How are the lectures on this website that parallel the chapters in 'Elements of Computing Systems' different?

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How are the lectures on this website that parallel the chapters in 'Elements of Computing Systems' different?

maheshshanker
Hi,

My name is Mahesh Shanker and I am a self-learner who came across your book 'The Elements of Computing Systems' which I have just started reading. A few questions arised which is directed to the authors, Professor Noam Nisan & Professor Simon Schoken.  

I just needed to know what is the difference between the chapters of the book and the lectures which parallel them on this website in terms of information or the quantitative or qualitative difference in information between them. In other words, what is the aim of the chapters of the book and what is the aim of the lectures. Do the lectures go into more detail? If so, what would be the additional benefits in terms of knowledge gained compared to the book chapters.

I had also seen your From Nand to Tetris course Part 1 on Coursera. Would Part 2 also be released soon? How are these courses different from the book and the online lectures on this website? Finally, which would be the best course of action to take:

1) Read the book only and practically do all the projects

2) Read the book and go through the parallel lectures on this website and practically do all the projects

3)Read the book, go through the parallel lectures on this website and practically do all the projects and also take the Coursera courses

4) Any other combination of the above which would be best

Of course, time is a consideration in all of this, so I might have to pick and choose. Your guidance in this would be extremely helpful.

The book had listed the site which had the tools to build the computer as www.idc.ac.il/tecs but if I am not mistaken this website has been shifted to this new site. Just needed to know if I was correct on this.

Thank you for very much for your time.

Regards,
Mahesh Shanker
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Re: How are the lectures on this website that parallel the chapters in 'Elements of Computing Systems' different?

ybakos
The site for the course is http://nand2tetris.org.

The goal is to to educate yourself about how the modern computing stack works from the ground up - "from nand to Tetris." With that in mind, you need to choose, on your own, how best to learn this. For example, if you just read the book and do the projects, and never independently dig into topics like "flip flop," "memory mapped hardware" or "stack-based virtual machines," you would be doing yourself a disservice.

In other words, there is no "rule" about how to learn this stuff. As a "self-learner," you just need to answer to your own curiosity and questions.

The projects in the Coursera course are the same as in the book. The lectures on the Coursera site supplement the book, as do the lecture slides on the web site.

Here's what I did:
- Read Code, by Petzold, chapters 1 - 10
- Read Code chapter 11, and ECS all pages through chapter 1
- Complete project 1
- Read Code chapter 12, and ECS all pages through chapter 2
- Complete project 2
- etc...

And obviously using other course materials (lecture slides, Coursera vids) and Internet resources (including this forum!) as necessary, to answer one's own questions.

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Re: How are the lectures on this website that parallel the chapters in 'Elements of Computing Systems' different?

ivant
Code by Petzold is an amazing book! I highly recommend it to all who enjoy this course. I find that the two perfectly complement each-other.
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Re: How are the lectures on this website that parallel the chapters in 'Elements of Computing Systems' different?

maheshshanker
In reply to this post by ybakos
 Thank you. I have completed 'Code' by Charles Petzold. With respect to the lectures on this website that parallel the book chapters, & the courses in Coursera what is the difference between them and the book chapters. Are the lectures on this website & Coursera courses more in-depth and is there additional information in them? Thanks again.
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