You are here

Blast from the Past: Recipes for Disaster

An amusing tidbit from the dinosaur days back in the 1980s:

The DO-IT-YOURSELF Intel 80387 KIT !!!!!!!!

(Now with Microwave Instructions)

Copyrighted 1989 by Paul Carroll

Congratulations on purchasing this fine kit from the CARROLL LIMITED COMPANY(1). This 80387 chip is designed(2) to give years of pleasure. This kit contains the purest silicon from Silicon Valley(3) to help you build the fastest and bestest floating point processor possible. Just follow the following easy instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 1600 degrees Centigrade (that's 3000 degrees Fahrenheit for those of you who dropped out of chemistry). Wait 5 minutes.

2. Put packet of PURE SILICON in ceramic crucible or, if one is not handy, in your wife's favorite sauce pan.

3. Place crucible or pan in oven on middle tray. Bake well for 30 minutes or until the PURE SILICON has the consistency of hot chocolate. WARNING: It is NOT hot chocolate and is not intended for internal consumption.

4. Pour PURE SILICON mixture into patented(4) wafer mold. Spread mixture evenly, removing any lumps. Wait 2 hours for wafer to harden.

5. Sand surface of wafer until it is smooth to the touch. Number 5 grit is recommended.

6. Divide wafer into a series of rectangles, each of which is 3.5 centimeters by 1.2 centimeters. Accuracy counts, so make those lines straight!

7. Etch the easy-to-follow schematics for the Intel 80387 chip onto the wafer in each rectangle. Each rectangle has the potential to be an 80387 processor, so be sure to make more than one in case problems develop. Remember, the smaller the pattern, the faster the chip, so don't be afraid to go for real detail. A magnifying glass may be useful.

8. Cut rectangles from the wafer, making sure that you follow the lines. Scissors may be used, although razor blades are also useful(5). Safety scissors are recommended for software engineers if this is their first hardware project.

9. Place rectangle in handy plastic pin-out package(6). Be sure to get the rectangle positioned in the middle of the package. Wire pins to indicated areas on the 80387 schematics. You may replace the supplied 18-gauge wire with a finer wire if you so desire.

10. Glue package top onto package bottom, making sure that the top fits firmly. Take your time. Remember, neatness counts! Now is not the time to make an unsightly error. Wait for glue to dry (24 hours is recommended unless super glue is used(7)).


You are now the proud owner of an Intel 80387 processor(8)!!! No one will be able to tell the difference between it and an actual chip(9)!!! Plug this chip into your PC and away you go!

Be sure to look for the :

Do-It-YOURSELF Intel 80386SX / AMD 80286 kit
soon to be in stores near you!

Microwave Instructions

1. Place PURE SILICON packet in microwave oven. Set heat setting to ultra-ultra-high. Set time limit for 3 minutes.

2. Place microwave oven in conventional oven on lower tray. Set oven temperature to 1600 degrees Centigrade. Continue with normal instructions at step 3.


1) Only on weekends or between 6pm to 9pm.

2) Not by us, of course.

3) Okay, so it isn't from Silicon Valley, but it is from California(10).

4) By someone, I'm sure.

5) Especially when things go really wrong.

6) What, you don't have a handy plastic pin-out package? Shame on you!

7) In which case, the package is probably glued to your fingers. That's okay, it should make digital calculations run faster.

8) Or at least a close facsimile.

9) Unless they look, of course.

10) Okay, so it isn't from California, but it is DIRT.

Theme by Danetsoft and Danang Probo Sayekti inspired by Maksimer