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How to Build a Computer 20: Digital Watches

Because I’m the sort of simian who still thinks that digital watches are pretty neat, I figured I’d work through a practical example. We know how to represent binary numbers, and we know how to express logic with gates. That’s enough knowledge to be dangerous. From there I worked out how to light the lights on a digital watch face. Here, let me show you. But first a quick disclaimer. This isn’t my area of expertise; odds are there are plenty of ways to do this better or more efficiently. I can say at least that this one works.

Okay, let’s talk numbers. Recall from the discussion of binary that you can express any normal number as a series of ones and zeros. So, for example, you could draw One (that is, the presence of bread) in the 4’s place, one in the 2’s place, one in the 1’s place. 4 + 2 + 1 = 7

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