DIY Calculator HW Project
This Wiki supports a physical implementation of the Virtual DIY Calculator, which accompanies the book “How Computers Do Math“. (A fully-functional copy of the DIY Calculator software - along with demos and tutorials - is available for free from the "Downloads" page of the DIY Calculator website.)
For a more detailed overview of this project, please visit the Community Portal
The DIY Calculator
The book "How Computers Do Math" is accompanied by a CD-ROM containing the virtual DIY Calculator, which includes a complete development system (assembler, simulator, and debugger). The CD-ROM also contains all of the interactive laboratories (as PDFs) and images (as PowerPoint slides) from the book - along with many other materials - for use by educators at schools and universities.
At the heart of the DIY Calculator is a simple 8-bit CISC-type CPU with a primary register (accumulator), a status register, an index register for indirect addressing, a stack pointer register, and an instruction pointer register. The simple design of this CPU makes it an ideal object for students and anyone else who wishes to learn about the principles upon which modern computers are based.
The primary interface to the DIY Calculator is a calculator front panel, comprising buttons and displays. The book guides the reader in creating simple programs and running them on the virtual DIY Calculator. Eventually, the reader creates a program for a simple four-function calculator (+, -, *, /).
The only drawback to the DIY Calculator as it is presented in the book is that it exists only as a virtual machine inside your PC's memory. This DIY Calculator Hardware Project fills this gap by bringing a physical implementation of the DIY Calculator to your desktop. The idea is that you can create and test your programs in the virtual world, and then download them into the physical DIY Calculator.