[etoys-dev] Toy computers

karl ramberg karlramberg at gmail.com
Sat Oct 8 12:27:02 EDT 2011

I have not tested this game, but it seems pretty cool.
Simulates chemistry, but it could just as well be a cpu.


On Thu, Oct 6, 2011 at 12:12 AM, Jecel Assumpcao Jr.
<jecel at merlintec.com> wrote:
> David,
> the problem with your plastic logic toy was that it had a single level.
> Simple projects were simple and understandable, but more complicated
> ones would get out of hand. In the same way, I feel that the solution is
> to have a sequence of Etoys projects where what you build in one is a
> basic block in another. You can either go bottom up (better for concrete
> thinkers) or top down (abstract thinkers like this).
> Here is a college level course that does this:
> http://www.cs.huji.ac.il/course/2006/nand2tet/
> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JtXvUoPx4Qs (10 minute video)
> http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=7654043762021156507 (61 minute
> video)
> Starting with NAND and building everything on that is cute from a
> mathematical viewpoint, but it I would start by showing the basic gates
> in terms of switches and lamps (there is an Etoys project for this, I
> think) or in terms of colored rectangles for CMOS chips (perhaps this
> could be done in Kedama in a reasonable way).
> Their processor is really pathetic, but they only use it to implement a
> Java-like virtual machine and then use that from then on. The Squeak VM
> could be used as an alternative, but it is very complicated compared to,
> for example, the one in Little Smalltalk.
> Chuck Thacker's TinyComputer designs are simply wonderful, but by
> implementing it as a very compact Verilog description there is just too
> much magic for someone who hasn't seen the logic gates and lower levels.
> There is no reason not to implement it as a schematic, however.
> I have a very long list of educational processors you can look at, if
> you want. Some have been implemented in TTLs, others in FPGAs and still
> others just as simulators running on PCs. Here is one of my favorites:
> http://www.bradrodriguez.com/papers/piscedu2.htm
> -- Jecel
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