New-old stock of Bell Labs's cardboard teaching computer, the CARDIAC


9 Responses to “New-old stock of Bell Labs's cardboard teaching computer, the CARDIAC”

  1. Stefan Jones says:

    [crotchety old geezer voice]
    Fah! Back in my day we trained on CLAYTABLETIAC.
    [/crotchety old geezer voice]

  2. Robert says:

    I was going to make some kind of witty remark about cardboard computers, but then I noticed the ladybugs, and I just couldn’t.

  3. darsal says:

    Headin’ in a somewhat tangential direction:

    The mention of the Bell Science Labs kits reminded me of something that was crucial to my own early education: Things of Science

    Here’s some history about it.

    I was a subscriber for several mid-70s years and still remember some of the units well to this day. I’ve been looking for something like this for the children in my life, and while I don’t hold much hope for finding NOS units from back in my day I’m glad to hear that the folks who put them out have retained rights to the program and might start production again.

    I wonder if contacting the Science Service (now the Society for Science and the Public and inquiring would make a difference?

    (Maybe not if one of us does it. If one person does it they might think he’s sick. And if two people do it in harmony… but if fifty people a day do they might call it a movement – a Things of Science movement!)

  4. Andy Hickmott says:

    Oh, yeah. I implemented a CARDIAC emulator on a PDP-11/RSTS in school, just because I could. It was fun, until I worked out how to use the machine’s real assembler.

    CARDIAC taught me what “stack linkage” meant by not having it.

  5. Kaleberg says:

    I was pretty impressed with Cardiac back in the early 70s. A few years back I put together an emulator for it written in Realbasic. It runs on the Mac, and it might run on the PC.

    Use Slow instead of run and you can watch all the hot PC, MAR, MDR register action.

    The link is:

  6. TulsaTV says:

    I’ve still got my original CARDIAC from high school, in perfect condition.

  7. Frank_in_Virginia says:

    Nice page with information and photographs here:

  8. Frank_in_Virginia says:


    Our address (All pertinent information):
    243 Dixon Avenue
    P.O. Box 682, Amityville, NY 11701
    TELE: 516-789-0700
    FAX : 516-789-0890
    Irving Becker, President

    Here at Comspace Corp., we take pride in customer satisfaction!
    You always go away happy and then come back for more!
    Here’s a quick look at our fantastic product line…
    1) MEGAPHONES and PUBLIC ADDRESS SYSTEMS (Both Commercial and Military type)
    2) LOUDHAILERS (A Ship to Shore Communication device plus so much more!)
    5) CABLE ASSEMBLIES (made to order to specs)
    7) TEST SETS / MEASURING TEST SETS (which include MultiMeters)
    9) BELL LAB KITS…See listIngs below.
    10) The “CARDIAC” computer trainer.
    Just to name a few!

    {{ From: }}

  9. David Carroll says:

    When I went to university back in the late 70′s the first language I learned was FACET. This did not exist in the real world, but was emulated in Fortran and came bundled with an excellent textbook. The virtual FACET computer had an 5 bit decimal accumulator, various other registers, about 60 instructions and a whopping 1K of memory. First you learned to hand compile into native machine code and then you got to use a simple compiler.

    Knowing FACET was a completely useless skill but because it was so simple it really drove home the fundamentals.

    After Christmas we graduated to Fortran which at the time was considered a useful skill.

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