Turing Tumble Community

Fun Toy but teaching obout computers - I think not

My understanding around digital logic and computer concepts isn’t the most complete as I’m fully self taught.over the last 38 years or so. For me the 3 concepts that are needed to explain are Binary math,
Logic gates and timers. TT Does Binary math well but doesn’t really Do anything for Logic Gates or timers. Other people my see storage or memory as more essential concepts while I can see how bits hold 1 bit of Data can be seen as memory. I know it is likely possible to create some logic gates . I guess some might see the balls going around as being a timer. I think it is a good puzzle toy. I am curious as to what Logic or computer based concepts beyond Binary calculations others see in this product. Interested in other users more so than the creators of this toy

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I’ll disagree that TT doesn’t teach “logic gates” concepts. One can build AND, OR, NOT gates, along with, well, any other gate, since those are universal. XOR is a fun exercise.

While I agree that TT doesn’t address timing, let me suggest that the view of what “computer concepts” are that you’ve adopted is too narrow. Computer concepts include building complex devices that can carry out interesting computations, from just simple components. This is akin to writing software that can compute arbitrarily complex things, using just simple commands. It is all about how you create more complex components from simpler ones, and more complex ones from those. If you browse the newsgroup, you’ll find all sorts of very interesting complex constructions that indeed carry out very interesting computations… take a look at the threads on building a compiler, Turing-completeness, cellular automata, computing boolean functions, for example.

Specific TT problems I’ve enjoyed include building a “voting machine” (computing the majority function), a count-up/count-down counter, or ideas of teaching about race conditions in multithreaded computations.

The list of computer concepts you can demonstrate is actually very large, but some may need a lot of imagination as to how to get there.