Supposedly there is now the option of programming the XILINX chip to work with just the wiring on the TA's board and not do any wiring of your own. However, I haven't seen anything that specifies what XILINX pins to use. Is this available somewhere? I've looked over the web page and it doesn't seem to be anywhere (unless it was added to the zipped project file, but there is no mention of that on the web board.) And once again, even if we change or pins to match and reprogram the EPROM, if we run into a problem when checking off there still won't be any opportunity for debugging.
It's unfortunate that we've all been forced to be part of this "wonderful" change to semesters this year. The pitfalls of being in this newly reorganized EE class are just one of the joys I've experienced as a result, and I'm sure some of you have other, better anecdotes that you could share on this topic. It's a bit late for major changes to be made to this project, either in the grading or in the way that the project is supposed to be done. However, since changes have been made to the project (we can now use the TA's board for checking off and don't have to do any wiring of our own) I would like to propose that changes also be made to the grading standard.
To level the playing field for all of us, I suggest that the grades be based on everything up to and including the state machine simulation. We've all had access to the NT lab and the same software and could have reached that point. However, since we don't all have access to the same hardware I suggest that the wiring/implementation portion of the project be changed to credit/no-credit or else give extra-credit to those students who succesfully implemented their "computer".
Let me, and the "powers that be", know what you think. If you have an opinion, please post a response.
A Concerned Student