I have encountered nand2tetris a few times before when I wanted to learn more about how computers work and low level stuff. I have only very recently seriously started the course, and I'm already excited!
I know there is most likely a long and hard road ahead of me (implementing processors, assemblers and programming languages?!), but I feel like it will add a whole another level of understanding to my day-to-day developer job and to my love of computers and technology.
First chapter reminded me a lot of the game MHRD on Steam. It revolves around designing a CPU starting from basic NAND gates using their own HDL. I have completed that game, so the first steps feel very familiar, but at the same time I felt a bit down when the game ended. I wanted to continue the journey and nand2tetris is giving not only a lot more information about these first steps, but a much longer road ahead. This is my chance :)
I think the course is great, but I'm going a lot slower than everyone else, so you'll no doubt catch up to me by about chapter 11 (am currently at chapter 9). I found it a little clunky at the beginning, but that was more due to my understanding than anything else, just getting into the author's groove as it were.
Excellent course, and the folks at Nabble have been very helpful too (I don't include myself in that group, as I'm not sure how helpful I've been, on the odd go I've had at being helpful....)
It's a great craic as the Irish would say and it's really helped me understand so fundamental concepts.
I'm doing in on Coursera personally, and it is set up so that each week I have to complete and turn in a single chapter. I might go ahead and do some things earlier than required, but at the same time I think it helps out not to burn out as easily. Tends to happen to me and my hobby projects
I don't want to freak you out, but I'd strongly recommend that you 'get ahead of yourself' chapters 7,8 (writing the VM 'translator') are much harder than the previous chapters.
I remember reading somewhere on this forum that Chapter 7/8 took as long as the previous 6 chapters to do. I was bashing one out a week (I'm a self employed construction worker and not a programmer by trade), I think chapter 6 took a month and 7/8 about three (though I did make it more fun for myself by writing that in C) (It's a lot different to C++11! Hoho) (Computer science history is fab too and this book has given me insights into that too).
Now I'm sure you're brighter me (or have more time) but others have described the significant increase in work load as the course goes on (and I agree with them), but with any job, better to get ahead at the beginning and have time to deal with any tricky bits than the other way round.
So in summary, for what it's worth, I think you'd be wise to get ahead if you can !
(It's a great course, even if it does drive me, occasionally crackers !)
Bon courage !
Uh-oh! Thanks for the heads-up. It does feel a bit easy right now, since these are the basics I kind of know already, and which are pretty intuitive.
Now I am really scared but excited too. I have played games from Zachtronics (TIS-100, Shenzhen I/O and the latest one - EXAPUNKS, totally recommended!), and both TIS and Shenzhen kept me wondering for months. I was so terrified of Shenzhen i/O I put it off for something like 6 months twice. I was so glad and so proud of myself for finishing the challenges myself and overcoming the obstacles, finding the way to think about it and solve it. I really want to reach that here too.
Nothing like trial by fire! Fingers crossed that I manage to pull through
Just been checking out Zachtronics Games. Look like a lotta fun !
Am sure you'll succeed, and if you get stuck you've got the friendly folks at Nabble to help you out. (Usually someone gets back to you within 24 hrs, often quicker. The top Posters/Repliers have really helped me out)
Do try them out, they provide a very interesting challenge, and each one has a different twist to it, all of the ones I mentioned dealing with programming!
I try to get ahead as much as I can as you suggested. I looked into the carry look-ahead adder, and it seems very complicated. I did complete Chapter 2 a full week early so that I had some leeway later. I'm sure I can trust you all if anything does turn up :)