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Building a computer from the ground up - Nand2Tetris


The site contains all the software tools and project materials necessary to build a general-purpose computer system from the ground up. We also provide a set of lectures designed to support a typical course on the subject.

The materials are aimed at students, instructors, and self-learners. Everything is free and open-source; as long as you operate in a non-profit educational setting, you are welcome to modify and use our materials as you see fit.

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The NAND gate is used as the basis to build a chipset.
The chipset is used as the basis to build a hardware platform.
The hardware platform is used as the basis to build an assembler.
The assembler is used as the basis to build a  virtual machine.
The virtual machine is used as the basis to build an operating system.
The operating system is used as the basis to build a compiler.
The compiler is used as the basis to build Tetris.

All this in a single semester.

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So much awesome, so little time...  :(

from a video I saw somehrrs

Watch the video, it explains a little more:

It's great they're doing this. Because it helps interested students get back to the roots of this technology and (hopefully) gain a deeper understanding of how it works.

Marvin Minski (father of AI) once responded to the question "What should I be studying if I want to become an AI researcher?" by saying: Hit the basics hard. Because 80% of what you're being taught about AI today will turn out to be wrong when it's finally worked out.

And therein lies the value of these "bare bones" approaches to learning about computing.

As Don Lancaster (early pioneer of homebrew digital electronics projects) put it: Hands-on is everything. You need to be able to visualize ones and zeros flowing down those wires before you really "get it." You need to be able to feel what these circuits do on a gut level before you can effectively design them.

Glad to see this approach to teaching still lives on. :)


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