For a couple years now, I've been playing with the idea of building a balanced ternary processor. It's actually been done before—a few different times, almost exclusively in the Soviet Union. In 1958, the Setun ternary computer was designed at Moscow State University. I think it's really cool. Read more about the Setun computers here.
The advantage of ternary over binary is clear. The important thing is that I think its cool, so I want to design and build a balanced ternary computer like the Setun. There are quite a few problems in the way to achieving this what must be overcome.
Primarily, the digital electronics world is built around binary. Binary is ubiquitous. So in building this, I'd have to go from the ground up. No integrated circuits. That is, unless I implement BCT (binary coded ternary). It would be much easier to use BCT, so naturally, it was very tempting to just do that. But in the end, I've decided I'd rather have a genuine ternary system through and through.
I wasn't sure how to begin. I've decided to begin by exploring the logic of a balanced ternary system, so I'm going to begin work on a full virtual machine. When complete, I'm hoping it will guide the development of a physical version of the computer. Meanwhile, I will be playing with electronics to try and design basic ternary logic circuits. Kind of attacking it both from the highest and lowest levels at the same time.
In other news, the first chapter of Fluid Circuitry has been drafted. Unknown how long revision will take. More on that later. The chapters of Fluid Circuitry will be released as they are completed.
Have a good day and keep it weird.