3V1275.01 Computer “rods” (7/20/81)
Seeing the trouble she had with the rods always falling over, I asked is a Rods microworld would be easier to manipulate and thus intellectually more accessible to her. So I proceeded to make one, substituting (a later idea) the blinking of numbers in place of partial blanks — that is the active rod is so indicated by its number name flashing at the center (end unit) of rotation.
After introducing this system (P182) later the same day, Peggy;s spontaneously adopted the objective of building a set of stairs on the table and achieved that objective. Since then, she has usually made such a construct whenever she plays with it.
This is not entirely true — for Peggy has used the active rod (usually the white one) driving it over the other rods to make them disappear. I left this feature in the system as a child-correctable bug — ie when a rod has holes in it, it can be repaired by rekeying it’s number name. when I saw Peggy had made all the rods disappear, I asked her where they were. Miriam responded that Peggy had made the white one “eat” them . I don’t know if the idea and word were Miriam’s or Peggy’s.