Grandpa Jake’s Homemade Computer

Woodworking Workshop
Grandpa Jake’s Homemade Computer

Jake Computer

Earlier this year, my friend Alexandra Mueller shared on social media this photo of a man who had made his own computer, complete with a “kee bord” that has real housekeys on it and a printer that’s a piece of paper with an attached pencil. In her town, a little place not too far from Spokane, Wash., “everyone calls him Grandpa Jake,” she says. I thought his creation was adorable and funny, so I asked Al to tell me about him.

A little bit about our friend and neighbor, Jake Colvin:

He is “Grandpa Jake” to just about everyone who knows him. He and his wife, Melinda, are kind and generous people. Jake may be best known for his corny jokes…which I always fall for.

Why did he make this computer? Well, their computer broke this Spring, so he just went ahead and made a new one himself.

He’s an ex-logger with some time and creativity at his disposal. He had a friend make a scroll saw moosicorn (the name of our ranch: half moose and half unicorn) for me a few years ago. The giving of the gift was preceding by about a month of cryptic phone calls where he would tell me he was “hot on the moosicorn’s trail” or he found some “moosicorn sign in the woods” and then abruptly hang up. Then he called one day to tell me he “caught the darn thing.” 5 minutes later he was at my door with the wooden moosicorn sculpture.


He actually does know how to use a computer. He loves to forward funny emails. When he does actually type the email, it almost always is in a huge font and all caps. When I sent him a copy of the photo I took of him he replied: THANKS FER THE PICHER—-I’LL PUT IT IN THE ADVERTIZIN’ SECSHUN OF THE NEWSPAPERS MAYBBEE GET SUM SALES JAKE

But don’t be fooled by his phonetic spelling and silliness, he’s a well-read guy. When he’s not telling jokes, constructing something, or hunting, he’s reading.

PS. He was the keynote speaker for this year’s graduating class at the local high school. Oh…and he leaves the best messages. I leave them on my answering machine :)

Jake sign 3
A sign along Jake’s driveway. Al tells me, “There’s no water for miles.”
Jake sign
Another sign along the driveway.


Jake and Computer at table

What an awesome guy!

20 thoughts on “Grandpa Jake’s Homemade Computer

  1. Alex Mueller says:

    Love it, Laura! I can’t wait to share this with Jake!

  2. techshiksha says:

    Reblogged this on Techshiksha – Science Club.

  3. KelseyMH says:

    The best part? He built himself a Mac(k)!

    1. moosicornranch says:


    2. blake says:

      Sorry, it’s a Peterbilt.

      1. KelseyMH says:

        :-) I think that comment should have been, “It’s a Peterbilt, moron!” (or have I watched Cars with my daughter a few too many times?).

  4. Glenn Colvin says:

    “Grandpa Jake”, as most people in our town know him as, is my Uncle Ray. I have known him all of my life. He and Aunt Lin played a big part in my brother and my life back when we were younger, and I love them dearly. That being said, let me set the record straight about “Grandpa Jake”. He may seem all kindly and gentle, but back in the day, that old man was a jokester from the word go. Ask any of his brothers and his sister, they’ll tell you. Ask him sometime about the “tickle wire”. He’ll gladly tell you. Tell him I told you to ask. He’ll like that. Oh, and while you’re at it, ask him who put the rice crispies in his logging boots.

    1. Alex Mueller says:

      Love it! And a shout out to Scrollin’ Squirrel, from whom Grandpa Jake commissioned the scroll saw creation!

  5. sierra says:

    I miss grandpa Jake. I enjoyed seeing him on Halloween.

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