Anybody Doing the Coursera Nand To Tetris Course?

Last week I enrolled in the course It aims at teaching how to build an actual computer starting with just a Nand chip.

I joined the course at once because I feel like nowadays computer science education is so abstract, it doesn’t deal with actual nitty gritties, for example the actual hardware, the instruction set and so on and writing and running a program just seems like **magic** :sob:

Instead for a long time I wanted to learn about the actual hardware details that a make a computer (or a computer program) work. Obviously this is just the course for me.

Finished the 1st week assignments and had a fun 1st week. :smile:

So, basically this is a shout out to fellow campers who are taking the course or planning to take it. If you want to discuss or ask something about it, please go right ahead and post here.

Update [17 Jul] - Finished the course :smile: , would be glad to discuss about it with anyone interested.


What was the first week like? Is it all done in software or will we need some hardware at some point?

First week was great. These were the chips we built -

  • And
  • Or
  • DMux
  • Mux
  • Not
  • DMux4Way
  • Mux4Way

Yeah, it is all done in software.
They have a Hardware Emulator where you can design chips using a simple HDL.

I don’t think we will need any hardware down the road.

Next week they teach how to build the ALU, that’s the thing I am really looking forward to.

I just started it today, I’m studying Computer Engineering in university so I’m excited to see the overlap between my coursework and what the professors are doing in this class!

1 Like

Its a great course. So far i have finished the first seven chapters. The 1st six are all about hardware architecture where you learn the inner workings of a simple but pretty powerful 16 bit system called hack. Then once you finish building the underlying hardware, you put the computer together and you have the hack system. I will for warn anyone taking this course that its terribly addictive, and fun once you get the hang of a few things. The first six chapters are all about the hardware so you will a learn a language called HDL(Hardware Descriptive Language). That you will use to build your circuits. The other six chapters are all programming projects the first one is in chapter six where you learn to build an assembler.
I highly recommend you take a programming course first before you get into the second half of the book because programming the software for your computer is what the second half is all about. Good luck. I love this course, I hope you enjoy it as much as i am.

1 Like

After finishing this course can i build a real computer physically without software simulators ?