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Understanding Computers course, Harvard & Programming Languages links

Statue at Hirshorn Museum, Washington, DC, USA

  • This course is all about understanding: understanding what’s going on inside your computer when you flip on the switch, why tech support has you constantly rebooting your computer, how everything you do on the Internet can be watched by others, and how your computer can become infected with a worm just by being turned on. Designed for students who use computers and the Internet every day but don’t fully understand how it all works, this course fills in the gaps. Through lectures on hardware, software, the Internet, multimedia, security, privacy, website development, programming, and more, this course “takes the hood off” of computers and the Internet so that students understand how it all works and why. Through discussions of current events, students are exposed also to the latest technologies.
  • This site is concerned with the idea-historical treatment of the development of programming languages as a means of human expression and creation. In 1976, at the History of Computing Conference in Los Alamos, Richard Hamming described why we might be interested in the history of computing: “we would know what they thought when they did it”.

    This site is all about why they did it – why people designed and implemented languages and what influenced them when they did so (historically, philosophically, politically as well as theoretically).

  • Timeline of general-purpose programming languages

    By Denis G. Sureau.

    Selection criteria: A programming language enters the history if it has a compiler or an interpreter or if it has inspired other programming languages. New languages with innovative features are listed if we can produce programs in this langage.

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