Originally Posted by felgall
I know there are only eleven possibilities in the game because thirty five years ago a friend and I set up a "matchbox" computer consisting of eleven matchboxes ...
Well, abut 52 years ago, Popular Electronics showed how to create a TicTacToe playing machine using nothing but DPST switches and one rotary switch (driven by a stepping motor in the most sophisitcated version).
I didn't have a rotary switch, much less a stepping motor. But I did have a bunch of DPDT switches and some diodes and some Christmas tree lights. So I created a TicTacToe "computer" with those. The worst hack being that, if the computer failed to make a move, you had to then resort to flipping the next switch in a bank of switches that caused it to choose the best still-available square. (Basically, all it did was make sure it blocked the human player. So the computer's first move, for example, had to come from that fixed bank of moves. Needless to say, it chose center square and then corner squares first from that bank.) The other major "trick" to it was that it had (as I recall...that *was* a long time ago!) 4 DPDT switches in the center square and 3 in each of the corner squares. All that to keep the various circuits separated. And, yes, it worked. And of course never lost.
Isn't it amazing how what goes around comes around?
What ever happened to "Hunt the Wumpus"? That would be a better first computer game than TicTacToe.