It is a YASEP physically built with low to medium scale integration integrated circuits (MSI ICs). If you have heard of the CD4000 and 74 series, this is them: several logic gates housed in a DIP package with 14 to 20 pins. It is a homage to the homebrew computer building movement of the 70's and 80s with an emphasis on education and fun. The physical design is presented at Hackaday.io.
Its little nickname is Dusty or Sandy because today some parts can cost less than a cent. A resistor, diode, LED or transistor can be bought in reels of 3000 for $10. They are so inexpensive that if you lose one, it does not matter. They are also so small (have you seen a 0603 resistor?) that they are sometimes compared to sand or dust. As a consequence, it becomes practical and affordable to build a large circuit out of those grains of dust or sand. This project is not the first or the last to follow this path but I have decided be lazy and use larger, more integrated chips (pebbles?). And I will not spare dust ;-)
This project is a crazy goofball but there is one major problem: it remains expensive (compared to a small FPGA board) and potentially fragile.
How can it fulfill its educational purpose if only "a select few" can afford it ? The point of the discrete YASEP is to create a sort of anatomical chart that comes to life under your eyes, with which you can interact.
Fortunately the answer is simple: I can create a software version that runs on people's computers. Of course, it is written with HTML5, just like the YASEP framework, and both should be able to interact ;-)
The project only started (10/2015) so please be patient.
created 20151022 by whygee