Learn By Building Your Own Computer
Written by Mike James   
Sunday, 07 October 2012

Seven years ago, Shimon Schocken and Noam Nisan organized what was perhaps the first MOOC. In their groundbreaking course, From NAND to Tetris, students were challenged to build a modern computer starting from logic gates.

nandtotetrisbanner

 

How better to really understand how computers work - build one from scratch. It's not a new idea but ironically it gets harder as each year goes by to get down to the lower levels and implement things from the simplest hardware. This is the story that a recent TED talk told, and it launched perhaps the very first of the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC). 

"Shimon Schocken and Noam Nisan developed a curriculum for their students to build a computer, piece by piece. When they put the course online, giving away the tools, simulators, chip specifications and other building blocks, they were surprised that thousands jumped at the opportunity to learn, working independently as well as organizing their own classes in the first Massive Open Online Course (MOOC). A call to forget about grades and tap into the self-motivation to learn."

The course starts from a basic NAND gate and works its way up to a computer that can play a game of Tetris. You start from fundamental logic gates, build adders, work your way up to a simple machine, implement a language and an operating system.

You can view the TED talk below - if you want to skip straight to the main part of the talk, it start at around 5 mins in:

 

If you find this talk too philosophical and would really like to find out what the course is about then try the 12-step sampler video:

 

 

You can download and use any of the course material and there are lectures and software simulators to get you going.

 nandtotetrislogo

 

 

Banner


Latest On C# 6 And VB 12
03/10/2014

The latest news from the Microsoft compiler team is that, because the performance and quality of Roslyn is more important, it is time to cut new features from the .NET languages.



Lennart Poettering - Open Source Not A Nice Place
07/10/2014

In a blog post Lennart Poettering, the main force behind the controversial systemd Linux configuration system, explains that any dislike of his software spills over to him personally - and not just ha [ ... ]


More News

 

Last Updated ( Sunday, 07 October 2012 )
 
 

   
RSS feed of news items only
I Programmer News
Copyright © 2014 i-programmer.info. All Rights Reserved.
Joomla! is Free Software released under the GNU/GPL License.