The Elements of Computing Systems (TECS)

  • September 5, 2012 · 8:00 PM

The Elements of Computing Systems (TECS) is an introduction (or refresher) on the basics of Computer Science. It's an exciting course that begins with binary logic gates but works up, one layer at a time, to building high-level programming languages and operating systems. That probably sound ambitious, especially for a one-semester course, however I assure you that it will be fun and easy. The book we'll follow breaks down a complicated topic into twelve easily digestible layers of abstraction which are fundamental to understanding how and why computers work the way they do.


This first meeting will serve as an orientation for anyone who is interested in participating in the course. I will explain the course outline and syllabus in greater detail, explain where to find copies of the book, help people get the course software setup, and answer any other questions.


This course is appropriate for all ages and experience levels, however I recommend that participants have some prior programming experience.

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  • Gregory K.

    Thanks for the info Ben! Are there any course fees, and what all should we bring tomorrow for the first day of the course?

    September 4, 2012

    • Ben M.

      There is no fee, but donations to HacDC are always welcome. You don't need bring anything, but if bring a laptop and we'll get the software setup on your machine so you can run the assignments.

      September 5, 2012

  • Ben M.

    Additional information about the class:­

    September 4, 2012

  • Ahmed A.­

    There is a Kindle edition too incase you need a copy in a hurry.

    September 4, 2012

  • Eric M.

    What textbook will this programme follow?

    September 4, 2012

    • Ben M.

      The book is titled "The Elements of Computing Systems: Building a Modern Computer from First Principles"­

      It is available on Amazon for about $20.

      September 4, 2012

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