who doesn't yet know his limitations and will someday look back and laugh at how naive he was to think he could do this stuff in his bedroom.

Since it sounds like there's a lot more "ideas" he has than just those you posted here, you can tell him that it's great to be curious and to want to know how to build things and to learn how they work, but making these things requires stuff that he can't work with at home or just as a hobby, such as special clean rooms, high tech and expensive specialized manufacturing equipment, and toxic chemicals that could kill him and a lot of people around him if not handled properly (and there's no way to handle them properly in a home - back to needing specialized and expensive equipment). If he really wants to learn how to build these things, tell him to stay in school and keep studying hard in his science classes, and when he goes to college, he can major in chemistry or electrical engineering (or whatever fits the "invention du jour" so he can be one of the scientists who develops new and better ways to make those).

This way, you can tell him it's not feasible to do at home and get across the message that it's too dangerous and at the same time, encourage him to stay in school and keep learning and let him know what sort of majors he might consider to work on the sorts of things he's curious about.

If he's just trying to be a pain in the butt, this approach won't do much, but maybe it will at least teach the folks saying, "Anything is possible," that their responses are badly misguided.
 
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Well, i guess we might have to listen the manner in his speaking. Usually those who really aim to achieve something and those who just talks has different speaking tone.

And if he does really fall under the category of really wanting to achieve, than i guess he didnt mean it now, but in future times. Invention and thought need time to growth. And i suspect he might goes for electrical and robot engineering.

and for this:
ASKED US "what energy source can i invent to power a extremly low powered device such as a boombox or cell phone charger?"[/qoute]
we dont need to asked him to invent if we already know the answer.

Well, i feel that the ideas of him is somewhat unnecessary. Why would he want to build his own cpu and memory? then how bout those motherboard and other computer chips? He needs to invent another types of other computer part in the end in order to fits his cpu and memory. And he still want to do that alone? Our current computers parts is not all done by 1 person but by many many many people in putting teh effort! Or does he mean he wants to work in factory temporary and do the workers' job to build his ''own build intel processor" ???

and i wonder how those people said "anytinh" is possible really think. Do they really think that is possible or just fulfilling dreams of the child? Is that invention necessary? What make u think that is worth the effort?

I remembered a story of a donkey trainer in a circus. He thought that no donkey could ever walk backward and so he trained the donkey. Finally he succeeded. And now assume u are the audience and watching his first performing. What do u think? Will u feel like wow, that's cool! or just okay, the donkey walk backwards.

It is really good that one have dreams, but the ideas have to be meaningful and beneficial. Benefit not to himself but to the whole society.
 

cronxeh

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I think the best path (and least expensive one) would be to direct him to a local library and make him read about 5 dozen different books on topics ranging anywhere from mathematics, materials science, chemistry, electrical engineering, etc

but to be honest, unless he is either 1. highly devoted autistic kid or 2. an extremely intelligent savant who can learn by reading once, he will never succeed
 

JamesU

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Pengwuino said:
Ok there is this kid in this other forum that is absolutely insane. Hes about 13 or something and he constantly asks everyone if he can build an insane thing or invent some insane thing and id ont know what to tell this kid. Everyone else is encouraging him and saying "anythings" possible but i swear this damn kid needs ot spend more time studying then trying to build stupid things he doesnt understand.

His current lists of ideas and inventions include:

Wants to build his own CPU to work in his computer
Wants to build his own memory to work in his computer
Wants to create an alternative to Freon and do it in his bedroom (and asked "Do i have to memorize the periodic table of elements to invent a replacement for freon? (CFC's)")
ASKED US "what energy source can i invent to power a extremly low powered device such as a boombox or cell phone charger?"

Now, most of the stuff has been rather stupid but some of it is getting into that "Kid dies when he tries to mix volatile chemicals" headline type of crap. What do you say to people like this?

Jeez, I was just kidding...
 
Fabbing a CPU or any other electronic components is definitely out. But, if he's intereted in electronics, there are some simple projects he could probably do. Building you rown radio controlled car from simple components is probably doable. People also build their own "homebrew" computers all the time, but don't expect to run Half-Life 2 on them though - and the project is probably way too out of reach for a 13 year old.
 

cronxeh

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he can build a radio powered on an apple or tomatoes or lemons, and use TDA 7000 transistor for FM reception - the circuit becomes very easy then. If he wants to go creative he can build the entire radio receiver inside one of those fruits, with speakers being inside and powered by other and maybe different kinds of fruits (receiver on tomatoe, speakers on lemons, etc)

Some 'fruit' batteries:
http://www.ushistory.org/franklin/fun/lemon.htm
http://www.unit5.org/christjs/Potato%20Battery.htm [Broken]
http://van.hep.uiuc.edu/van/qa/section/Electricity_and_Magnets/Homemade_Batteries/982209943.htm [Broken]

Here is a link for FM receiver:
http://www.inthelight.co.nz/electronics/tda7000.htm [Broken]
 
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Pengwuino

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Moonbear said:
Since it sounds like there's a lot more "ideas" he has than just those you posted here, you can tell him that it's great to be curious and to want to know how to build things and to learn how they work, but making these things requires stuff that he can't work with at home or just as a hobby, such as special clean rooms, high tech and expensive specialized manufacturing equipment, and toxic chemicals that could kill him and a lot of people around him if not handled properly (and there's no way to handle them properly in a home - back to needing specialized and expensive equipment).
Nope, he doesnt seem to believe it. Someone told him about this facility in washington or oregon that Intel has where they manufactor processors. Facility cost $1 billion and he just goes "well... cant i just read a few books on it?"
 

