Channels ▼

Al Williams

Dr. Dobb's Bloggers

Friday Time Waster

March 12, 2010

In Texas, spring break is approaching so I expect this won't be a very productive Friday. I'm not much into computer games as a rule. However, I recently saw a site that has "games for engineers."

The one I enjoyed was KOHCTPYKTOP: Engineer of the People -- you are cast as a Soviet-era IC designer in an alternate future. There are a slate of ICs you have to design ranging from a simple inverter to counters, SRAM, and an ALU. The design environment lets you place silicon diffusion areas, metal, and vias. When you think you have a design complete, the game verifies it. If it sounds geeky, well, it is!

If you've ever really designed chips it will seem familiar. As far as I can tell, the game's model uses a simple delay model so transistor size doesn't do much -- but hey, its just a game, right?

What amazed me? Well, first that someone was as geeky as I am to think this was a game. And second, that apparently a lot of people were playing it (and judging by the comments, many people who don't really design hardware for a living).

I will warn you though. This is one of those things you think you'll check out for a minute and then 3 hours later you are still wrestling with the power up reset generator design. Very addictive.

Related Reading


More Insights






Currently we allow the following HTML tags in comments:

Single tags

These tags can be used alone and don't need an ending tag.

<br> Defines a single line break

<hr> Defines a horizontal line

Matching tags

These require an ending tag - e.g. <i>italic text</i>

<a> Defines an anchor

<b> Defines bold text

<big> Defines big text

<blockquote> Defines a long quotation

<caption> Defines a table caption

<cite> Defines a citation

<code> Defines computer code text

<em> Defines emphasized text

<fieldset> Defines a border around elements in a form

<h1> This is heading 1

<h2> This is heading 2

<h3> This is heading 3

<h4> This is heading 4

<h5> This is heading 5

<h6> This is heading 6

<i> Defines italic text

<p> Defines a paragraph

<pre> Defines preformatted text

<q> Defines a short quotation

<samp> Defines sample computer code text

<small> Defines small text

<span> Defines a section in a document

<s> Defines strikethrough text

<strike> Defines strikethrough text

<strong> Defines strong text

<sub> Defines subscripted text

<sup> Defines superscripted text

<u> Defines underlined text

Dr. Dobb's encourages readers to engage in spirited, healthy debate, including taking us to task. However, Dr. Dobb's moderates all comments posted to our site, and reserves the right to modify or remove any content that it determines to be derogatory, offensive, inflammatory, vulgar, irrelevant/off-topic, racist or obvious marketing or spam. Dr. Dobb's further reserves the right to disable the profile of any commenter participating in said activities.

 
Disqus Tips To upload an avatar photo, first complete your Disqus profile. | View the list of supported HTML tags you can use to style comments. | Please read our commenting policy.
 


Video