Chapter 5. It Does Not Compute

What Is a Computer?

Some of us remember hearing the phrase “It does not compute” used by the robot from the hit 1960s television series Lost in Space. When it comes to contemplating what a computer really is, I think many of us can honestly say “It does not compute” or even “Danger, Will Robinson!” In this chapter, we will be learning about basic computer architecture using a very cool OpenCores project, and hopefully it will compute when we are finished.

The CARDIAC Computer Model

Around the time when our robot friend from Lost in Space was hitting the TV air waves, two engineers from Bell Telephone Laboratories, David Hagelbarger and Saul Fingerman, developed the CARDboard Illustrative Aid to Computation, ...

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