Hello! I’m an electrical engineer who’s interested in a lot of different things. Some of you may know of my more recent work on beautiful and functional circuits (Boldport), but before that, I also worked with FPGAs, microcontrollers, web, and hardware security. I also like drawing, cooking, hiking, what makes people “make,” and figuring out how to build sheds as I go along. In this series called “Circuit Shorts,” I’ll write about things to do with electronics and circuits ─ digital, analogue, logic, PCBs, etc. ─ and anything in between, over, and under.

## What Kinds of Circuits?

I’ll stretch the remit Elektor has kindly given me to write about anything that I think is both noteworthy and that you may like. I write these short essays to trigger the reader to explore more on the topic rather than be a complete discussion.

“Circuit Shorts” captures the essence of what you’ll read here quite well: quick reads that are interesting but hopefully also a bit of fun. And, it is also appropriate because, well, sometimes we short circuit! I can’t promise that the discussion will always be without error, but luckily you can let us know of what’s missing or incorrect by commenting on the article and through Elektor Labs. Also, if you want me to write about something, just get in touch.

## Two Riddles

I’ll end this intro bit with two riddles I was asked some time in my career.

• Riddle #1: You’re in a pitch black room and can’t see anything. There are 52 playing cards laying on a table in front of you. 10 cards are facing up and the rest are facing down. How do you split the deck into two piles such that there are an equal number of cards that are facing up in each? The solution is all over the net, so look there to see if you got it right. It can be generalised to any number of cards that are facing up.

• Riddle #2: Design the most minimal logic circuit that converts a 4-bit input encoded as (natural/simple/8421) binary-coded-decimal (0-9 decimal, 0000-1001 binary) into an 8-bit output that is the input multiplied by 5, also encoded in the same way. The answer may surprise you!