In this video collection from Crash Course:  Computer Science, topics covered include software engineering, files, storage, memory, compression and command lines.

Collection Contents


Today, we’re going to talk about how HUGE programs with millions of lines of code like Microsoft Office are built. Programs like these are way too complicated for a single person, but instead require teams of programmers using the tools and best practices that form the discipline of Software Engineering. We\'ll talk about how large programs are typically broken up into into function units that are nested into objects known as Object Oriented Programming, as well as how programmers write and debug their code efficiently, document and share their code with others, and also how code repositories are used to allow programmers to make changes while mitigating risk.
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So you may have heard of Moore\'s Law and while it isn\'t truly a law it has pretty closely estimated a trend we\'ve seen in the advancement of computing technologies. Moore\'s Law states that we\'ll see approximately a 2x increase in transistors in the same space every two years, and while this may not be true for much longer, it has dictated the advancements we\'ve seen since the introduction of transistors in the mid 1950s. So today we\'re going to talk about those improvements in hardware that made this possible - starting with the third generation of computing and integrated circuits (or ICs) and printed circuit boards (or PCBs). But as these technologies advanced a newer manufacturing process would bring us to the nanoscale manufacturing we have today - photolithography.
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So as you may have noticed from last episode, computers keep getting faster and faster, and by the start of the 1950s they had gotten so fast that it often took longer to manually load programs via punch cards than to actually run them! The solution was the operating system (or OS), which is just a program with special privileges that allows it to run and manage other programs. So today, we’re going to trace the development of operating systems from the Multics and Atlas Supervisor to Unix and MS-DOS, and take at look at how these systems heavily influenced popular OSes like Linux, Windows, MacOS, and Android that we use today.
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So we’ve talked about computer memory a couple times in this series, but what we haven’t talked about is storage. Data written to storage, like your hard drive, is a little different, because it will still be there even if the power goes out - this is known as non-volatile memory. Today we’re going to trace the history of these storage technologies from punch cards, delay line memory, core memory, magnetic tape, and magnetic drums, to floppy disks, hard disk drives, cds, and solid state drives. Initially, volatile memory, like RAM was much faster than these non-volatile storage memories, but that distinction is becoming less and less true today.
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Today we’re going to look at how our computers read and interpret computer files. We’ll talk about how some popular file formats like txt, wave, and bitmap are encoded and decoded giving us pretty pictures and lifelike recordings from just strings of 1’s and 0’s, and we’ll discuss how our computers are able to keep all this data organized and readily accessible to users. You’ll notice in this episode that we’re starting to talk more about computer users, not programmers, foreshadowing where the series will be going in a few episodes.
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So last episode we talked about some basic file formats, but what we didn’t talk about is compression. Often files are way too large to be easily stored on hard drives or transferred over the Internet - the solution, unsurprisingly, is to make them smaller. Today, we’re going to talk about lossless compression, which will give you the exact same thing when reassembled, as well as lossy compression, which uses the limitations of human perception to remove less important data. From listening to music and sharing photos, to talking on the phone and even streaming this video right now the ways we use the Internet and our computing devices just wouldn’t be possible without the help of compression.
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Today, we are going to start our discussion on user experience. We\'ve talked a lot in this series about how computers move data around within the computer, but not so much about our role in the process. So today, we\'re going to look at our earliest form of interaction through keyboards. We\'ll talk about how the keyboard got its qwerty layout, and then we\'ll track its evolution in electronic typewriters, and eventually terminals with screens. We are going to focus specifically on text interaction through command line interfaces, and next week we\'ll take a look at graphics.
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Today we begin our discussion of computer graphics. So we ended last episode with the proliferation of command line (or text) interfaces, which sometimes used screens, but typically electronic typewriters or teletypes onto paper. But by the early 1960s a number of technologies were introduced to make screens much more useful from cathode ray tubes and graphics cards to ASCII art and light pens. This era would mark a turning point in computing - computers were no longer just number crunching machines, but potential assistants interactively augmenting human tasks. This was the dawn of graphical user interfaces which we’ll cover more in a few episodes.
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