littleBits — pre-assembled circuit modules that are designed to help kids, novices, and anyone curious about programming, logic, and electronics get started without the obstacles of soldering or wiring. The various modules snap together with small magnets, a great idea to keep it as simple as playing with LEGOs.
At littleBits, we believe we need to create scientific thinkers and problem-solvers, and interventions need to occur early. The time is ripe to create the pipe cleaner and the popsicle stick of the 21st century.
The proprietary 8-bit processors that powered Atari’s home consoles are being resurrected by the Atari History Museum’s Curt Vendel. He’s rebuilding each chip from the fabrication specification data detailed in the original tape-outs he has in his possession, and hopes to be able to crank out brand new replacement chips (the originals have been unavailable to the enthusiast market for years). This looks to my non-engineer eyes like an impressive feat of reverse engineering and history gathering! If nothing else, one can appreciate the high-res circuit scans he’s posted in the discussion thread.