Pengwuino

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darkar said:
Well, i guess we might have to listen the manner in his speaking. Usually those who really aim to achieve something and those who just talks has different speaking tone.
No no, he seems to be very interested in doing some good but he has no idea what hes talking about. He unfortunatly thinks that he can do it at his desk while playing half life 2 on the side or something.

darkar said:
And he still want to do that alone? Our current computers parts is not all done by 1 person but by many many many people in putting teh effort! Or does he mean he wants to work in factory temporary and do the workers' job to build his ''own build intel processor" ???
He wants to do it alone at his house. His reasoning was "I dont like paying so much for intel chips" and wanted to do it at that very moment.
 

cronxeh

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he probably just wants to build his 'own' computer and become a 'hacker' and 'impress' the chicks or his 'friends' :rofl:
 
I remember a guy I knew once told me very enthusiastically about this idea he had for a free energy device utilizing perpetual motion. He seemed so very excited that he could make a differance that I felt bad shooting it down. I tried to be as gentle as possible.
 
Pengwuino said:
Nope, he doesnt seem to believe it. Someone told him about this facility in washington or oregon that Intel has where they manufactor processors. Facility cost $1 billion and he just goes "well... cant i just read a few books on it?"
Actually, given the knowledge, which he can get via study, there's no reason that the kid couldn't someday design a basic cpu, etc. The catch is, that that knowledge won't come easily or overnight. Then, if he wants to actually build his CPU, he can do that too, if he has the money. He can construct a CPU on one of the available Gate Array cards available for the PC, but they are not cheap, so he had better have well-to-do parents. Then what he will get can be a very decent processor (after he has learned how), but he shouldn't expect that it will be a match for the P-4, or the PPC, etc., which he can buy much cheaper than it will cost him to design and build one. On the other hand, the experience could be valuable if he can afford it.

KM
 

Pengwuino

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Haha yah! Too bad that he wanted it easy and overnight and to be a real Pentium 4
 

Moonbear

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Pengwuino said:
No no, he seems to be very interested in doing some good but he has no idea what hes talking about. He unfortunatly thinks that he can do it at his desk while playing half life 2 on the side or something.
Okay, since he just wants someone to suggest what books he needs to read and still thinks he can do it at home, maybe give him a LONG list of very advanced college textbooks, especially those that are just laden with equations nobody could understand without all the prerequisite courses. Tell him when he understands EVERYTHING in ALL those books, he'll have the basic knowledge needed to START learning how to do what he wants to do. If you can't reason with him, distract him with busy work!

He wants to do it alone at his house. His reasoning was "I dont like paying so much for intel chips" and wanted to do it at that very moment.
Has anyone tried explaining that he'll never be able to make them as cheaply as someone who is mass producing them?
 

Pengwuino

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Moonbear said:
Okay, since he just wants someone to suggest what books he needs to read and still thinks he can do it at home, maybe give him a LONG list of very advanced college textbooks, especially those that are just laden with equations nobody could understand without all the prerequisite courses. Tell him when he understands EVERYTHING in ALL those books, he'll have the basic knowledge needed to START learning how to do what he wants to do. If you can't reason with him, distract him with busy work!
haha but what if he does something stupid and tries to read them and just memorizes things and thinks he understands! hehehe

Moonbear said:
Has anyone tried explaining that he'll never be able to make them as cheaply as someone who is mass producing them?
Oh he could never understand the concept of mass production
 
So he really just sounds like one of those annoying brats that will say they can do anything and spend more time arguing that they could than actually trying to do it.
 
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For 1) people are forgetting the first CPU's were constructed from gate logic. While not the simplest way to design a CPU it is entirely possible. Point of fact, the Woz built his first CPU partly from logic level chips and that basic design inspired the Apple II.

2) Completly possible especially if by his own computer he means 1).

3) Ammonia, water, or bromide can be used as a replacement for freon. Now the question becomes "does he expect to develope an economically viable replacement for freon?"

With a little bit of studying, 1 and 2 are well within the realm of possibility even for a young'n. 3 is not so much and the last point is just silly; however, I wouldn't dissuade he/she/it from trying. One doesn't invent by listening to the protests of others---well as long as one stays withing the realm of physical possabilities that is and stays away from perpetual motion free energy. Just because you don't have the knowledge to do something does not mean someone else cannot do said thing. As Mr. Mann said above a CPU can be implemented on a PGA as can memory its just a matter of learning what is needed.

My 2 cents.

References:
http://www.woz.org/letters/general/95.html
http://www.seti.net/SETINet/OtherInformation/First%20Computer/first_computer.htm [Broken]
http://www.syngress.com/catalog/?pid=3180


[edit]I'm not trying to say the kid may not be a goon but at 13 or 14 I'd tend to cut he/she/it some slack. I might even answer a question or two---remember the guy who though he could fly through space with a tether ball a few weeks back?
 
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