A Bell Labs cardboard computer recreated #VintageComputing #History
Back in the 1960’s and early 70’s Bell Labs made some very sophisticated educational kits available to high schools and colleges. Designed for classroom use, they included wonderful manuals written by some of Bell Labs best minds. One of these kits, introduced in 1968, was CARDIAC: A CARDboard Illustrative Aid to Computation.
I remember working with a CARDIAC in high school. It must have been 1969 or 1970. We were lucky enough to have a couple of keypunch machines at our school, and our card decks of FORTRAN programs were run at the local board of education with only 2 days turnaround (instilled a lifelong habit of thoroughly checking my work before submitting it). So while I was learning the ins and outs of writing programs, the CARDIAC helped me to understand what was going on inside the machine that I was running them on.
In an Instructable, megardi publishes files and instructions to recreate this handy tool. All the files needed to print and make your own CARDIAC are available as well as a PDF of the “instructional manual” that came with the kit.
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