Magnetic core memory turns 60 years old today, and as a tribute [Ben North and Oliver Nash] have created a 32-bit magnetic core memory board for the Arduino.
Magnetic core memory was used from the 1950s through the 1970s, and provided a non-volatile means for storing data, as each magnetic core retained its orientation, even when the power was cut. While it sounds a lot like a modern hard drive, these devices were used in the same fashion as RAM is utilized today.
While the pair used surplus ferrite cores manufactured just before magnetic memory stopped being produced, they did allow themselves to use some modern components. Items such as transistors and logic gates were not available to the first magnetic core memory manufacturers, but the use of these items helped them complete the project in a reasonable amount of time.
Their final result is a magnetic memory board which can be used by any USB-enabled device and is reliable enough to withstand billions of read/write transactions.