Summer of CardIAC

Summer of CardIAC

While we here all love the CardIAC it may not be something others will take to. The skills it teaches though can be found here and there in other games and website. Yes the world has moved in some interesting ways to learn since the early days of the CardIAC. Here then are some of those resources you might find useful/fun/educational.

The Human Resource Machine.-
From the makers of the family favorite Little Inferno comes the programming puzzle game fun for all ages. It starts off easy and works up to some of the core ideas of computing. It is also presented in an fun manner.

You find an old computer at a yard sale. It has the thinnest of manuals. It is your task to work through the problems and in the process uncover the secrets behind it. The instruction set is a bit more than the CardIAC and being able to code multiple threads is hellafun. As a bonus you can run this in sandbox mode and code up amazing things. One fella made a full rogue like game with it.

This picks up where TIS100 leaves off. Here you are building components and the code that runs them in order to build ever more complex devices.
The game sets you as an employee in a Shenzhen based electronics company.

Summer Of CardIAC Translation Team Alert!!!! I have started working on a PrintYourOwn version based…

Summer Of CardIAC
Translation Team Alert!!!!

I have started working on a PrintYourOwn version based on several existing documents. I have pulled together the text and words I want to put on this version which I am calling the Teachers/Educators Edition.

Here is the text file of the English Text. If you are able we need as many translations as we can get. I will take your translated files and construct language specific versions .

Thanks in advance…
CARDIAC (CARDboard Illustrative Aid to Computation) is a learning aid developed by David Hagelbarger and Saul Fingerman for Bell Telephone Laboratories in 1968 to teach high school students how computers work. The kit consists of an instruction manual and a die-cut cardboard "computer".

The computer "operates" by means of pencil and sliding cards. Any arithmetic is done in the head of the person operating the computer. The computer operates in base 10 and has 100 memory cells which can hold signed numbers from 0 to ±999. It has an instruction set of 10 instructions which allows CARDIAC to add, subtract, test, shift, input, output and jump.

The “CPU” of the computer consists of 4 slides that move various numbers and arrows to have the flow of the real CPU (the user's brain) move the right way. They have one flag (+/-), affected by the result in the accumulator.

Memory consists of the other half of the cardboard cutout. There are 100 cells. Cell 0 is “ROM”, always containing a numeric "1"; cells 1 to 98 are “RAM”; available for instructions and data; and cell 99 can best be described as “EEPROM”.
Memory cells hold signed decimal numbers from 0 to ±999 and are written with a pencil. Cells are erased with an eraser. A “bug” is provided to act as a program counter, and is placed in a hole beside the current memory cell.

CARDIAC has a 10 instruction machine language. An instruction is three decimal digits (the sign is ignored) in the form OAA. The first digit is the op code (O); the second and third digits are an address (AA). Addressing is one of accumulator to memory absolute, absolute memory to accumulator, input to absolute memory and absolute memory to output.

High level languages have never developed for CARDIAC, since they would defeat one of the purposes of the device: to introduce concepts of assembly language programming.
Programs are hand assembled then are penciled into the appropriate memory cells.
Instruction Set

CARDIAC Instruction Set
Opcode Mnemonic Instruction Description
0 INP Input Take a number from the input card and put it in a specified memory cell.
1 CLA Clear & Add Clear the accumulator and add the contents of a memory cell to the accumulator.
2 ADD Add Add the contents of a memory cell to the accumulator.
3 TAC Test Accum Performs a sign test on the contents of the accumulator; if minus, jump to a
specified memory cell.
4 SFT Shift Shifts the accumulator x places left, then y places right, where x is the upper
address digit and y is the lower.
5 OUT Output Take a number from the specified memory cell and write it on the output card.
6 STO Store Copy the contents of the accumulator into a specified memory cell.
7 SUB Subtract Subtract the contents of a specified memory cell from the accumulator.
8 JMP Jump Jump to a specified memory cell. The current cell number is written in cell 99. This allows for one level of subroutines by having the return be the instruction at cell 99 (which had '8' hardcoded as the first digit.
9 HRS Halt & Reset Move bug to the specified cell, then stop program execution.

Programs are run by first sliding three slides so that the number in the instruction register equals the number in the memory cell the bug is sitting in. Once that was done the bug is moved to the next memory cell. The user then follows an arrow which will then tell them what to do next. This continues for all of program execution.

