Blinking lights!
March 28, 2008 2:45 AM   Subscribe

This is a cool game you can download. Here are some rule books for it.

Ok, it's not really a "game", but it's lots of fun, especially if like me you're too clumsy to actually solder.
posted by orthogonality (22 comments total) 41 users marked this as a favorite
Fantastic! It's fun and simple and makes people mingle with that sticky yummy stuff called logic !
posted by elpapacito at 3:05 AM on March 28, 2008 [1 favorite]

As a simple example, the above image shows the implementation of a SR-latch using two NOR gates, as well as a SR-latch logic block...

Well alrighty then.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 3:31 AM on March 28, 2008 [2 favorites]

Here are some suggestions for placing stuff from those people at that place.
posted by Smart Dalek at 4:25 AM on March 28, 2008

I think I'm gonna wait for the expansion pack that lets you play as the orc race.
posted by jbickers at 4:43 AM on March 28, 2008

posted by Science! at 4:48 AM on March 28, 2008

Cool find. I am afraid to open the application, knowing that it may take days of my life to reemerge, blinking and shambling, into the sunlight.
posted by zippy at 4:54 AM on March 28, 2008

EE 46 (Verilog spec) looking to grind purp XORs in Altera Realm for legendary Ripple Carry Adders. PM or email in prof.
this is great.
posted by boo_radley at 6:01 AM on March 28, 2008 [2 favorites]

For hard mode, play this on a first-generation Pentium.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 6:08 AM on March 28, 2008

For extra-hard mode, design a first-generation Pentium.
posted by Malor at 6:09 AM on March 28, 2008 [1 favorite]

I wished for such a thing for a very long time (only in analog), because I was always afraid I would blow something up. But finally I'm into it and I don't think I've melted, broken, electrocuted or destroyed a single thing or person yet.

Still, this is a great way to play around, prototype and experiment with components you don't have.
posted by DU at 6:15 AM on March 28, 2008

posted by arcticwoman at 7:36 AM on March 28, 2008

Very cool! Considering that radio shack's stock of individual components has been diminishing over the years, it might be nice to have a tool like this for interested children.
posted by hellslinger at 7:52 AM on March 28, 2008

This rules, HARD. I wish I had something like this 20 years ago when I was taking basic electronics back in high school.
posted by deadmessenger at 8:20 AM on March 28, 2008

I admit I don't even know where to start! I know this is cool, but I don't know how to create an outcome or even what outcomes are possible. Someone give me something to do?
posted by Sam.Burdick at 8:44 AM on March 28, 2008

My first real world circuits were more concussive than DU's. I put together a controller for a camera on a high end digital inspection system. It was pretty slick. After demoing it I rewired it on perfboard to make it look pretty - with a capacitor in backwards. It's amazing how much energy can be released by a simple mis-wired capacitor. It blew a hole through the perfboard.

My mentor just looked over his cubicle and said something like "Alright, John's earned his EE stripes."
posted by substrate at 8:46 AM on March 28, 2008 [2 favorites]

Very neat. It would be interesting to see what would happen if this game, coupled with Phun, was introduced to a child at a young age.
posted by mand0 at 8:55 AM on March 28, 2008

I admit I don't even know where to start! I know this is cool, but I don't know how to create an outcome or even what outcomes are possible. Someone give me something to do?

You may create ones and zeros. What they do is up to you. I've seen dudes IRL, no game, build a simple CPU from components at this level. Maybe try to make a simple calculator or something? First step: figure out how to make binary numbers appear as decimal on the 7 segment display.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 10:24 AM on March 28, 2008

mand0: It's sort of been done already.
posted by wanderingmind at 10:33 AM on March 28, 2008

wanderingmind: My roommate is an English major. He's taking a core course in EE for humanities majors. I kid you not, one of his labs involved Rocky's Boots.
posted by wtdoor at 11:38 AM on March 28, 2008

This circuit applet was fairly similar, but the new one has much slicker graphics
posted by joelf at 2:30 PM on March 28, 2008

Sam.Burdick writes "Someone give me something to do?"

Ok, here''s what I did:

Let's create a simple binary adder. We'll add two bits in binary.

Firt, create two input bits. Grab a "Zero" button and a "one" button. lay them out, the zero above the one, Now create your output bit as a led. Put in below the one bit.

Now use "base" circuits to do an add without carry: if no inputs are on, the binary sum is zero, and the led should be off. If either input (but not both inputs) is on, the sum is one, the led should be lit. If both inputs are on, the sum is two, and since two in binary is "10", the led is unlit, as we are throwing out the carry.

Hint: use XOR gates. Save your final design to disk. Other hint: you can actually press the keys on your keyboard, in order to press more than one simulated button simultaneously.

Now, add a carry bit above the zero. Use button "c". Same rules apply as above, but if all bits are on (zero, one, and carry), the sum is three, which is binary "11", so the led should be one. Load the final design from the exercise above, and modify it to use the carry. Save your design to disk.

Now add in the "two bit" output. Add another led. Given the way the simulation lays out gates, it's a bit easier if you put the "two bit" output to the right of the first (one bit) led, even though this is contrary to how we usually write numbers.

So we want the second led to light up if the binary sum of the three inputs set the second bit, that is, if two or three of the input buttons are pressed.

Now wire up the second bit. There's a straightforaward way to do this which uses five additional gates. Save this to disk.

After you've found this, use the rules in chapter 7 to reduce the number of additional gates to four. Save this to disk.

Now add in a second column of inputs (buttons "2" and "3"). The circuit leading to the second led becomes the carry input for this column, there's no separate carry input.
posted by orthogonality at 3:48 PM on March 28, 2008 [2 favorites]

The Wireworld computer.
posted by you at 3:37 PM on March 29, 2008

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