A Flash Based Seven Segment Display Hardware Prototyping Tool

Posted:3/06/2014 2:54AM

A Flash Based Seven Segment Display Hardware Prototyping Tool

Mike Mclain Discusses A Flash Based Seven Segment Display Hardware Prototyping Tool He Created Many Years Ago

Preface:

Many years ago (around circa 2004), back when I was an undergraduate electrical engineering student enrolled in an introductory digital circuits class. I was assigned the task of figuring out the digital circuitry needed to create a numerical seven-segment display driver.

While i will not bore you with the underlying principles needed to complete such an assignment (like the creation of K-maps, truth tables, and Boolean equivalences); however, one of the unique characteristics of this particular assignment (as my instructor did not want his students simply acquiring a 7 segment decoder circuit off the Internet) was the requirement that the number seven be illuminated on the LED display using the French notation rather than the classical English notation (as illustrated below).

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or in LCD as:

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Likewise, while I have the digital circuit schematics for this particular project archived somewhere on one of my older hard drives and on paper (although my current attempts at finding this information have not been overly successful as of yet). Nevertheless, (during the development process of this assignment) I needed a way to quickly visualize my seven segment binary inputs with the corresponding illuminated LED segments. Likewise, given the overall popularity of Macromedia flash at the time, I wrote a flash application to visually display what LED segments would be illuminated based upon a given binary input produced by my circuit.

Now to provide some historical context behind the usage of Flash over other web technologies, if you have been surfing the Internet for a while you might recall that the company Macromedia once owned Flash (back during the big Netscape vs. Internet Explorer browser wars) and Flash was rather popular during this time because of the massive number of inconsistencies between web browsers (along with the overall lack of Ajax support in JavaScript --- among other things). At any rate, during this early web era anybody who was into innovative web design generally used Flash and Flash (for the most part) was extremely enjoyable to work with (noting that one of the Macromedia Flash programmers played the game Netstorm --- a game i played --- and any irritable problems I encountered --- within Flash --- I would gripe at this developer to fix them and somehow those problems would magically get fixed the next Flash update).

Anyways, (around the time Adobe acquired Macromedia and started bloating Flash) newer web standards were adopted by the major browses that duplicated most of the major capabilities that Flash had and (as a result) Flash has been progressively on the decline over the years so ( from a contemporary prospective) I am aware that my Flash approach to this particular problem feels extremely archaic by todays web standards; however, do keep in mind that none of these capabilities were easily obtained within the major browsers back when I wrote this particular Flash application (noting that i also enjoyed playing with Flash at the time as well).

Conversely, (with this being said) here is the flash application:

Furthermore, a copy of the source file and the SWF file can be obtained:

Enjoy!

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