[etoys-dev] Toy computers

karl ramberg karlramberg at gmail.com
Sun Oct 9 12:16:09 EDT 2011

And a bunch of CPU simulators:



On Sun, Oct 9, 2011 at 6:09 PM, karl ramberg <karlramberg at gmail.com> wrote:
> Here is a circuit simulator made in java. More advanced than the one in Etoys
> http://www.falstad.com/circuit/
> Karl
> On Sat, Oct 8, 2011 at 6:27 PM, karl ramberg <karlramberg at gmail.com> wrote:
>> I have not tested this game, but it seems pretty cool.
>> Simulates chemistry, but it could just as well be a cpu.
>> http://spacechemthegame.com/
>> Karl
>> 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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