First release video in the new series now released!

I did some minor tweaks and reshot the opening sequence. This first in a series of videos will attempt, over the next few months, illustrate the design of a basic 8-bit computer built from transistors on up.

The entire series can be found on YouTube, and linked to the new Videos section of this blog.

As I mentioned with my last post, the goal here is to describe how computers work all the way down to the level of transistors. My goal with these videos is to show how, with enough resistors, transistors and other discrete components you could build your own working computer entirely from scratch.

Second, I see this as a foundational set of videos which launch into a second set on computer programming. One reason why I think this way is because while it’s easy for us to think about computer programming as writing some code–we never really stop to think why we write code as a sequence of instructions. We never really give much thought to “what’s under the hood” or why, for example, the most common paradigm for programming is the sequence of steps and not, for example, a Prolog-like set of assertions which is then evaluated by resolving the validity of the assertions in the list of statements.

(After all, in the past there have been many attempts at building analog computational devices that work more like Prolog: establishing a circuit or mechanical system which asserted a truism, then asking questions of the system in order to get answers.)

Edited April 22, 2018:

The first video contained a fatal mistake, so I’ve corrected the error and updated the links to the corrected video.

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William Woody

I'm a software developer who has been writing code for over 30 years in everything from mobile to embedded to client/server. Now I tinker with stuff and occasionally help out someone with their startup.

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