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Gakken Gmc-4: 4-Bit Microcomputer Kit Won’T Play Crysis

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Written by Paul Strauss | October 22, 2009

Sure, you might have just gone off and bought yourself a brand new 27-Inch iMac this week, but if that system seems like overkill for your needs, you could can always go to the opposite extreme. This computer kit not only doesn’t run any programs that you’d ever care to use, it doesn’t let you post to your Twitter page or play Youtube videos either. Blasphemy!


This simplistic 4-bit microcomputer kit from Gakken is really designed as a retro educational plaything, and not any sort of computer you’d ever want to be stuck using. Ever. The GMC-4 computer features a 20-key keyboard with hexadecimal characters, a single red 7-segment LED display, and 7 additional LEDs. That’s it. No big-screen, no Blu-ray drive (same as that iMac), and it doesn’t run any operating system.

Still, it somehow manages to play simplistic games like “whac-a-mole” and tennis, and also offers a basic sound generator for playing monotonous music. Keep in mind that this kit does require assembly, and the instructions are entirely in Japanese – and they show pictures of components that don’t come with the GMC-4, So that should increase the challenge a little bit.


You can get your hands on the GMC-4 microcomputer kit over at the MakerSHED for $39.95 (USD).

[photo via HobbyMedia]