For More Information Please Go To
Memory Cells
Advance Card
Accumulator Test
Move Bug Ahead One Cell
Instruction Decoder
Bug To Cell 00
Instruction Register
Move Slides To Agree With The Contents Of The Bug's Cell
Move Bug To Cell And Add Orignal Location To Cell 99
Subtract Contents Of Cell From Accumulator
Copy Accumulator To Cell
Copy Contents Of Cell To Output Card And Advance Card
Shift Accumulator Places Left Then Places Righ
Move Bug To Cell
Add Contents of Cell To Accumulator
Set Accumulator To Contents of Cell
Copy Contents Of Input Into Cell And Advnace Card


CardIAC Summer Of Code

CardIAC Summer Of Code

June 1 2017 – August 21 2017

Make new code, redo/update the manuals (translations, updates), custom mods, added modules….all this and more. Make it Post It Share It.

Post ideas and submission up here. Spread the word to other CARDIAC enthusiasts. 

The Dicebag Project for the Circuit Playground Express

The Dicebag Dice Rolling Projects running on a working emulator of the soon to be released Adafruit Circuit Playground Express.
Select Switch + Left Button d100 (0-99) Right Button d20 (1-20)
Select Switch – Left Button d12 (1-12) Right Button d06 (1-6)

Red=Tens Place (0-9)
Blue=Ones Place (0-9)
Green=Tens and Ones are the same (00,11,22,33,44,55,66,77,88,99)

18 Years And Still Making Noise

From April 1999

"Then there are servers like that of Tom Higgins, a 34-year-old systems analyst, who sends out digital versions of old science-fiction radio shows from the 1950s, clips of William Gibson readings and other bizarre aural arcana on a tiny station he’s tagged WSMF. Explains Higgins, “My whole idea is spoken word — the spoken word has an innate power that so much of the media we have today lacks. I’m trying to bring back stuff that has an oral nature that allows people to use their brain and fill in the gaps with their imagination.”

Shoutcast and MP3 let a thousand Web radio stations bloom. There’s only one problem: The law.

Our Show of Shows Podcast

Our Show of Shows Podcast

For years I have been setting up podcasts of Old Time Radio shows. Thanks to +Dan H there is now a Podcast about those shows, where to listen to them, what they mean to us, and in general Dan and I going on about the subject. And go it does.
You can find the RSS link, all the info about the shows, and the plans for future episode up at . 

Our Show of Shows Episode 000 Show#: 000 Recording Date: 04/20/17 Podcast Date: 04/21/17 (We recorded this partly to check our equipment and partly to introduce ourselves. We didn’t really stick closely to our show notes, so we ran a bit longer than I anticipated.) Segments: How we both got into …

All The Napiers

All The Napiers

I have a set of Napier Bones and they are amazingly cool for teaching and putzing with math. What I did not know were the other devices Napier came up with for the task of doing maths. This one site gives you all you need to start your journey using Bones, Promptuary and Local Arithmetic. Dive in and enjoy.

"Napier Maths
This site is dedicated to the Mathematical Calculation Tools Developed by John Napier."

Be Your Own Best Fact Checker

Be Your Own Best Fact Checker

We are living on a ocean of bits. Using them rather than being used by them is key. offers up the tools and the bits to help with that. 

by Katie Dahl. The experimental Trump Archive, which we launched in January, is a collection of President Donald Trump’s appearances on TV news shows, including interviews, speeches, and press conferences dating back to 2009. Now largely hand-curated, the Trump Archive is a prototype of the …

Kids In Handcuffs

Kids In Handcuffs

For a kid on the autism spectrum being hauled off from school in cuffs for autistic behaviors is not ever the right thing for school systems to do. I say this as a dad who has had to deal with the aftermath of this action. 

A joint project by the NBC News Investigative Unit and the NBC Owned Stations shows school discipline is tougher for blacks, kids with disabilities.

Resist Now And Then

Resist Now And Then

“Why do you allow these men who are in power to rob you step by step, openly and in secret, of one domain of your rights after another, until one day nothing, nothing at all will be left but a mechanised state system presided over by criminals and drunks? Is your spirit already so crushed by abuse that you forget it is your right – or rather, your moral duty – to eliminate this system?”— 3rd leaflet of the White Rose