This is where you'll find the latest gossip as to any new information, documentation, subroutines, and tools – and also new versions of the DIY Calculator – that we add to this site. A summary (organized by date) is provided below. Also, if you would like us to email you when anything of interest occurs, please send us a message to the following email address:

    

Please feel free to tell us what you are doing with the DIY Calculator, any experiments you’ve performed, what you've learned, and any ideas you have with regard to how we can develop and improve the little rapscallion.



News Summary

03/17/2008   We just added news of a BASIC Interpreter called DIYBASIC to the Programs & Subroutines page. This little scamp was created by a user in the DIY Calculator's assembly language.
  
03/11/2007   We just added a Generate an Even Parity Bit problem to the Conundrums, Puzzles, and Posers section on the Programs & Subroutines page.
  
03/05/2007   Two new problems have just been added to the Conundrums, Puzzles, and Posers section on the Programs & Subroutines page: Count The Ones and Flip The Bits.
  
03/03/2007   In the first rudimentary home computers, a simple monitor program resided in the ROM. Users would use this monitor to create their own programs by entering instructions (opcodes) and data values into the RAM one byte at time. For your delectation and delight, we've just added Two Monitor Programs to the Programs & Subroutines page for you to peruse, ponder, and play with.
  
02/26/2007   We've added a Conundrums, Puzzles, and Posers section to the Programs & Subroutines page. The idea is that – over time – we will present a series of brain-boggles to keep you amused. Your task is to create simple assembly language programs to solve these puzzles using the fewest number of instructions, or the smallest amount of memory, or some other criteria. We just posted the first puzzle, which involves taking an 8-bit binary sequence and generating its Gray code equivalent.
  
02/22/2007   Yours truly (Max) has created a suite of PUSHX, POPX, and CMPX subroutines that can be called from within your programs. These can be used to push the index (X) register onto the stack, pop it off again, and compare it with a 16-bit value. The routines along with complete documentation can be found on our Programs & Subroutines page.
  
01/02/2007   Reader Joe has taken his BCD routines (see the 12/11/2006 announcement) and used them to implement a very cool four-function (+, -, *, /) Binary Coded Decimal (BCD) calculator. You can discover more about this little ragamuffin on our Programs & Subroutines page.
  
01/14/2007   Young Lukas in Austria has written his very first assembly language program. It uses the six LEDs on the DIY Calculator's fromt panel to emulate a pair of red-orange-green traffic lights. You can discover more about this little rapscallion on our Programs & Subroutines page.
  
12/11/2006   Reader Joe in the USA has used the Binary Coded Decimal (BCD) instrunctions we added to the DIY Calcualtor to create some BCD math subroutines (+, -, *, /) along with a simple testbench program. You can discover more about these little rascals on our Programs & Subroutines page.
  
09/17/2006   Reader David Venhoek in the Netherlands has set out to create his own simple operating system for the DIY Calculator. The early microcomputer operating systems often had the words Disk Operating System (DOS) in their names, so David is calling his program DIYDOS. You can discover more about this little scamp on our Programs & Subroutines page.
  
07/19/2006   Two really amazing electronic engineers in Austria (Johannes Hausensteiner and Helmut Zulus) have started a project to implement a physical version of the DIY Calculator using a Field-Programmable Gate Array (FPGA). Once they've succeeded, we'll be able to create and test programs in our virtual world, and then download these programs into the physical DIY Calculator. Imagine having a calculatoron your desk that – whenever you performed an operation – you knew exactly what it was doing and how it was doing it because you'd written the program yourself. We can't wait! In the meantime, they've started a Wiki documenting the project at http://diycalculator.pcl.at
  
03/15/2006   We've added loads of interesting info to the More Cool Stuff page. These include a paper on how color vision works (it's not the way we were taught at school), an introduction to different rounding algorithms (there are many more techniques than you might expect), a paper on the origin and evolution of colputer displays and another on the origin and evolution of computer keyboards, and a paper on different computing options, from single processing cores to multiple processing cores to arrays of processing "things".
  
01/16/2006   Small updates to the DIY Calculator's virtual QWERTY keyboard. The <Esc> key has been made non-sticky while the <Tab> and '*' keys have been "tweaked" (these keys generate codes of $1B, $0B, and $2A, respectively). This new version of the software is available from the Download page.
  
01/08/2006   The DIY Calculator is augmented with a Workbench utility (comprising various switches and displays) and a Terminal utility (comprising a QWERTY keyboard and a console display). This new version of the software (including release documentation) is available from the Download page. Also, a suite of Workbench 101 laboratories are provided on the Demos page. Last but not least, PowerPoint slides containing all of the images used in the Workbench 101 demos are available from the Educators page;
  
01/01/2006   A new document entitled Rounding Algorithms 101 is added to the More Cool Stuff page. Also, all of the images from this document are made available as PowerPoint slides for use by educators on the Educators page.
  
09/18/2005   The DIY Calculator is augmented with a Data Gatherer capability for use with the proposed Code Coverage and Code Profiler utilities discussed on the More Tools page. This new version of the software (including documentation) is available from the Download page.
  
08/30/2005   Descriptions of some additional DIY Calculator-related tool projects are added to the More Tools page; these tools include a Super Assembler, a Small C compiler, a BASIC Interpreter, a Code Coverage utility, and a Code Profiler utility. Also, PowerPoint slides containing all of the images used in these tool discussions are available from the Educators page.
  
08/17/2005   The DIY Calculator and Assembler are augmented to support new Binary Coded Decimal (BCD) instructions. This new version of the software (including documentation explaining BCD concepts and the use of the new instructions) is available from the Download page; also, PowerPoint slides containing all of the images used in this documentation are available from the Educators page.
  
08/16/2005   First print of How Computers Do Math (ISBN: 0471732788) is released, including the original version of the DIY Calculator.